Chomutov [CZ] - City council votes to keep trolleybus service
J. Lehmann - 17.05.16
In a meeting on 11 April 2016, the city council of Chomutov (population 50 000) officially voted to maintain its local trolleybus network. This strategic evaluation and decision had become necessary, as the smaller neighboring town of Jirkov had recently voted to end its financial contribution to the shared trolleybus service as of 1 January 2017. With a population of 20 000, Jirkov holds 15% of shares in the joint public transport company DPCHJ, while Chomutov has the remaining 85%. The authorities in Jirkov will now seek to institute a separate and cheaper, albeit environmentally less friendly bus service in their town.
Despite of these circumstances, Chomutov voted to keep its existing and well established trolleybus system, as it has the perspective of obtaining significant EU subsidies for the procurement of the next generation of trolleybus vehicles, whereas new diesel or gas buses would not have received any funding at all. According to the Chomutov city council, this was the single most important argument in favor of keeping and further developing the local trolleybus system.
Presently, the Chomutov fleet consists of 18 trolleybuses, 12 of which date from 1995, the year the network opened. The newest trolleys are an articulated Skoda type 25Tr as well as 5 Solaris single units. These were acquired in 2009 and 2006 respectively.
The Chomutov trolleybus system serves numerous large housing estates, where the different lines terminate. Along the main traffic arteries Březenecká and Kamenná a 7½ or 15 minute interval is offered at peak times from 5:00 - 8:00 and 13:00 - 18:00. The lines 50-53 terminate at the peripheral Písečná stop every 15 or 30 minutes. From the Chomutov city limits a 1.5 km long trolleybus branch line leads to Jirkov. Until now, this spur has been served by lines 40 and 41 every 15 or 30 minutes. Within Jirkov, the main bus station as well as the Hornik housing estate have been the trolleybus termini, with services previously running there every 30 or 60 minutes
On 7 September 2015, the Solaris single unit 103 is seen passing along Březenecká Street, while running on line 52. Photo: J.Lehmann
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