TROLLEY – promoting electric public transport

By Pavlina Dravecka / Updated: 20 Feb 2015

The TROLLEY project aims to promote electric public transport, unlocking the vast potential of trolleybuses to transform public transport systems from “fossil mobility” towards “electromobility”.

While Trolleybuses are considered by some as old-fashioned, they offer many advantages compared to other means of public transport. Innovations in the form of additional energy storage systems, which allow for partial trolleybus networks, or technical progress in trolley infrastructure, for instance through lighter cantenary [could we use instead 'overhead line'] construction and new vehicle designs shed new light on the topic.

The main target group of the TROLLEY project is decision makers. The timing for the project’s messages is right given the European Commission’s target to reduce traffic-related C02 emissions by 60% in 2050.

In approximately 60 cities of the European Union trolleybuses have been carrying passengers for decades, and offer potential for many other cities. If external factors or and costs are taken into account when calculating the profitability of transport systems, the economic advantage of trolleybuses becomes evident, in spite of their relatively high start-up investment cost.  This is particularly the case for environmental friendliness and „life-cycle costs“, especially if the electricity needed for operation is derived from renewable sources of energy.

Compared to rail based public transport, trolleybuses can be introduced at much lower cost yet still deliver a more rail like passenger experience. Furthermore, its approximately 50% longer life cycle when compared to diesel buses as well as its zero emission status and very low noise emissions make it a particularly clean and city compatible vehicle.

To transfer these key messages and thereby promote trolleybuses, for the first time ever, the joint European campaign "ebus – the smart way!” was developed in TROLLEY to raise awareness of trolleybuses as a clean, sustainable, urban transport mode for the future. The campaign will be put into action in the TROLLEY partner cities Salzburg (Austria), Parma (Italy), Brno (Czech Republic), Gdynia (Poland), Eberswalde (Germany) and Szeged (Hungary).

The campaign materials, can be used free of charge by everyone who wants to promote trolleybuses. In the TROLLEY movie local and regional stakeholders from TROLLEY partner cities are interviewed about the advantages and the wider potential of trolleybuses.

The campaign will help the trolleybus to continue its current renaissance and to demonstrate its value as a promising electromobile transport system in its own right rather than a in-between option stuck somewhere between bus and tram.

TROLLEY – promoting electric public transport is co-funded by Central Europe Programme

Case studies of the trolley project on Eltis: Extension of the trolleybus system to the surroundings, Salzburg, Austria andEuropean Trolleybus Day

Video on the trolley bus project on Eltis: Trolley - Promoting electric public transport

Project Coordinator: Alexandra Weiss