1981/82 BBC HR150G #100-199

ETS' final trolley buses were 100 BBC (Brown Boveri Co.) HR150G units delivered in 1981-82. Unsatisfied with the performance of the Flyer 800 series units, ETS opted for BBC-powered GM bodied buses. While GM did not appear interested in electric propulsion at the time, they supplied T6H-5307N model New Look shells without engines or transmissions but instead with reinforced roofs to support trolley poles. Local company Bennett and Emmott Ltd. completed the installation of the BBC electrical components. This included BBC chopper propulsion technology; a system far more technically advanced than that used even by Edmonton's first light rail vehicles! While BBC actively pursued at least a few North American trolley bus tenders, including in Vancouver, Edmonton's units ultimately ended up being the only GM New Look bodied trolley buses ever built. After extensive testing, prototype unit #100 entered revenue service on November 26th, 1981.

100 units were ordered to account for proposed trolley bus network expansions. As a result, a number of destinations including Northgate, Abbotsfield, West Jasper Place (West Edmonton Mall), Meadowlark, and Kaskitayo (Century Park), appeared on the destination curtains. The economic situation and resulting budget cuts in the mid 1980's, however, prevented any of these extensions from materializing (although they did manage to install trolley wire support poles on 97th Street between 118 Avenue and Yellowhead Trail). By the end of the decade, ETS had sold off all of the Flyer 800 series trolley buses and was looking into options for reducing the size of the BBC fleet.

The Toronto Transit Commission, faced with renewing its trolley bus fleet, opted to lease 30 units from ETS in 1990. While the TTC even leased an additional 10 units in 1991, they were unable to continue trolley bus service for a number of reasons beyond the scope of this page. Although the system technically ended operations in early 1992, ETS was unwilling to terminate the lease on the buses. As a result, the TTC system continued to operate from September 1992 to July 1993 using exclusively the ETS BBC units. BBC #151 was then transfered to Hamilton in hopes that the HSR would be willing to acquire the buses, but ultimately that trolley bus system met the same fate as Toronto's. Check out this page for photos of BBC's running in Toronto. Upon returning to Edmonton, about half of the buses returned to service with the other half marked as surplus and placed into storage. In addition to offering to sell the surplus units to various properties, ETS also experimented with other technologies, including an APU battery backup installed on unit #160. The Dayton RTA, facing a trolley bus shortage, agreed to purchase two units (#'s 109 and 110) in 1994.

While ETS continued to operate the BBC fleet, it quickly became apparent that Edmonton's trolley bus system was not viewed favourably by a number of local adminstrators and politicians. This resulted in additional service cuts. By 1997, the fleet had been reduced to 59 active units, with the entire fleet frequently parked during the off-peak summer months. Additonal units were placed into storage in 1998. When Edmonton's city council voted to continue trolley bus operations in 2004, a number of units were once again swapped in and out of storage. 20 units received major rebuilds, however to cut costs they were repainted into a unique "trolley" livery rather than the complete blue and silver of the rest of the bus fleet at the time. Stay tuned for a complete list of active/stored/refurbished units.

Despite voting to continue operations in 2004, and even having brought in a New Flyer low floor trolley bus demonstrator from Vancouver, Edmonton's city council voted to discontinue trolley bus operations in 2008. The system was to be decomissioned by mid-2010, however budget cuts resulted in May 2nd, 2009 being the last day of the system. Unit #152, operating on route 3, was the last unit to return to Westwood Garage that day. Units 100 and 140 remain on property with ETS as part of the historical collection. Due to the many unique features of these buses, several properties expressed interest in acquiring buses for preservation. Known examples today include:

Units 100-110

Units 111-120

Units 121-130

Units 131-140

Units 141-150

Units 151-160
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Units 161-170
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Units 171-180

Units 181-190

Units 191-199