Langford to buy trolley from Ladysmith
Posted by insidelangford on November 7, 2013
I haven’t seen this reported in the Greater Victoria media yet, but the Nanaimo Daily News is reporting that Ladysmith has struck a deal with the City of Langford to sell a used trolley to the City of Langford, with the delivery date the only thing left up in the air.
Once-beloved trolley sold to Langford for $82,000
Four-year-old vehicle goes for a $100,000 loss
CARA MCKENNA / DAILY NEWS
NOVEMBER 7, 2013 12:00 AM
The Town of Ladysmith is selling its four-year-old trolley to the City of Langford for nearly $100,000 less than it paid in 2009.
The unit 103 Supreme Trolley Bus was purchased from an Edmonton company using approximately $180,000 of taxpayer money.
Ladysmith businesses, service clubs and community members pitched in approximately $200,000 for operating costs.
The trolley was popular with the town at first, but eventually garnered criticism for its annual operating costs, which were $150,000 in 2012.
Now the trolley and all its equipment is being sold for $82,000 to Langford, which is replacing one of its two existing trolleys. A Town of Ladysmith staff report says the price is reasonable because the trolley has been in constant service for four years and is considered a surplus asset because Ladysmith is now being served by B.C. Transit.
Revenue from the sale will be put back into the same community gas tax fund that initially funded the project.
Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins said city staff are currently negotiating the deal and he isn’t sure when the trolley will be sent to Langford.
Coun. Bill Drysdale said $82,000 is a reasonable price considering if the trolley was sold privately – rather than to another government agency – the town would have to repay nearly $100,000 to the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
“A lot of people put in money and donated towards the trolley,” he said. “Some of that money was used for operations and gas tax money was, of course, used as well.”
Drysdale said the town’s second trolley, built in 1989, was much less expensive and is being kept by the town for use during community events such as the upcoming Festival of Lights.
The older trolley was purchased around the same time as the 2009 model as a backup.
At the time of purchase, Ladysmith had no public transit system. Drysdale said Ladysmith was trying to make a deal with B.C. Transit for almost a decade so the town decided to create its own transit in the meantime.
“These things don’t happen overnight so we said ‘we don’t want to wait, we want to get something in for our citizens,'” he said.
“We did not budget to replace the vehicle because we were hearing from B.C. Transit that they would eventually make it happen for Ladysmith to join.”
He said the new B.C. Transit buses are more accessible for people with mobility issues and is a better system for the town.