ETS Trolley Buses

Photo of bus

On Sunday, September 24, 1939, Edmontonians gathered at streetcar stops along Jasper Avenue to experience their first ride on an electric trolley bus.  The “trackless trolley coaches” were chosen to replace the aging streetcar system.

The first line was along Jasper Avenue from 102 Street to 95 Street and up 95 Street to 111 Avenue.  At the height of their service, ETS had 100 BBC trolley buses traveling on 127 kilometers of wire.

Over the years Edmonton has had a number of different models in its fleet, -- Associated Equipment/English Electric, Leyland, Pullman, Mack, ACF Brill, CanCar Brill, Flyer and Brown Boveri (BBC).

The final time the cream and red buses traveled on the streets of Edmonton was for the Commonwealth Games in 1978.  They were replaced by Flyer and BBC trolley buses.  At the end of the trolley bus era, service was provided exclusively by BBC trolleys.

Following an extensive public process, Edmontonians said farewell to the trolley buses on Saturday, May 2, 2009. 

Last Day of Trolley Operations

City Council voted on April 28, 2009 to move forward the decommissioning of the trolley operations in Edmonton as one of the cost saving measures due to a city wide budget deficit. The last day of trolley bus operations was May 2, 2009.

Trolley Trivia

Trolley bus operations started in Edmonton in 1939.

Trolley buses do not have license plates. They're not a motor vehicle.

Trolleys only operate under overhead wire similar to the LRT system which also doesn't use licence plates.

Trolley buses are called "trackless trolleys" because they replaced the street cars, or trolleys, that operated on steel rails in the street. Trolley buses operate on rubber tires on regular roads - no steel tracks in the road. They still collect their electrical power from overhead power lines similar to the streetcars.

The brands of trolleys used by Edmonton Transit System --Brill, Leyland, Pullman, Brown Boveri Canada (BBC), Mack, Flyer.

The final fleet of trolley buses are BBC (Brown Boveri Canada) trolleys purchased in 1982.

The voltage of the trolley system is 600 Volts Direct Current.

Trolley Pics

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