Trolleybuses are an important part of the City of Gdynia’s public transport (PT) system, and both the vehicles and the network have been systematically modernised. The City of Gdynia has also converted diesel buses into trolleybuses to obtain the most efficient fleet in Poland at lowest possible cost. The current trolleybus system services altogether 45 km. The trolleybus fleet consists of 85 vehicles of which 73 are currently operating.
In this measure, trolleybuses would be taken to new area, currently not operated by trolleybuses as there is no traction. The considered area is Skwer Kościuszki street: one of the most popular, crowded and touristy central streets in Gdynia. In the future, after testing under CIVITAS DYN@MO has been completed, the street would be served by the trolleybus without the need to build a traction system. The improved accessibility would improve the quality of life for Gdynia’s inhabitants and tourists.
Before CIVITAS DYN@MO, trolleybuses in the City of Gdynia were supplied with electrical energy provided from overhead wires. To increase the reliability many of them were equipped with NiCd batteries. While the current NiCd batteries were considered an efficient source of alternative drive in emergencies, they could not be deployed in unwired routes of regular scheduled trolleybuses due to technical limitations. Mainly, Ni-Cd batteries were very heavy, large and difficult to operate due to their memory effects. For this reason, it was better not to use more than the 70% of their capacity; otherwise their lifespan might drastically decrease. Also their charging time was quite long – 2 hours in case of totally uncharged batteries.
The innovative aspect of this measure has been to use a new traction battery technology (Li-Ion technology) for the extended trolleybus line. New types of batteries were be installed aboard the vehicles that would operate on the number 21 extended trolleybus line running in the heart of Gdynia.
Li-Ion batteries can be characterised by numerous advantages compared to commonly used battery types. For example, they are much lighter than other common batteries and hold a much greater energy capacity.
The main objectives of this measure were to:
- increase the reliability and flexibility of the trolleybus system
- expand the operation of electric public transport vehicles in new highly populated city areas
- purchase two innovative Li-Ion hybrid trolleybuses and deploy them on a 2 km new line
- reduce energy consumption by up to 3% as a result of reduction weight of vehicle
- increase space for passengers by seven people through reduced battery sizes
- increase awareness of other Polish cities about trolleybuses as the most energy and cost efficient, clean and “ready to use” mean of PT