December 9, 2022

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There will be electric support for public transport

There will be electric support for public transport

The demand comes from public transport companies across the country. But the enormous power consumption of the tram and subway mean that Oslo is in a special class.

Sporvian describes a worst-case scenario as practically demolishing current tram and subway service.

Halve departures

Here, 35 to 45 percent of the supply of trams and subways disappears. 10-minute departures on the tram will become 20-minute departures.

And most subways only run every half hour.

– What we see is that sky-high electricity prices have enormous consequences for public transport, not least for trams and railways. That’s what Oslo’s Environment and Transport Council Sirin Stav (MDG) says.

– The subway in Oslo carries more passengers than the railways in the entire country, so it can be dramatic.

– He tells NRK that the government should come forward and put in place a support program for public transport, just as it does for households and businesses.

Subway cut? Waiting times on the subway in Oslo can be long.

Photo: Simon Skelwick Brandseth

Five times more expensive

Kroner for Kroner, it was Rutter who asked Sporvian to calculate how much the tram and subway would have to cut to offset the increased electricity costs.

The answer is that this year’s sky-high electricity prices will leave them with an extra bill of NOK 283 million.

Next year, they fear, the electric shock will mean an additional NOK 494 million. That’s five times more than a normal year.

The effect is described as follows:

“To adjust generation to a level that provides cost coverage in 2023 despite rising electricity costs, a reduction of approximately 35-45% in current generation is necessary.”

Tram and Bus Railway Square

Tram cut? Sporveen has created a dire situation where the tram will no longer have a 20-minute route.

not enough

Worst case scenario is impossible. In a proposal for the Oslo budget, the city council allocates some money to offset increased electricity prices.

But it’s nowhere near Sporveien’s needs.

– Then we will have to face cuts, but it should come back, says Sirin Stav.

– So could route cuts be a result?

– I can’t deny it. The government should stand up here.

A billion lost overnight

He did not hide the fact that Oslo municipality’s ability to cover increased electricity costs from city coffers was dramatically reduced last week.

The government’s proposal became clear then Raised tariffs on hydropower Oslo costs more in terms of less profit from Hufslund.

– He says that draining the Oslo municipality of NOK one billion overnight will not make the situation easier.

While the power shock is bad for the trams and subway in Oslo, public transport companies across the country are feeling the increased energy costs.

Support from across the country

The Norwegian Public Transport Association therefore agrees with the demand for energy support. The association organizes 15 district municipalities and public transport companies.

– During the pandemic, billions of kroner were spent to keep public transport afloat. This is good, says Olov Grotting, general manager of the association.

– with the extraordinary energy prices we have now. Is it absolutely necessary for the government to step in with a support program like we had during the pandemic, he says.

Viken-cut already

In the Oslo area, public transport is closely connected. The county of Vikken is also concerned about additional costs for the tram and subway in Oslo and the bus operation in the whole region.

County Councilor for Transport in Wicken, Olav Skiness (SP), says more buses are going electric and the cost of biogas and diesel has increased.

– That will skyrocket energy costs, he says.

Paths already exist Bus services were cut off In old Akershus, there was no income following the epidemic. This could be the beginning.

– We don’t have the opportunity to cover it within our own budgets. The result could be a reduced route offer, which is exactly what we want, says Olav Skins.

NRK has asked the Ministry of Transport to comment on the request for electricity support for public transport, but has not yet received a response.

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