“Mayor Veltroni’s trolleybus scheme is a waste of millions” said the posters. The year was 2008, and the rival candidate for mayor Signor Alemanno had put up posters all over Rome promising to cancel the trolleybus project and replace it with an extension to the underground system. But in the end, the trolleybus scheme was accepted.
But Alemanno’s posters turned out to be right. Not only did the trolleybus serve no purpose, it proved extremely expensive. The enormous cost of the vehicles, built by the consortium Breda Menarini and Skoda was eye-watering. Under the terms of the contract, Rome Metro had agreed to pay a total amount of 40 million euros for 40 trolleybuses. That works out at the exorbitant cost of one million euros for each trolleybus (in Spain with this amount of money you can buy an underground train). In Latvia the same consortium contracted to provide 150 trolleybuses for just 53 million euros
All of this begs the questions: From whom does Leeds intend to buy trolleybuses? And at what price?