Oslo’s public transport agency Ruter had to cancel nearly 200 bus departures again on Wednesday, after thousands of cancellations earlier in the week. The city’s fleet of electric buses has simply not operated well in the recent cold snap.
“The cancellations are blamed on a lack of buses in operation,” said Ruter spokeswoman Cathrine Myhren-Haugen. She confirmed that the buses’ batteries run down much faster when the temperature sinks well below zero, and they have to be recharged much more often.
It’s ironic how the climate-friendly fleet was hurt by the mostly welcome return of winter, which in turn forced the city to press old diesel-fueled buses back into service. Oslo’s new top politician in charge of transport and environmental issues, Marit Vea of the Liberal Party, said she was still glad the city had acquired so many zero-emission electric buses, “but I expect them to function well, also in winter weather.”
The cold weather also continued to create problems for train service, with many departures either delayed or cancelled on key routes including commuter lines connecting Oslo to Drammen in the west and Lillestrøm in the northeast.