Archives for June 2022


Trams were the main means of urban public transport in New Zealand’s largest cities at the start of the 20th century. These cumbersome vehicles were noisy, draughty, dusty and uncomfortable. The rails embedded in the city streets they ran on often caused accidents when people tripped over them or narrow wheeled bikes got lodged in them.

When trolleybuses arrived on the scene, inner city travel became a lot more pleasant. For starters, trolleybuses were quiet. They were also clean and a lot more comfortable. However, despite the improvements over trams, only five cities in New Zealand have used trolleybuses. Sadly, none survive in New Zealand now: Christchurch terminated its trolleybus system in 1956, New Plymouth in 1967, Auckland in 1980, Dunedin in 1982 and Wellington as recently as 2017. However, New Zealand city authorities now realize they were too quick to retire their trolleybuses as increasing numbers of cities in Europe and the USA use them as a highly efficient part of their public transport systems. They see the benefit in them because they are pollution free and quiet. read more