The Moose has learned that by the end of 2020 all the works and operations vehicles for the town of Smithers will be replaced with bicycles.
Mayor Taylor Bachrach says the change is partly in response to a recent financial report indicating large amounts of infrastructure repairs necessary to the town within the decade.
He estimates the decision to go green will save the town upwards of $80,000 annually on fuel alone.
“From street sweepers to graders, our vision is that all our equipment will be pedal powered,” says Bachrach.
“It may take a bit more time to get things done, but there are so many benefits that get overlooked: fitness, noise reduction and the entertainment value are just a few.”
The town’s snow-removal fleet will now consist of 18 ‘fat tire’ mountain bikes that have been retrofitted with front-end loaders and snowplows.
One of the more controversial aspects of the change are the neon orange spandex uniforms that the town has designed for the bicycle operators.
“It’s true that we’ve had some feedback on the spandex,” says Bachrach.
“The colour scheme may need to be toned down a bit, and we’re going to move the alpenhorn logo to somewhere less problematic.”
Community members that spoke to The Moose say that they are excited about the extra revenue, but concerned about their morning commute.
“I’m a little worried with the recent winter we’ve had, but I also like the idea of going green,” says local resident Apryl Cleaver.
“Maybe Smithers could invest in a giant solar panel over the town, that way we’d never have to deal with snow!” adds Mandy Tryzcksta.
Bachrach says snow clearing operations will be extended through to July in order to accommodate the new approach.
He adds that the town was considering swapping their garbage trucks out for a single Tesla that had been modified to tow an 80-tonne garbage bin, however upon analyzing costs they decided to opt for a six-man bike team hooked up to a miniature trailer.
The bikes start rolling out as early as August of this year and Bachrach says the program will be fully functional by the end of 2020.