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Greens for light rail

By 26 July 2010 95

The Greens have lately been showing a well refined ear for what Canberrans want to hear.

Today they’ve announced that a vote for them federally is a vote for light rail in Canberra:

ACT Greens Senate Candidate Lin Hatfield Dodds has joined Senators Bob Brown and Scott Ludlam in calling for light rail for Canberra.

“Light rail is perfect for Canberra” said Lin Hatfield Dodds. “It would boost the ACT economy give us infrastructure for the 21st century.”

Ms Hatfield Dodds says residents in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong would have the most to gain from a light rail network.

C’mon Gaz, gizza light rail?

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95 Responses to Greens for light rail
#1
PeaJay5:00 pm, 26 Jul 10

Don’t tease me Greens!

#2
Gungahlin Al5:02 pm, 26 Jul 10

Good on them. It’s a solid and professional report that makes good reading.

Clearly no such vision in the ACT Government. So it falls to the Greens to fill the void.

I’m surprised the CT report today on the Auditor General’s opinion on the ACT’s Infrastructure Australia applications didn’t mention the …woeful PWC submission on light rail.

Honestly, who would do a cost-benefit analysis on public transport without factoring in increased land values and therefore increased sales and rates revenues??

And who would start off an application for a fund that is for “shovel-ready” projects only by saying ‘nothing could start for several years’??

#3
Erg05:12 pm, 26 Jul 10

I love it when no-hope candidates make populist promises that they know they’ll never have to fulfil. They’re selling pork barrel futures, I suppose.

#4
commoner5:34 pm, 26 Jul 10

I’d rather vote for the Monster Raving Loony Party than for the Greens. The Green (Slime) party is just a collection of whackos pushing weird left-wing causes. I wish they’d just go away.

#5
bd845:42 pm, 26 Jul 10

Erg0 said :

I love it when no-hope candidates make populist promises that they know they’ll never have to fulfil. They’re selling pork barrel futures, I suppose.

You can say that again, the Greens are just after some cheap votes with policies straight out of the letters to the editor of the CT. Even more reason not to vote for them.

#6
Rawhide Kid No 25:47 pm, 26 Jul 10

YES!!!!

#7
Woody Mann-Caruso5:53 pm, 26 Jul 10

This is the first year of my voting life I’ve looked around and decided that all of the parties are f*cking no-hopers. There’s not even a ‘lesser of two evils’, or a ‘you’re dumb but they’re dumber’. The race to the bottom must be nearing its end.

#8
Richard Bender6:07 pm, 26 Jul 10

How can an infrastructure project that will forever be on the public teat be beneficial to the ACT economy? Or is Mrs Hatfield Dodds suggesting that taxpayers from outside the ACT should subsidise the project?

Gungahlin Al said :

…Honestly, who would do a cost-benefit analysis on public transport without factoring in increased land values and therefore increased sales and rates revenues??

They probably looked at real experience, e.g. Portland in the United States, to find that people prefer to live in areas with good road access rather than good rail access. The myth of increased property values with rail is exactly that, a myth.

#9
ricci6:08 pm, 26 Jul 10

Some Letters to the Editor are spot on, particularly on those issues which the major parties (including the Greens), and the CT itself, cannot bother to cover as they don’t carry enough votes or media revenue. This where a sensible, no-nonsense, practical party is required – which the Greens definitely ain’t.

#10
cranky6:36 pm, 26 Jul 10

Good grief.

It’s happened.

I agree with Woody.

#11
Thumper6:46 pm, 26 Jul 10

350,000 people, ACTION buses, cars, motorbikes, bycycles.

Come on people, who is going to ride this mythical beast?

#12
farq7:43 pm, 26 Jul 10

How is train going to be better than a bus in Canberra again?

I say use the money to cover the costs of a better bus system that runs more often (and gets to places FASTER).

#13
sepi8:17 pm, 26 Jul 10

Trains, light rail and trams work fantastically well in other cities – like most of europe.

It seems born and bred canberrans have an unreasonable hatred of trains.

This dismissal of something unknown reminds me of when canberra went from 2 tv stations to 5, and people said it would never work in canberra because the one existing commercial channel had all the good shows.

#14
sexynotsmart8:21 pm, 26 Jul 10

How about we see if we can get the bus system working for only millions before sinking BILLIONS into steel tracks, platforms, wires, switches…

#15
clueless708:36 pm, 26 Jul 10

Hi Commoner.

I’d rather vote for the Monster Raving Loony Party than for the Greens.

Yes, but if you knew something about the policies of the Greens, what would your opinion be?

#16
dvaey8:38 pm, 26 Jul 10

Richard Bender said :

How can an infrastructure project that will forever be on the public teat be beneficial to the ACT economy? Or is Mrs Hatfield Dodds suggesting that taxpayers from outside the ACT should subsidise the project?

Well, we’re all paying the money into this federal fund anyway.. at least we should put our hands up to get something out of it instead of losing it to Sydney and Melbourne like usual.

#17
Pandy8:49 pm, 26 Jul 10

Australia to fund light rail for ricj Canberrans? Hah! ha! hah! hah! Stop it you are killing me!!!!! Please quick let the Telegraph be told that we will be taking tazes away from their Western Suburbs so that those rich overseas students living in Crace can get to Dendy Cinemas. Ho! Ho! Ho!

#18
Pandy9:00 pm, 26 Jul 10

And this little GEM:

Mining tax revenues would be used to fund a light rail system for Canberra ahead of other cities if the Australian Greens have their way.

Greens leader Bob Brown today called for a national inventory and implementation study to develop light rail in all Australian cities.

The nation’s capital would be the first cab off the rank, he said.

A national scoping study into the establishment of a light rail system would cost $10 million.

The Greens will not back away from raising more money from Labor’s minerals resource rent tax to fund the light rail system and high-speed rail links between Australian capital cities.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/7647991/mining-tax-could-fund-light-rail-greens/

#19
peterepete9:05 pm, 26 Jul 10

I hear Shelbyville has a monorail. Maybe we aint good enough for light rail.

#20
UrbanAdventure.org9:07 pm, 26 Jul 10

commoner said :

I’d rather vote for the Monster Raving Loony Party ….

But I heard their new leader is Bear Ghryls and he’s advocating building a subway!

#21
Erg09:39 pm, 26 Jul 10

sepi said :

Trains, light rail and trams work fantastically well in other cities – like most of europe.

It seems born and bred canberrans have an unreasonable hatred of trains.

This dismissal of something unknown reminds me of when canberra went from 2 tv stations to 5, and people said it would never work in canberra because the one existing commercial channel had all the good shows.

I have no problem with trains, I used them in Perth for 10 years or so and found them much better than the buses they replaced. However, the problem with Canberra’s public transport isn’t that it takes too long to get from town centres into Civic, it’s that it takes too long, and isn’t sufficiently convenient, to get to the town centres from surrounding suburbs.

Can you really picture anyone who doesn’t currently catch the intertown buses saying “oh, I’ll take public transport now that it’s a train!”

#22
Joker9:56 pm, 26 Jul 10

17 years ago I couldn’t afford a car, I would catch 6 buses a day to get from Tuggeranong to Bruce CIT
some nights I would wait over 40 minutes in the city to catch a bus in the middle of winter. I gather nothing much has changed at Action Buses. I rode my bicycle instead it over an hour, much faster than the ‘service’ Action could deliver.

I reckon a rail service sounds great. Ride your bicycle to the station get on with your bike and get off at your the next station and ride to your destination. This would reduce obesity and stimulate the bicycle industry.

Also it would reduce the trade deficit due to importation of oil and foreign motor vehicles and soften the blow of ‘peak oil’ and the rising cost of oil due to up and coming economies competing for oil and lessen the requirement to build and maintain road infrastructure.

More importantly, change the culture of the up coming generations in their attitudes to personalized transport, a 1500kg vehicle hauling a single person around is not efficient.

Pollies will fight transport reform due to the Loss of excise and GST revenue on fuel and new vehicles taxes.

#23
arescarti4210:28 pm, 26 Jul 10

Richard Bender said :

They probably looked at real experience, e.g. Portland in the United States, to find that people prefer to live in areas with good road access rather than good rail access. The myth of increased property values with rail is exactly that, a myth.

You are grasping at two different concepts there, one is that people would rather have good road access than good rail access, which I can accept as plausible, the other is that rail stations do not increase the property values of surrounding areas. The latter concept is hard to believe, I think the experience of most cities is that rail stations increase the desirability of surrounding areas (and thus prices).

I’d be genuinely interested to see evidence supporting your claims, particularly with reference to Portland.

#24
bobbatty10:59 pm, 26 Jul 10

“I love it when no-hope candidates make populist promises that they know they’ll never have to fulfil. They’re selling pork barrel futures, I suppose.”

Haha….hot diggity dog!!

#25
Pandy11:05 pm, 26 Jul 10

Peak Oil: was so 2008 when prices were heading towars $2 per L. then the GFC and all that talk of peak oil went out the window and so was the justification to increase prices of oil. Seems that the Greens are wheeling out the boogey man again. Sorry I am over it.

At Joker, why would I ride my bike to Belconnen Town Center from Scullin, so that I can get go to the Belconnen markets? Easier for me to go by car.

#26
stirred40811:50 pm, 26 Jul 10

The Greens could promise to paint Canberra mauve – with the full knowledge that they will never govern therefore never have to deliver it~

#27
aussieboy12:10 am, 27 Jul 10

What’s the point?

The intertown/redex bus services are really good (better than anything in Sydney) – very frequent, lots of dedicated bus lanes, high quality interchanges and direct routes.

Over the current offering, light rail offers no distinct advantage – both good bus corridors and tramways can provide effective mass transit.

The problem in Canberra is what happens in the suburbs. Density is far too low here for frequent buses, let alone trams. Its time the Gov started contemplating more progressive public transport policy – here’s some food for thought:

Imagine if there was a fleet of minibuses run by Action.

Every house/business would have a stop within 400m of the front door.
15mins before you needed transport, you’ simply request a bus to pass your stop (either online, with a smartphone app, or even with a button at the actual stop). 15mins later, a bus shows up and whisks you away to your nearest town centre.

The buses stationed at various points around Canberra would have sophisticated navigation systems constantly being updated with passenger pick-up requests. You’d input programming ‘rules’ to ensure a relatively direct route and timely journey.

This system would be flexible enough to enable 24hr public transport, and give the Gov the ability to stop the wastage caused by empty buses driving around suburbia every hour.

#28
PrinceOfAles2:12 am, 27 Jul 10

When did this town become so cynical of everything?

#29
Davo1113:18 am, 27 Jul 10

where would it even go? down the middle of northborne?

I say keep the buses, or monorail… monorail *starts dancing*

#30
gibbering6:52 am, 27 Jul 10

And where are people going to park at these magical light rail stations? Or do you catch a bus to the light rail station, wait, catch the light rail? If the later, it won’t work in the same way that people hate changing buses at Belco at the moment instead of having straight through travel to civic.

People need to think really really hard about what we are trying to replicate. Successes like Portland or Melbourne are a completely different scale to canberra (like 2-4 million people instead of 400k).

The size of Canberra does not warrant traffic bypassing type public transport as the traffic is not bad enough and never has to be. We seem to be trying to kill off one of the benefits and attractions of Canberra.

Talking to a random NRMA insurance person the other day on the phone (she was sydney based) she was saying how her husband always talked about his visits to Canberra where you could drive anywhere in 20 minutes. Yes there are exceptions – but this is a positive that people like about Canberra.

If you want to spend some dollars on rail, lets look further afield where distances could be cut by fast transport and build a fast transport system to Yass, Goulburn or Batemans Bay. You could easily increase the population centres of these places very rapidly if you had fast, regular easy transport and at the same time take some pressure of houing in Canberra. Crazy? Probably? Any less crazy? Well….

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