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It sure looks like we’re getting a bus lane down the Northbourne Median Strip

By johnboy - 18 April 2012 72

simon corbell presser

At his press conference this lunchtime Simon Corbell was keen to stress that all the options are being considered.

But consider these two points:

    1. The press conference was held on the Northbourne Avenue median strip.

    2. The media release has these paragraphs:

    “These cost estimates by URS Australia Pty Ltd, show that Bus Rapid Transit is estimated to cost between $300m-$360 million while light rail transit would require an investment of between $700m-$860 million. These are initial estimates and require further detailed investigation,” Mr Corbell said.

    “Initial transport modelling suggests that if it was in place now, the BRT proposal would cut delays in peak travel times between Civic and Gungahlin from 16 minutes, as they currently stand, to approximately eight minutes, while the light rail option would see the delay reduced to less than 6 minutes,” he said.

Anyone want to spend an extra $400 million for a 2 minute reduction in travel time?

There’s a pretty glossy for the transport fetishists which includes this fetching concept drawing:

northbourne busway

The Greens were loitering nearby so we expect to hear from them soon:

loitering greens


UPDATE 18/04/12 13:55: The Greens have chimed in:

The ACT Greens have welcomed the positive conclusions of an ACT government study on transit options for the Civic-Gungahlin corridor, but reminded the Government about its history of repeated rhetoric and inaction on the issue.

“We are hopeful once again that this study is the first step of an active, committed pathway to light rail or bus rapid transit for Canberra’s growing population,” Greens transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, said today.

“But a Minister standing on Northbourne Avenue talking about light rail has a certain déjà vu from previous election years. Today’s announcements are issues we know already because they have been assessed and announced before.

“The ACT Government has made numerous announcements about the findings of public transport studies and engaged in positive rhetoric about the opportunities, only to then take the projects nowhere.

Particular fun can be had with their timeline:

Timewarp Timeline

1994: study found light rail was feasible for Canberra. (Canberra Light Rail Implementation Study)

2001: Minister Stanhope: “We will conduct a feasibility study into light rail and conduct public consultation on the findings.”

2002: Minister Corbell: “this government is interested in exploring issues around light rail”

2003: Minister Corbell: “This government is not afraid to put light rail back on the agenda. This government is not afraid to consider light rail as a potential transport mode for this city.”

2004: Consultant’s study ‘Canberra Public Transport Futures Feasibility Study’ tests and assesses the introduction of light rail or bus rapid transit on the Gungahlin to Civic routes, the benefits, and the costs. Finds it is economically feasible and beneficial.

2005: Consultant’s study on Northbourne Avenue recommends light rail on the median strip corridor; identifies millions of dollars of benefits to building rapid transit on the Northern corridor (SMEC Northbourne Avenue report).

2008: Minister Stanhope: “I am extremely pleased to be able to announce that the ACT government is moving ahead with its exploration of light rail …”

2008: Consultant’s study finds millions of dollars of benefits to light rail, and that light rail would maximise transport efficiency and accessibility and minimize environmental and social impacts of transport in Canberra (Price Waterhouse Coopers Light Rail Study)

2011: Simon Corbell: “we have put light rail firmly back on the agenda as an option along the Northbourne Avenue corridor”

2012: Most recent study repeats the benefits of rapid transit and light rail. Government again talks about implementation, consultation.

What’s Your opinion?


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72 Responses to
It sure looks like we’re getting a bus lane down the Northbourne Median Strip
16
bitzermaloney 2:40 pm
18 Apr 12
#

You missed one… around 2002 / 2003 a private consortium provided an unsolicated bid for $1b for a rail network (light or otherwise) that was to join ALL city centres (not just Civic and the as then relatively empty Gunner’s), as well as the Barton, the Airport, Quangers and East Maconochie Heights (and possibly have future extension to Murrambateman and Yass).

The solution was going to be built entirely out of private sector money and included an underground terminal in Civic (with a tunnel coming up where our beloved city councilors are standing in their photo shoot). The only thing the ACT grubbymint need to provide was the land for the tracks and stations.

The bid was rejected without a specific reason given, however the rumour was:
– ACTION without the intercity bus route would collapse (despite obviously being the feeder transport system to the rail links);
– The owners were an OS based investment organisation, hence profits heading OS; and/or
– ACT grubbymint not having as much control over pricing, etc. on public transport.

Needless to say the investors dissappeared relatively quickly because it was probably more a Shelbyville type idea anyway.

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17
damien haas 2:42 pm
18 Apr 12
#

johnboy said :

PantsMan said :

Wrong! We ARE getting a press release and a media-op six months before the election.

Dunno, Simon’s pretty keen on his bus lanes.

My gut feel is he’s trying to keep the light rail enthusiasts onside until after october.

How is that working out for him ?

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18
Rollersk8r 2:46 pm
18 Apr 12
#

thebadtouch said :

$300 million plus to reduce a delay of 16 minutes down to 8 minutes. Let’s keep this in perspective. Other cities in Australia experience delays of 1 or 2 hours each way commuting to and from work. What is 16 minutes?

Does anyone else think this is an enormous amount of money that could be better spent on more pressing needs?

Well if you were keeping things in perspective you’d realise 16 mins in Canberra is relative to 2 hours in Sydney considering population size! We’d have no need to spend money on anything if we always just said someone somewhere is tolerating worse.

Most of the time I ride 10km to work in Civic – and I even walked it several times over summer. But in the middle of winter, on a rainy day, that same journey takes over an hour on the bus, which it simply should not.

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19
damien haas 2:54 pm
18 Apr 12
#

And i realise I have made an error: 20% instead of 40%

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20
geni_lou 3:01 pm
18 Apr 12
#

ML-585 said :

It sure looks like we’re getting a bus lane down the Northbourne Median Strip. Actually, it doesn’t. If you read the project update #2:

“Kerbside alignment along Northbourne Avenue is recommended by the consultants between Bunda Street and Barton Highway.”

Not sure if this is to do with relocation of services, or the ability for ALL bus services (not just those travelling to Gungahlin) to utilise a bus lane but it looks like we’re getting a bus lane in the OUTSIDE LANES of Northbourne Avenue, assuming someone else will pay for it.

Aaaaah, I was waiting for it. make a ‘dedicated bus lane’ Contine with same shite ACTION services, and turn it back to traffic wen it fails. They’ve done it before, they’ll do it again.

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21
PantsMan 3:07 pm
18 Apr 12
#

bitzermaloney said :

You missed one… around 2002 / 2003 a private consortium provided an unsolicated bid for $1b for a rail network (light or otherwise) that was to join ALL city centres (not just Civic and the as then relatively empty Gunner’s), as well as the Barton, the Airport, Quangers and East Maconochie Heights (and possibly have future extension to Murrambateman and Yass).

You are forgetting the economic neanderthals at ACT Treasury who won’t allow any public transport to be extended to Quangers because they don’t pay ACT taxes. Economic development and integration anyone?

It’s like New York putting up a wall around New Jersey because they don’t want to subsidies Jersey types. As it goes over a state border, the Commonwealth would probably pay for some of it also.

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22
p1 3:07 pm
18 Apr 12
#

“Particular fun can be had with their timeline:”

If you add up the money paid for all those consultants reports, you could probably buy light rail and a bus lane.

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23
thebadtouch 3:13 pm
18 Apr 12
#

Rollersk8r said :

thebadtouch said :

$300 million plus to reduce a delay of 16 minutes down to 8 minutes. Let’s keep this in perspective. Other cities in Australia experience delays of 1 or 2 hours each way commuting to and from work. What is 16 minutes?

Does anyone else think this is an enormous amount of money that could be better spent on more pressing needs?

Well if you were keeping things in perspective you’d realise 16 mins in Canberra is relative to 2 hours in Sydney considering population size! We’d have no need to spend money on anything if we always just said someone somewhere is tolerating worse.

Most of the time I ride 10km to work in Civic – and I even walked it several times over summer. But in the middle of winter, on a rainy day, that same journey takes over an hour on the bus, which it simply should not.

It’s possible you’ve misunderstood me… I’m not suggesting that we can always find someone, somewhere tolerating worse and therefore we shouldn’t spend money on worthwhile projects. I’m merely asking whether $300 million (or more, as every other posted doubts this government can deliver anything on budget anyway) spent in this way is the wisest use of finances?

I’ve been caught in the Canberra peak many times – and it’s nothing. So I get to work 5 or 10 minutes later than usual; so what? Are we so precious that saving a few minutes in travel time is the all-important determinant?

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24
Martlark 3:29 pm
18 Apr 12
#

How much would it cost to make the left hand lane on Northbourne a bus lane each way? A few cans of paint? I wonder what proportion of these options is being justified by improving car traffic? I don’t think that’s the sort of thing you want to do to encourage public transport.

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25
Sgt.Bungers 3:35 pm
18 Apr 12
#

When this gets canned after the election, hopefully we’ll start seeing talk of direct segregated cycle ways between all town centres. Rapid cycle transit will be cheaper than light rail and buses.

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26
PantsMan 3:39 pm
18 Apr 12
#

“I see a risk that City Hall will be recaptured by a bunch of semi-reformed Trotskyist, car-hating, Hugo Chavez idolising, newt fancying, tax dodging, bank bashing hypocrites and bendy bus fetishists.”

Boris Johnson, launching his London mayoral re-election campaign.

Pitty Zed is no Boris.

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27
dungfungus 3:44 pm
18 Apr 12
#

johnboy said :

PantsMan said :

Wrong! We ARE getting a press release and a media-op six months before the election.

Dunno, Simon’s pretty keen on his bus lanes.

My gut feel is he’s trying to keep the light rail enthusiasts onside until after october.

you have read it right

Report this comment

28
dpm 3:47 pm
18 Apr 12
#

Rollersk8r said :

Well if you were keeping things in perspective you’d realise 16 mins in Canberra is relative to 2 hours in Sydney considering population size!

Wow! I thought time was only (basically) relative to speed? I never knew it was relative to popualtion size! You can probably get a Nobel prize in Physics if you can show that! Then again, perhaps the bigger Sydney population affects time in a gravitational time dilation kinda way! Hahahaha!

Rollersk8r said :

Most of the time I ride 10km to work in Civic – and I even walked it several times over summer. But in the middle of winter, on a rainy day, that same journey takes over an hour on the bus, which it simply should not.

If you don’t live in Gunners and are mentioning a 60 min bus trip, then sorry, nothing is likely to change for you as a result of any PT works out of this latest report!

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29
Thumper 4:02 pm
18 Apr 12
#

Martlark said :

How much would it cost to make the left hand lane on Northbourne a bus lane each way? A few cans of paint? I wonder what proportion of these options is being justified by improving car traffic? I don’t think that’s the sort of thing you want to do to encourage public transport.

The time has come to either make civic car free or to introduce a congestion tax.

Oh, and some more speed cameras.

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30
Ben_Dover 4:12 pm
18 Apr 12
#

Come on folks! That just screams “monorail!” 😉

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