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