Light Rail v. Busways raises it’s head again

By 18 July 2005 55

The Canberra Times has a story on expert opinion which contradicts local favorite, Simon Corbell.

Terry Snow takes the opportunity to give an extra kicking to Simon, it’s nice to have something reliable in this mad city.

Anyone think it’s going to be possible to convert busways to light rail while using the busways for busses? And if we won’t need them then why do we need them now?

So tell me again why are we spending $150 Million on a busway that will reduce travel times by 3 minutes?

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55 Responses to
Light Rail v. Busways raises it’s head again
Vic Bitterman 9:31 pm
18 Jul 05

“why are we spending $150 Million on a busway”?

Cos of ****** commo pinko greeno ******* like fosky, that’s why.

johnboy 9:47 pm
18 Jul 05

What’s poor old Deb to do with this?

Gubbmint’s had a majority the whole time she’s been there.

shauno 4:28 am
19 Jul 05

This can not be allowed to happen $150m on a bus lane what the f***.
This sort of money could have been put toward a tunnel for the ridge road which would have saved a lot of angst. And which could have be done due to the favorable geology.

I think a light rail would be nice but the location of the tracks could start a real shit fight and bring out protestors similar to the save the ridge loony’s

bulldog 8:32 am
19 Jul 05

Is light rail worthwhile in the ACT? I think if we had a more centralised population base than it might be worth more consideration.

Additionally unlike Sydney or Melbourne (where the infrastructure had been in place since the twenties and thirties) the logistics involved in setting up light rail now would be really tricky. No doubt it would be a project that would cost us the taxpayers millions of dollars for little or no result.

That being said, I also think the bus system is an absolute farce, and as pointed out by Vic, Shauno and JB, 150 million is gross misuse of our tax dollars to save tree-hugging commuters three minutes on the way to work.

justbands 8:40 am
19 Jul 05

Common people…don’t blame the Greenies. The Gov is going for buses ’cause they’re CHEAPER…no other reason…& as pointed out, the centralised population base just isn’t here for light rail..although I reckon putting light rail in could & would make the city change around it and hence, may well work.

bonfire 10:12 am
19 Jul 05

look at the route of teh busway it meanders everywhere precisely because the major places it will serve where built first, and public transport added later. build a lightrail network now, and in twenty-thirty years time, industry and housing will build around it. thats called planning.

to misquote devo – build lightrail now for the future.

Maelinar 10:55 am
19 Jul 05

I kinda like the thought of a rail system going along that middle strip along all our major arterials in town.

It’d be cute.

Absent Diane 12:46 pm
19 Jul 05

bring on the flying foxes….. and maybe oversized beachballs which go in random directions and turn up at random intervals… its brilliant in that it is cost effective and keeps life exciting….

bulldog 1:01 pm
19 Jul 05

Beachballs not much different from ACTION’s current service, but much cooler idea.

Absent Diane 1:09 pm
19 Jul 05

True – especially theie ‘new’ and ‘improved’ late night suburban service…. in fact the similarities are astounding – so I kind of guess that it is my fault…. i must ive played my song which mentions beachballs for pTransport to the wrong person… though I haven’t played it in years!!!

bulldog 1:12 pm
19 Jul 05

It sure does explain the crappy colour scheme (although they’ve been that way for years and years).

GuruJ 4:09 pm
19 Jul 05

The busway may save three minutes now, but as traffic congestion increases, the savings will become more substantial. Think about what traffic was like in the 70s compared to today and you’ll get the idea.

There are two main routes under consideration for the busway — the first and most commonly cited does meander past Bruce Stadium, CIT and the hospitals.

The alternative is to go past Bruce Stadium and CIT and then cut straight through the bush (mainly-precleared land) and end up on Belconnen Way much further along. This is a faster option, but (a) could piss off Bruce Ridge protesters even more and (b) bypasses the Hospital which is potentially a major traffic destination.

The route isn’t set in stone, so if you feel strongly about the best way to link Belconnen with the City, provide ACTION with feedback!

I don’t support light rail, since a link from Belco to the City isn’t cost-effective. You would have to also link up the City with Manuka and Woden (and preferably Gungahlin) at a minimum. *Not* a small project and probably not even viable for our comparatively small population.

If you *have* to have light rail, you should add new transport corridors (eg. Gungahlin -> Dickson -> City -> Manuka) rather than replacing existing routes.

However, I do support the concept of the busway. I also think the busway should be light-rail compatible since it’s a comparatively minimal expenditure, allows some arse-covering in the future, and keeps light-rail supporters quiet for a while longer.

bulldog 4:42 pm
19 Jul 05


A comment by a Norherner all about Northside “needs”. if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

Why expend (yet more) money to prop up or improve an already ailing Public Transport system? Does anybody truly believe that there will be benefits?

Until ACTION is privatised (under strict user service guidelines) the tree huggers will continue to suffer the same problems they do now. A 150 million dollar shortcut will not change anything.

Absent Diane 5:14 pm
19 Jul 05


bonfire 5:38 pm
19 Jul 05

Guru J – why lumber the future with a system already from the past. Install light rail and be done with it.

Andrew 6:01 pm
19 Jul 05

Why so anti-ACTION? What is SO bad about the bus sytem? I have had very few problems with using the bus system to get around.

What’s wrong with the flexibus for night time bus taking? Have you used the service?

johnboy 7:47 pm
19 Jul 05

Why so anti-ACTION?

Easy one, the government has decided to run government policy to increase ACTION patronage by penalising motorists.

People LIKE having cars and driving so Government policy is to make ACTION an “us against them” thing.

I think it’ll backfire in the long run.

On another note I don’t honestly see how a busway does much to prepare for rail other than a bit of tree lopping.

But I do think a beachball/skilift style system would really put Canberra on the map as well as bing a lot of fun.

bulldog 8:56 am
20 Jul 05

Failing that; Jetpacks for everyone!

Maelinar 9:05 am
20 Jul 05

I’m for jetpacks.

Failing that, monorail – see all the sights of Canberra with a faint whirring noise in the background.

I would also like to see construction begin ON the lake, just to piss off the Kingston foreshore lifestylers, and to create a southern hemisphere styled Venice.

I’ve always wanted to take a boat to work.

Absent Diane 9:10 am
20 Jul 05

or we could start a civilisation under the lake (clean it out first) where we travel on the backs of freshwater manta ray

Maelinar 9:17 am
20 Jul 05

I’m now haunted by an image of Ja-Ja Diane.

bulldog 9:20 am
20 Jul 05

How about riding around on the backs of Mutated Ill Tempered Carp. With lasers on their heads.


bulldog 9:21 am
20 Jul 05

How about riding around on the backs of Mutated Ill Tempered Carp. With lasers on their heads.

PS: Lot of cleaning required to do anything in lake.

GuruJ 9:54 am
20 Jul 05

(a) civic planning is all about anticipating the needs of a city before they become critical (like Sydney’s roads). I don’t spend all my days doing forecasts for Canberra’s traffic in 20 years; do you?
(b) I’m not a tree-hugger; in fact, I think Canberra’s obsession with staying “green” is unhealthy. However, a reasonable public transport system is an essential equitable measure to lessen the disadvantage faced by poor, students, elderly, etc. and others unable to drive a car.
(c) Why should I apologise for taking an interest in the transport arrangements that I use every day to get to and from work?
(d) Light rail is hardly a newer technology than buses; they’ve both been around since the 19th century. I’m not convinced the costs of spending millions on light rail rolling stock outweigh the benefits of extra public transport capacity, when the existing Belconnen Civic link is already pretty good.

Thumper 9:59 am
20 Jul 05

I want to see free helicopters instead of buses. I always liked helicopters.

And they should be playing “Flight of the Valkerie” as they tear into work at low level.

Now that would make going to work worth it.

Then again, AD’s idea about Manta Rays is pretty cool, except in winter, when the lake is just about frozen.

Absent Diane 10:08 am
20 Jul 05

Oh thats easy fixed – we would wear thermosuits which have utilised all the research the japanese have done on whales to replicate the whale fat that keeps them so warm arctic and antarctic conditions…

Thumper 10:13 am
20 Jul 05

From some website…

Aboriginala were first living in the ACT around 21,000 years ago, when the last major Ice Age brought temperatures 8-10°C cooler than the region experiences today. Their presence was confirmed with the excavation of the Birrigai rock shelter, an ancient camping place that was in use until the middle of the 19th century.

The shelter, in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, is one of the most significant Aboriginal sites in south-eastern Australia. It is accessed via the 3 km Birrigai Time Trail, marked on the left before you reach the reserve visitor centre.

The reserve itself contains several interesting sites, including another rock shelter called Hanging Rock, which is also easily accessed. Nearby Gibraltar Falls is the site of the region’s most spectacular axe-grinding grooves, on the lip of the falls.

Bogong moths played an important role in the diets of early Aboriginal people. The arrival of these winged parcels of protein and fat each spring heralded a season of corroborees and feasting on the mountain tops that form the southern spine of the Great Dividing Range.

In the Canberra region, the moths pass through from early October, on their annual migration from the inland plains of western NSW to their summer hibernation grounds in the Australian Alps.

A reliable place to find Bogong moths in summer is Namadgi National Park’s Mount Gingera, one of the best bushwalks in the Brindabella and Bimberi mountains west of Canberra. Allow a full day for this 14.5 km walk, which delivers panoramic views.

It’s a pretty drive from the centre of Canberra to the start of the walk at a locked gate at Mount Ginini, via Cotter, Brindabella and Mount Franklin Roads, including 33 km of unsealed road.

Park here and follow the fire trail past Pryors Hut, a 1950s alpine hut, and take the next track on the right for a steepish one kilometre walk to the summit through wind-stunted snow gums and granite outcrops.

Search among the boulders at the summit for dry, dark, narrow crevices protected from the wind – the moths will be so densely packed they will look like a layer of fungi. A torch will help you pick them out.

Far down in the valleys to the south is the Yankee Hat rock shelter, where each year for centuries up to 500 Aborigines at a time gathered to feast on moths and perform traditional rites. The shelter contains the region’s most accessible rock art, depicting kangaroos, dingoes and birds.

Yankee Hat is in the southern section of the park accessed via Boboyan Road and Old Boboyan Road, 32 km south of the visitor centre. The shelter is reached via a three kilometre walk.

If the prospect of a vigorous hike doesn’t appeal, there are easier options. Opposite the main entrance of Parliament House is a dot mosaic of coloured granite. The National Gallery also has a prized selection of significant art.

So there you have it.

BTW, There’s cool axe grinding grooves not far from my place down on Ginninderra Creek at Latham. They’re not easy to find but its a blast when you do find them….

Thumper 10:14 am
20 Jul 05

Shit, I posted that in the wrong forum….

Thumper 10:17 am
20 Jul 05

Okay AD,

I’ll let you jump in the l;ake first. If you don’t freeze to death within 30 seconds, then I may consider jumping in as well.

Then again, have you seen the size of some of those carp? Big enough to eat a man, or, if you used its rib bones, you could could make a house.

Absent Diane 10:22 am
20 Jul 05

in the japanese I have faith

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