The Liberals’ Alistair Coe is having a fine time nitpicking the Capital Metro light rail proposal:
The ACT Government is spending $433,333 per additional commuter to ride the service, ACT Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe said today.
“The Government has stated that light rail patronage will be 4,500 people in the morning peak. However, currently 3,000 commuters ride ACTION on Northbourne in the morning,” said Mr Coe.
“To spend so much money on an additional 1,500 people seems extraordinary and will hardly make a dent on the number of cars.
Would you like 1,500 shiny new Ferraris in Canberra (we could raffle them) or some trams?
I like trains but it’s a bit of a tooth sucker
UPDATE: Shane Rattenbury has made clear his displeasure with this line of thinking:
“The Liberals’ latest criticisms about costs are so simplistic they are embarrassing. They pick one projected cost and divide it by an estimated passenger increase for one random point in time, with no consideration of other factors – it’s almost like dividing two random numbers together. It doesn’t take into account any factors like population growth, the longevity of the rail system, environmental benefits, development opportunities or modal shift benefits on the whole transport network.
“An economic consultant conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the light rail project and showed that for every dollar invested in light rail, the Canberra community will receive over two dollars in benefits.
“It is clear that the light rail project will return the investment in benefits to the community. Not only will it will help the travelling public get around more easily, it will help with congestion and allow our city to develop in a smart and sustainable way. This is Canberra growing into a progressive and convenient 21st century city,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.
Of course a system of shared driverless cars using reputation indexes to get like minded people together would be within this sort of budget.
UPDATE: Chief Minister Gallagher has expressed her displeasure with young Alistair:
Chief Chief Minister and Acting Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Katy Gallagher, has called on opposition spokesperson, Alistair Coe, to stop misleading the community on the Capital Metro Light Rail project.
“Mr Coe has issued a barrage of irrational and increasingly hysterical statements on this project which are very loose with the facts,” the Chief Minister said.
“The ACT Government went to the election with a commitment to deliver Capital Metro including releasing the latest draft cost estimates developed by economic experts.
“To date the government has issued four project updates which detail the latest news on the Capital Metro project. Comprehensive planning of the project is ongoing and the formation of the Capital Metro Project Office including the appointment of a specialised project director is underway.
“It is time for the Canberra Liberals to stop talking down the project and misrepresenting the facts to the Canberra community for purely political purposes, especially considering Mr Coe has not even