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3 years since light rail announced as ALP policy

By Damien Haas 22 September 2015 34

andrew barr light rail
On 21 Sep 2012, the ALP announced that Capital Metro light rail would form part of the policy platform they would take to the 2012 ACT election.

It was covered by ACT Light Rail here.

The ALP and Greens won that election, and formed Government. Light rail commencing construction formed part of the agreement to govern between the two parties.

With that mandate, the Capital Metro program has proceeded on schedule. Bids to build and operate are being considered by the ACT Government right now, with construction commencing in 2016.

What’s Your opinion?


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3 years since light rail announced as ALP policy
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rubaiyat 6:37 pm 29 Sep 15

Amongst all the other things not known and not understood by many here is the relationship between their vociferous fear and loathing and the absence of anything worthwhile.

Material poverty is nothing compared to the real poverty of imagination and appreciation of life only measured by money by the people who insist they keep their tight wrinkled grip on it.

Which is why we should not expect anything from the usual B.S. (Business Studies) which are nothing but
the personal “Gimmies” or “Don’t likes” of people picking things THEY want.

tuco 5:41 pm 29 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Man sits all alone in car stuck in traffic, shaking fist at boogeyman tram, having spent all his money on cars, duplicating roads, hospital bills, middle eastern oil, Macmansions on tiny plots of land as far from where he works, shops, eats as is counter productively possible.

Tram is clearly to blame for him being fat broke angry and not too bright.

So, that’s a yes? Damn cloud ….

rubaiyat 8:55 am 29 Sep 15

Man sits all alone in car stuck in traffic, shaking fist at boogeyman tram, having spent all his money on cars, duplicating roads, hospital bills, middle eastern oil, Macmansions on tiny plots of land as far from where he works, shops, eats as is counter productively possible.

Tram is clearly to blame for him being fat broke angry and not too bright.

tuco 10:27 am 28 Sep 15

Is it just me, or is this thread starting to feel like “man shakes fist at cloud”?

gooterz 7:12 pm 27 Sep 15

So NCA have said that no overhead wires anywhere near them. So we’ll have to have the more expensive trams systems once we leave stage 1.
Which means we’re limited to trams that can switch between overhead and 3rd rail/other.

The more you look at it we’re better off just putting busses everywhere. Making a network out of it and calling it ACTION.

rubaiyat 4:35 pm 27 Sep 15

The ABC also aired a program “When the killing stops”, thinking it was about cars, but it turned out to be about Cambodia.

The world wide death toll per year in 2010 from cars was one and a quarter million people. Double the rate of “The Killing Fields” during the reign of the 4 year rule of Pol Pot.

The Vietnamese finally put a stop to Pol Pot.

rubaiyat 4:16 pm 27 Sep 15

If you can, listen to The Philosopher Zone on the ABC this week, “A universe alive with possibility”.

It is really fascinating. I listened to see if scientists had researched Tuggeranong as to why it was so clearly an exception to the rule, but unfortunately it did not get a mention.

rubaiyat 11:21 am 27 Sep 15

OpenYourMind said :

rubaiyat said :

…and we are not buying small or used cars, in fact OVER HALF the cars are now the 2 tonne gas guzzling 4WD or SUV monsters.

So, people are voting with their wallets and choosing cars that don’t align with your worldview. People are prepared to spend big bucks on their cars and obviously through extension, don’t mind a good chunk of change spent on roads. You think trams are a better option, however you can’t actually physically force people to use them. Over time, if Canberra grows and disruptive technologies such as Uber, Autonomous and telecommuting don’t take off, then maybe a tram can be part of the mix, but I don’t see a lot of people likely to vote with their feet or wallets if a tram comes in. That stinks of white elephant to me and I don’t want to see Canberrans saddled with that extra expense.

I have worked in many professions, I was in advertising/marketing for years. People are essentially clueless, easily manipulated and usually have zero imagination. You of course are the clear exception. 😉

As shown above, most people have no idea what they are spending on roads and cars, and given no choice, they can scarcely have “made a choice”. On the Gold Coast, like here, they equally had no choice. Now they do, many are choosing the Light Rail. The same in that most car centric of all cities Los Angeles. When I was there they were up to their fourth Light Rail line and extending out to the coast. Now Counties are complaining vociferously if they are NOT getting the Light Rail.

What you “see” and what is, or is possible, are two separate things.

You have an extremely selective blindness to expensive white elephants. There’s a surprise!

As I keep repeating, over and over again, Canberra and many other projects, were “white elephants” in the view of people such as yourself. But here they are! As is Gungahlin, and all the new developments that once were just in somebody’s imagination. Having imagination they faced the same loud opposition from the usuals.

If only we could find the Jørn Utzon of this project we could railroad him out of the country, or the C. Y. O’Connor (designer of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme to Kalgoorlie) we could hound him to suicide.

But as we know all those examples like everything else that isn’t actually built and staring you in the face with its unavoidably built reality requiring no informed knowledge or imagination, “Is different!”.

OpenYourMind 8:05 pm 25 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

…and we are not buying small or used cars, in fact OVER HALF the cars are now the 2 tonne gas guzzling 4WD or SUV monsters.

So, people are voting with their wallets and choosing cars that don’t align with your worldview. People are prepared to spend big bucks on their cars and obviously through extension, don’t mind a good chunk of change spent on roads. You think trams are a better option, however you can’t actually physically force people to use them. Over time, if Canberra grows and disruptive technologies such as Uber, Autonomous and telecommuting don’t take off, then maybe a tram can be part of the mix, but I don’t see a lot of people likely to vote with their feet or wallets if a tram comes in. That stinks of white elephant to me and I don’t want to see Canberrans saddled with that extra expense.

rubaiyat 10:59 am 25 Sep 15

…and we are not buying small or used cars, in fact OVER HALF the cars are now the 2 tonne gas guzzling 4WD or SUV monsters.

rubaiyat 10:45 am 25 Sep 15

That is what it costs you individually to run your car but for all the people and cars in the ACT that is over $4 billion dollars a year, most of which flows out of our economy, in fact most of it goes straight overseas.

…and as a carbon footprint looks a whole light bigger than the Monty Python foot.

OpenYourMind 6:28 am 25 Sep 15

tuco said :

So, and let’s be clear dearest Ruby … is 54pc of Canberra already roads? Like you said? Or is it built up areas?

I think my house is a built up area. And my local shops. And the school at the end of the street – built up as anything.

It’s a bit different to living, or shopping, or schooling in a road.

And Canberra has lots of urban roads and connector roads. Unless we are all going back to dirt huts, I don’t envision this general layout changing. Even cities with high public transport utilisation still have lots of road infrastructure. Parking lots, if anything are a dying breed. At least the big open air ones. Take a look at Canberra City Centre photos from the 60s, it was all carpark, now they are almost all developed on and have underground parking. This is part of the densification that Rubaiyat is so fond of and makes for better utilisation of public transport. For the most part, now and into the forseeable future, Canberra is predominately a car oriented city. We don’t use buses much and we aren’t going to be big users of the tram. Personally, I’m a big promoter of cycling and the ride to work ethos, however I don’t for a moment imagine we’ll see Amsterdam levels of bicycle utilisation either.

Here’s a thought. Have your tram, but guarantee our rates aren’t going to rise by double digit percentages every year when CPI is low and wage growth is even lower. If that can be ensured then I’m ok with the massive tram expense.

Rotten_berry 7:30 pm 24 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

Dreadnaught1905 said :

rubaiyat said :

When comparing whole of costs of competing systems, you really do need to compare whole of costs. Where is the $11-15,000/year that it costs the average commuter to run a car? .

I know you’ve used that figure once or twice before, and even cited the (really quite informative) RACQ publication that produced it, but I don’t think it’s applicable here.

The TCO for owning a car (and, let’s not forget that the $11-15,000/year includes interest and depreciation (which are not going to be applicable in many circumstances)) would only be useful as a comparative cost if it was assumed that all of those car owners would cease to own a car because of light rail.

In all seriousness, how likely is it that a significant percentage of light rail users are going to not own a car (that they currently own) because they catch a tram on their workday commute?

The costs will be reduced by less usage, certainly. However, as the RACQ publication points out that more than 50% of the costs of the vehicle are standing costs and not running costs, then I doubt the validity of using the numbers as a comparison.

The cost is real no matter how you try to ignore it. As the RACQ and NRMA point out, it is a huge chunk out of most people’s post tax income.

After mortgages, car loans are the single largest source of debt for Australians. What is worse they are paying for the running costs of cars with credit cards.

Any savings you choose to make, by using alternative transport, or simply cutting down the number of trips, or the size or number of cars in your household (the average is almost 3 and half are 2 tonne monsters), is like a massive tax free pay rise.

Depreciation is definitely real, your car loses money instantly after purchase and a large chunk each year, until it has to be disposed of. Then you buy another, if you haven’t wised up.

What people really fail to understand (they think the cost is just the petrol) is that they hardly use their cars.

Your car is doing nothing for over 98% of the time, except costing money to store it, at work and in the double garage that added $36,000 to the average house mortgage, or the extra rent on that parking space attached to your apartment.

It eats up your time to operate it.

You are doing basically nothing sitting on your own, stuck in traffic, staring up at all the public transport users reading books, newspapers or on their laptops or iPads.

New Yorkers boast how few of them own cars. We are not there yet but there is a strong trend for young people living in cities in Australia to not own cars, or just a small one, and instead use the money to enjoy themselves.

The car manufacturers are well aware of this “Hipster” trend and worried enough to be actively and underhandedly lobbying through astroturf organisations and misinformation campaigns against all alternative transport projects.

Which brings us here. If you are not one of the astroturf organisations, you are on their Xmas Card list.

Much of that spending is discretionary, keeping up with the jones and all that. Small new cars cost 5-6k/year to run and used ones are cheaper again. More than an annual bus pass but a hell of a lot more usefull.

I reckon you’d have to be nuts to spend 15k/year on a car, but hey it’s their money not yours so why care. If it wasn’t cars they’d probably spend the money on overseas holidays instead, which are also a great way to enlarge your carbon footprint. I recall an ACF study from a few years back which found that the inner Sydney latte-sippers had larger carbon footprints than the outer-suburban philistines, thanks to higher incomes and more air travel. But maybe it’s all worth it if they get to experience the wonders of trams in overseas cities.

Cars are imperfect but they work to get people around in low density. Imagine the cost of providing tram service to all of canberra (or even melbourne) with comparable point-to-point trip times (and frequency) as those provided by cars on the road network. It just doesn’t work.

London would work without cars but it’s already an awfull place to live if you’re not rich. Without cars it would get worse as the land around public transport stations increases in value (great for the rich, sucks for the poor) and the rest turns back into slums; the way it was before the car.

Still waiting for all the Save The Ridge conservation types to give up their houses and gardens and move into high-density apartments where you get to enjoy your neighbours’ smoke and noise. I remember when STR was claiming that GDE would be a white elephant that would result in mass extinction of Canberra’s wildlife and cost more than light rail. Then it turns out light rail is going to cost even more than the GDE did after all the delays. And the GDE actually flows pretty well now that it’s finally done properly.

If we want to help people live without cars they need to be able to get to more places than just gungers and civic. Busways give more bang for buck than trams. I’m not sure why everyone should pay twice as much just so the hipsters can have a slightly nicer public transport experience.

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