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A new pro-light rail public transport lobby group for Canberra

By Amy Birchall - 30 December 2016 90

light rail

There’s a new voice in Canberra’s public transport discussions, with pro-light rail lobbyist Damien Haas setting up a new community-based advocacy group for public transport in the ACT.

The Public Transport Association of Canberra, or PTCBR, intends to act as the ACT’s peak body for public transport consultation. It also plans to further the integration of light rail, bus services and active transport in the territory.

RiotACT understands that PTCBR has evolved from the ACT for Light Rail lobby group, which Haas has chaired since 2004.

According to a statement posted by Haas on the ACT for Light Rail Facebook page, PTCBR will focus on broader public transport issues in addition to light rail, with a view to having a “real, tangible impact” on Canberra’s liveability.

“Following on from [ACT for Light Rail’s] success in helping to secure a light rail future in Canberra, a question was raised amongst a few of us on the ACT Light Rail committee about where we should go from here,” he said.

“The consensus reached was that we should continue our advocacy, not just for light rail, but also for overall better public transport in Canberra and our immediate region. To that end, a brand new community based public transport advocacy group has been created with members drawn from ACT Light Rail, and a few new faces.”

He said the group will host regular public forums where organisations, businesses and government departments involved in public transport will be invited to speak.

PTCBR is registered with the ACT Government’s Office of Regulatory Services and will invite applications for membership in the new year.

What’s Your opinion?


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90 Responses to
A new pro-light rail public transport lobby group for Canberra
1
rommeldog56 10:59 am
30 Dec 16
#

As I recall, the previous group Mr Haas Chaired, also referred to itself as the peak public transport lobby for Canberra.

Now this new one, also chaired by Mr Haas, is also the ACT’s peak body for public transport consultation, including Light Rail.

The “peak body” claim is self anointed, no doubt.

2
gooterz 11:00 am
30 Dec 16
#

So whats the difference between this and ACT for light rail?
Is it that light rail is expensive and now the group and haas has turned around and said well the rest of canberra can get the cheaper option?

Watch now as the cost benefits say that light rail isn’t economical south of the lake and the rest of the project is wrapped up.

This seems like the end of the lobby group rather than the beginning…

3
gooterz 11:25 am
30 Dec 16
#

Also not mentioned is the union fees….

4
Maryann Mussared 11:44 am
30 Dec 16
#

I will be interested to hear how this ‘new’ group thinks is the best way to get Stage Two (which all the Labor voters out there voter for) across the Lake without completely defacing the vista up to Parliament House. I did read there are some old drilling machines available from the monstrously expensive West Connex project in Sydney, so going under the Lake is something I would like to see advocated. This would also allow preservation of the lovely trees (I think Cedars of Lebanon) on the median strip of Commonwealth Avenue.

5
dungfungus 12:38 pm
30 Dec 16
#

Hilarious!

6
Elias Hallaj (aka CB 1:13 pm
30 Dec 16
#

This is good news for public transport in Canberra. There are no simple or cheap solutions for transport. If we just rely on cars and private options as advocated by some then the hidden costs just become a greater burden on the whole community down the track, particularly on those who may not have any choice but to drive. The more voices there are advocating a better public transport system the easier it will be be to get to work, study and entertainment and enjoy a city with better access and less driving and parking hassles in the future.

7
dungfungus 1:23 pm
30 Dec 16
#

Elias Hallaj (aka CBRFoodie) said :

This is good news for public transport in Canberra. There are no simple or cheap solutions for transport. If we just rely on cars and private options as advocated by some then the hidden costs just become a greater burden on the whole community down the track, particularly on those who may not have any choice but to drive. The more voices there are advocating a better public transport system the easier it will be be to get to work, study and entertainment and enjoy a city with better access and less driving and parking hassles in the future.

Are you serious?

Only 8% of Canberrans use public transport.

Does that convey a message that 92% us want more public transport?

8
Elias Hallaj (aka CB 3:03 pm
30 Dec 16
#

dungfungus said :

Elias Hallaj (aka CBRFoodie) said :

This is good news for public transport in Canberra. There are no simple or cheap solutions for transport. If we just rely on cars and private options as advocated by some then the hidden costs just become a greater burden on the whole community down the track, particularly on those who may not have any choice but to drive. The more voices there are advocating a better public transport system the easier it will be be to get to work, study and entertainment and enjoy a city with better access and less driving and parking hassles in the future.

Are you serious?

Only 8% of Canberrans use public transport.

Does that convey a message that 92% us want more public transport?

Thanks for your response Dungers, but it isn’t very logical. What relatively low PT use shows is we need to encourage more people to use public transport. As we grow our population density is comparable to cities like Adelaide and Perth (https://chartingtransport.com/category/australian-cities/page/2/) so it makes sense that we (like other smart cities) try and reduce the reliance on private motor transport. There are some things we do much better than other cities (like the use of bikes) due to our extensive path network and sensible laws and planning. We should build on that, rather than assume cars will always provide the best solution to everyone’s transport needs. Just because most people are happy to use cars most of the time (we own and regularly drive two) doesn’t mean that a car is always the best solution. We also cycle and/or use buses when it makes more sense, which is at least once a week. When we can do that it takes a car off the road and makes it easier for others who don’t have a choice and have to drive (less congestion, parking competition, wear and tear on roads, etc.)

9
rommeldog56 3:59 pm
30 Dec 16
#

Maryann Mussared said :

I will be interested to hear how this ‘new’ group thinks is the best way to get Stage Two (which all the Labor voters out there voter for) across the Lake without completely defacing the vista up to Parliament House.

I dont think Canberra Labor/Greens voters care how it will cross the Lake. They voted for it without any Benefits Costs Ratio, any formal costing or any engineering and other studies. Just print more monopoly money is the Canberra way.

And Barr has said that they will have to close one lane of Commonwealth Ave bridge each way to run the tram. They have no intention of of going under the lake or building a tram dedicated bridge.

10
Maryann Mussared 4:07 pm
30 Dec 16
#

Getting more people to use public transport? I have long been an advocate of making it free for a year or two. Even I would consider leaving my car at home to get something for free, but while buses do not run to timetable, MyWay is completely dysfunctional and bus drivers quite often rude and in some instances bad drivers, I will stick to my car.

11
rommeldog56 4:11 pm
30 Dec 16
#

Elias Hallaj (aka CBRFoodie) said :

If we just rely on cars and private options as advocated by some then the hidden costs just become a greater burden on the whole community down the track, particularly on those who may not have any choice but to drive. The more voices there are advocating a better public transport system the easier it will be be to get to work, study and entertainment and enjoy a city with better access and less driving and parking hassles in the future.

Here we go again. But its too late now.

I have never, ever heard anyone advocate cars instead of public transport. People just do not believe that the Tram is the needed solution. But as usual, anyone who queries the Tram is typified as not supporting public transport in favor of cars. Its a rubbish conclusion.

And even post Tram, there will still be mega shortages of parking spaces for those who must use a car + cost of parking will be prohibitive for them anyway. The trip to work will not be any easier either. Congestion is forecast to increase along stage 1 route (because of the infill) and stage 2 will close one lane of Commonwealth Ave bridge each way.

And u claim that there will be “better access”, less driving”, “easier to get to work”, etc. Yeah. Right.

12
ChrisinTurner 6:22 pm
30 Dec 16
#

It is great to hear that Damien is now thinking beyond the single issue Light Rail experiment. Many expert supporters of public transport were against Light Rail for plainly logical reasons. One is a likely doubling of fares seeing the Light Rail costs double the maintenance and operation cost per passenger of ACTION. Should we now consider making all public transport “fare-free”?

13
JC 7:05 pm
30 Dec 16
#

rommeldog56 said :

Maryann Mussared said :

I will be interested to hear how this ‘new’ group thinks is the best way to get Stage Two (which all the Labor voters out there voter for) across the Lake without completely defacing the vista up to Parliament House.

I dont think Canberra Labor/Greens voters care how it will cross the Lake. They voted for it without any Benefits Costs Ratio, any formal costing or any engineering and other studies. Just print more monopoly money is the Canberra way.

And Barr has said that they will have to close one lane of Commonwealth Ave bridge each way to run the tram. They have no intention of of going under the lake or building a tram dedicated bridge.

And if they had of spent money on (a rushed to get it out prior to the election) design, costing and report prior to the last election you would have been whining about the report being rushed and there being no mandate for stage 2.

14
rommeldog56 6:09 am
31 Dec 16
#

JC said :

And if they had of spent money on (a rushed to get it out prior to the election) design, costing and report prior to the last election you would have been whining about the report being rushed and there being no mandate for stage 2.

If that’s the only defence of the ACT labor/Greens Govt you have, then its too light on and in the same vein as your “the Liberals would not have done it any different” comments.

Fact is that the destination for Tram Stage 2 was changed during the election campaign to be Woden, without any studies or costings. That was designed to win votes. Guess what ? It worked. But if air head ACT Voters and Ratepayers were happy enough to excuse that major business process flaw and write the ACT Labor/Greens Govt a blank cheque/mandate for Tram Stage 2, then so be it.

Those reports couldnt have been prepared during the election period anyway, so your argument about whining because they would have been too rushed, doesnt have substance.

15
wildturkeycanoe 8:06 am
31 Dec 16
#

Is this simply a desperate bid to garner support for the tram by getting those who want better public transport to join a group, then by default supporting light rail?
Also, how exactly is a group like this going to change or sway the government’s planning decisions? The public quite vocally opposed the Barton Highway roundabout/traffic lights chaos, but did they listen? Nope. They went ahead with their half-assed idea regardless and look at the result! I think because light rail is now already pretty much guaranteed to go ahead, Damien is looking for attention some other way.

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