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A war on cars or visionary policy?

By Steven Bailey 29 September 2015 245

light rail artist impression

Canberra’s MLAs are not exactly famous for lively repartee, but last week duty called for Liberal MLA Giulia Jones. She gave it a good hard crack, flexing her silver tongue and delivering an unbridled bombardment to the Greens.

“Mums and dads trying to get their kids to school and earn the double income needed to survive these days should not have to pay the price for this minister’s mung bean, soy latte vision of a utopian society where inner city yuppies can catch a tram to work.

“That is [the Greens’] view and it punishes those working the hardest to produce another generation of ratepayers and it is a disgrace. The idea of mode shift is anti mum and anti family, and it is arrogant.

“We know better than you what is good for you. The Greens minister is out of touch and dictatorial,” she said.

Whether it’s light rail or cyclists versus motorists, it seems that not a day passes in our quiet capital without some sort of public vitriol being expressed in the media.

Cyclists disobeying road rules or riding in the middle of the road, motorists overtaking dangerously, and the great light rail debate have all collided into a tinderbox of tension and political opportunism.

For others, the public discourse is more aesthetical in nature. For instance, I’ve never understood the shaved legs and spandex, but I’d never impose my ignorance on others – go for your life!

Canberra deserves a more sophisticated debate on public transport and whether we support light rail or not, a cross-party approach that pursued the best outcome for the future surely would have been fairer and more reasonable for the people of Canberra.

But instead, the battle lines have been drawn and we are beholden to a project that may be legitimately perceived as political pandering to a certain constituency.

Yes, Gungahlin is growing at a rapid rate, but perhaps partly because Tuggeranong has been so neglected. If you live in Tuggeranong and work in Civic, the morning traffic is far more arduous than from Gungahlin to Civic.

A massive influx of parking fees and fines coupled with a shortage of parking spaces; an unrestricted increase in speed cameras; an inadequate bus service; the introduction of 30 km/h speed zones; and un-enforceable mandatory distances for cars overtaking cyclists are but some of the punitive measures against Canberra drivers.

For some, it is a simple argument: people should be discouraged from driving, and people who instead use public transport and bicycles are morally superior to those who don’t.

I support a sophisticated, multifaceted, environmentally friendly, and efficient transport policy for the future, and will have more to add to this debate in the coming months.

What I don’t support is governments attempting to change people’s behaviour through arrogant assumptions and punitive measures instead of intelligent debate and incentives.

Giulia, let me know if you’d like a new speech writer; I’d be more than happy to help.


What’s Your opinion?


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A war on cars or visionary policy?
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wildturkeycanoe 3:29 pm 15 Oct 15

“Your trip should not trash either your home, your destination or the length of the trip.”
But turning the tram corridor into a bustling highrise like the big brother cities, detracting from the plan of a bush capital in order to satisfy the environmentalists is okay? How carbon neutral will all this new construction and development be? The byproducts of this development which is needed to make the tram viable will be a blight on the greenery of a beautiful skyline. High density housing does not appeal to me as a better partner of the environment than the suburbia we have now, with its open parklands and green backyards.
Until the ACTs housing is under enough pressure to warrant any more of the ugly pop up rectangular prisms called unit blocks, nobody will build them, especially on property that will have skyrocketing rates. With interest rates inevitably to rise it would be difficult to sell them unless the government also reverses the culling of PS staff, who would be the likely majority of tram users.
A convenience store on every street corner as part of the “retail experience” touted as a feature of the rail route, would only disuade people from using the tram as their shopping needs are catered for locally. It will self destruct and end up being heavily subsidized by the taxpayer to save face and not be mothballed.

dungfungus 9:35 am 15 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Let’s get one thing clear.

Cheapest is rarely the best. I’m not immune to succumbing to the temptation of a bargain (having bought an Android phone) but experience teaches us useful lessons.

Get it clear in your mind what the objective is, the possible solutions and then spend more for better because in the long run, that pays handsomely.

This is not simply about a method of getting from one place to another as quickly as possible, ignoring where you are coming from and where you are going to and what you are doing to everything in-between.

As the Chinese Buddhist say, “The journey is the reward”.

Your trip should not trash either your home, your destination or the length of the trip. Roads, freeways, cars, and buses do that. When you take into account the damage that they do along with their extremely high cost, they are really a very bad solution to a problem of your own making.

Make the journey shorter, cleaner and more interesting and enjoy your City.

An electric Volvo in every garage and canola growing in the IKEA kitchen.
Ahh, life in Pleasantville is good.

chewy14 8:17 am 15 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

Look, whatever you think of the BRT, there’s no possible way that it will ever approach the capital cost of the light rail. Surely you’re not arguing that it will? The governments own study show it won’t.

No doubt that it is cheaper but it is not half as cheap. The much shorter Belconnen BRT many years ago wasn’t. But BRT is cheap in many ways more than cost. Which is why, after having wasted a lot of money on them, some cities are ripping them up and replacing them with LRT.

chewy14 said :

And seeing you are suggesting that one of the main benefits of the Light Rail is not transport but corridor development related, surely you’d support a precinct charge for people living along the route to pay for it? Why should such a private benefit accrue from public funds? Particularly when there are far cheaper options available to cover the stated goal of providing better public transport?

I agree that the money should come from increased development, but a lot of objectors to the Light Rail are objecting to that, perhaps as a way of sabotaging the LR.

There is secondary income however. As the land value increases along the length of the LR, rates increase and there is also taxes on increased commercial activity. Finally there is a major benefit from transport savings that flows through to discretionary spending which attracts GST.

You will really have to turn up that hearing aid, the objective has been, a cleaner more sustainable Canberra and more development and residences at the heart of Canberra that doesn’t continually destroy more countryside and cause commuting problems. To that end you need a clean, convenient transport system, for the first time in Canberra.

chewy14 said :

I think you’d find a lot more people would be supportive if the main beneficiaries actually contributed proportionately to its cost.

They do, but a lot of energy is going into lying about the cost, widely exaggerating it, denying benefits they have never experienced, and attacking the changes as being “different” to what (some) people think is the universal and eternal “way of things”.

Most of the objections are coming from older, conservative, men living in Tuggeranong. They have taken it upon themselves to see that change won’t happen especially if it improves Canberra and by comparison makes Tuggeranong seem even more of a dowdy backwater than it already is.

There are also the Abbottonian anti-environmentalists. They absolutely insist on executing their genetic instructions to destroy whatever they can get their hands on and teach all those smartarses a lesson.

OK firstly, the BRT was costed in the government’s own study at $300-$360 million and the light rail at $700-$860 million.

Now, my maths may have failed me but saying that it’s half the cost on those figures is actually being generous to the light rail.

Now of course, cheapest is not always best but when the difference is so great in cost when there is no difference in delivery and performance of the “transport” then the societal and development benefits of light rail have to be very large to overcome that difference in cost.

And if that difference has been assesed to be there, a precinct charge should have been the first thing instigated to pay (at least partially) for it. Yes, the government will recover some costs through higher taxes and it’s own land sales along the corridor but each land holder along that route is likely to be given a gift of tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased property prices. How anyone can justify that sort of public spend for such a large accrual of private benefit, I don’t know.

And those crusty Tuggeranong residents that you talk about, would surely have nothing to complain about if they were only paying a much smaller percentage of the cost due to the fact they only derive a smaller benefit? The answer to removing their opposition is staring you right in the face.

This project could be a game changer for transport in this city but the government’s plan and sales job has so far been extremely poor.

rubaiyat 8:03 am 15 Oct 15

miz said :

Rubaiyat, Chewy and Skyring are on the money. I too commute by bus daily and it is great. ACTION is moving to low-emission buses.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/new-lowemission-scania-buses-join-canberra-network-20140715-zt7r1.html
Sure they are not all at that stage, but it is better environmentally to continue using what you have compared to the impact of the manufacture and acquisition of a new fleet (not to mention financial implications). And it’s just plain silly to say that buses ‘wreck the roads’ and are ‘urban assassins’! Our roads are there to be used and we pay our rates for their maintenance. In any case, my full bus would equate to at least 20 cars off the road, which actually saves on wear and tear.

Are you aware just how over engineered roads are to cope with heavy vehicles like buses and trucks.

The vast amount of damage to roads and the expensive maintenance and repairs required is due to heavy vehicles.

I have personal experience of the damage they cause. I smashed my glasses and a knee when I tripped over a bitumen wave in the road opposite the ACT Assembly. This was caused by the buses braking as they at the zebra crossings. I then noticed the same waves existed at every bust stop in the city.

I was picked up by a lovely woman from the ACT Electoral office who patched me up, and I passed on the message to the ACT government. The roads all got repaired, but will be back to what they were before too long.

I use the buses because they are my best option most of the time, but I do not like them. Short of a proper transport system we have to put up with them. Certainly they should not form the transport “solution” if they can at all be avoided.

btw Those low-emission buses were a non-show patch job.

According to JC no more were ordered and they have not been successful anywhere else.

I look forward to a Transit spine of Light Rail, where it is suitable, crossed and extended by a fleet of Australian designed and built electric buses. Canberra will be a much better place for it.

Skyring 7:42 am 15 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

Polls are largely contrived these days. I have never been polled on any matter nor have any of my fiends and colleagues.

I’d like to pedantically point out a spelling error there, but on reflection, you probably meant it the way it’s wrote.

Skyring 7:40 am 15 Oct 15

Nilrem said :

It’s funny how people that never catch buses have a perception that the buses and their interchanges are some kind of dangerous hell on earth.

You’re talking about bus drivers now, aren’t you?

I’d feel sorry for those guys too, but they get a crapload of money.

rubaiyat 5:37 am 15 Oct 15

Let’s get one thing clear.

Cheapest is rarely the best. I’m not immune to succumbing to the temptation of a bargain (having bought an Android phone) but experience teaches us useful lessons.

Get it clear in your mind what the objective is, the possible solutions and then spend more for better because in the long run, that pays handsomely.

This is not simply about a method of getting from one place to another as quickly as possible, ignoring where you are coming from and where you are going to and what you are doing to everything in-between.

As the Chinese Buddhist say, “The journey is the reward”.

Your trip should not trash either your home, your destination or the length of the trip. Roads, freeways, cars, and buses do that. When you take into account the damage that they do along with their extremely high cost, they are really a very bad solution to a problem of your own making.

Make the journey shorter, cleaner and more interesting and enjoy your City.

rubaiyat 5:22 am 15 Oct 15

chewy14 said :

Look, whatever you think of the BRT, there’s no possible way that it will ever approach the capital cost of the light rail. Surely you’re not arguing that it will? The governments own study show it won’t.

No doubt that it is cheaper but it is not half as cheap. The much shorter Belconnen BRT many years ago wasn’t. But BRT is cheap in many ways more than cost. Which is why, after having wasted a lot of money on them, some cities are ripping them up and replacing them with LRT.

chewy14 said :

And seeing you are suggesting that one of the main benefits of the Light Rail is not transport but corridor development related, surely you’d support a precinct charge for people living along the route to pay for it? Why should such a private benefit accrue from public funds? Particularly when there are far cheaper options available to cover the stated goal of providing better public transport?

I agree that the money should come from increased development, but a lot of objectors to the Light Rail are objecting to that, perhaps as a way of sabotaging the LR.

There is secondary income however. As the land value increases along the length of the LR, rates increase and there is also taxes on increased commercial activity. Finally there is a major benefit from transport savings that flows through to discretionary spending which attracts GST.

You will really have to turn up that hearing aid, the objective has been, a cleaner more sustainable Canberra and more development and residences at the heart of Canberra that doesn’t continually destroy more countryside and cause commuting problems. To that end you need a clean, convenient transport system, for the first time in Canberra.

chewy14 said :

I think you’d find a lot more people would be supportive if the main beneficiaries actually contributed proportionately to its cost.

They do, but a lot of energy is going into lying about the cost, widely exaggerating it, denying benefits they have never experienced, and attacking the changes as being “different” to what (some) people think is the universal and eternal “way of things”.

Most of the objections are coming from older, conservative, men living in Tuggeranong. They have taken it upon themselves to see that change won’t happen especially if it improves Canberra and by comparison makes Tuggeranong seem even more of a dowdy backwater than it already is.

There are also the Abbottonian anti-environmentalists. They absolutely insist on executing their genetic instructions to destroy whatever they can get their hands on and teach all those smartarses a lesson.

chewy14 6:08 pm 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

A bus is is a bus is a bus is a bus. Something I doubt you use which is why you recommend them so highly.

They pollute, are noisy, wreck the roads that they share with the cars, require lots of drivers, which we don’t have thanks to the lazy “solutions” of most of our politicians, and ultimately they pile up in the cities as urban assassins.

They do not cost half as much no matter how much you lie about the cost of the Light Rail, and they have been rejected by many cities because they do not do what Light Rail does which is bring in life to an area. Instead they kill it stone dead.

It doesn’t take Einstein to look at the bus terminuses to see EXACTLY why people really just want to avoid them.

Sorry, I use the bus every day currently because it suits my personal needs for travel to and from work. I also have a car at home because the public transport in this city is limited in its useability.

And the fact that you don’t believe the bus option cost half as much as the light rail means you clearly haven’t read the business case which considered the options for this route.

Which was rejected. As was a similar case in Perth.

None of them fully costed the buses making the same assumption that they simply exist, which had me scratching my head.

The Perth study went through a long list of examples and came up with the summary that BRTs are not cheap but have a fraction of the capacity of any form of Rail, are difficult to expand, just like freeways, need 3 times as many drivers, do not transition to anything better without huge cost and become congested at all the stations where the buses attempt to pass each other.

But the principal case against them is that they do do not foster development near them. They repel development, because they stink, are noisy, and only add to the traffic. In fact many of the places they were tried they ended up having to rip them out at huge expense and redo them as Light Rail.

Look, whatever you think of the BRT, there’s no possible way that it will ever approach the capital cost of the light rail. Surely you’re not arguing that it will? The governments own study show it won’t.

And seeing you are suggesting that one of the main benefits of the Light Rail is not transport but corridor development related, surely you’d support a precinct charge for people living along the route to pay for it? Why should such a private benefit accrue from public funds? Particularly when there are far cheaper options available to cover the stated goal of providing better public transport?

I think you’d find a lot more people would be supportive if the main beneficiaries actually contributed proportionately to its cost.

miz 1:18 pm 14 Oct 15

Rubaiyat, Chewy and Skyring are on the money. I too commute by bus daily and it is great. ACTION is moving to low-emission buses.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/new-lowemission-scania-buses-join-canberra-network-20140715-zt7r1.html
Sure they are not all at that stage, but it is better environmentally to continue using what you have compared to the impact of the manufacture and acquisition of a new fleet (not to mention financial implications). And it’s just plain silly to say that buses ‘wreck the roads’ and are ‘urban assassins’! Our roads are there to be used and we pay our rates for their maintenance. In any case, my full bus would equate to at least 20 cars off the road, which actually saves on wear and tear.

Nilrem 12:42 pm 14 Oct 15

Nilrem said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

A bus is is a bus is a bus is a bus. Something I doubt you use which is why you recommend them so highly.

They pollute, are noisy, wreck the roads that they share with the cars, require lots of drivers, which we don’t have thanks to the lazy “solutions” of most of our politicians, and ultimately they pile up in the cities as urban assassins.

They do not cost half as much no matter how much you lie about the cost of the Light Rail, and they have been rejected by many cities because they do not do what Light Rail does which is bring in life to an area. Instead they kill it stone dead.

It doesn’t take Einstein to look at the bus terminuses to see EXACTLY why people really just want to avoid them.

Sorry, I use the bus every day currently because it suits my personal needs for travel to and from work. I also have a car at home because the public transport in this city is limited in its useability.

And the fact that you don’t believe the bus option cost half as much as the light rail means you clearly haven’t read the business case which considered the options for this route.

It’s funny how people that never catch buses have a perception that the buses and their interchanges are some kind of dangerous hell on earth. It is a proposition refuted by anyone that catches buses, even only occasionally, like me.

I remember telling someone at work that I had caught a bus in that morning. The response was “did you get attacked by a hobo?”. I had to dissapoint them.

Nilrem 12:00 pm 14 Oct 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

A bus is is a bus is a bus is a bus. Something I doubt you use which is why you recommend them so highly.

They pollute, are noisy, wreck the roads that they share with the cars, require lots of drivers, which we don’t have thanks to the lazy “solutions” of most of our politicians, and ultimately they pile up in the cities as urban assassins.

They do not cost half as much no matter how much you lie about the cost of the Light Rail, and they have been rejected by many cities because they do not do what Light Rail does which is bring in life to an area. Instead they kill it stone dead.

It doesn’t take Einstein to look at the bus terminuses to see EXACTLY why people really just want to avoid them.

Sorry, I use the bus every day currently because it suits my personal needs for travel to and from work. I also have a car at home because the public transport in this city is limited in its useability.

And the fact that you don’t believe the bus option cost half as much as the light rail means you clearly haven’t read the business case which considered the options for this route.

It’s funny how people that never catch buses have a perception that the buses and their interchanges are some kind of dangerous hell on earth. It is a proposition refuted by anyone that catches buses, even only occasionally, like me.

rubaiyat 11:29 am 14 Oct 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

A bus is is a bus is a bus is a bus. Something I doubt you use which is why you recommend them so highly.

They pollute, are noisy, wreck the roads that they share with the cars, require lots of drivers, which we don’t have thanks to the lazy “solutions” of most of our politicians, and ultimately they pile up in the cities as urban assassins.

They do not cost half as much no matter how much you lie about the cost of the Light Rail, and they have been rejected by many cities because they do not do what Light Rail does which is bring in life to an area. Instead they kill it stone dead.

It doesn’t take Einstein to look at the bus terminuses to see EXACTLY why people really just want to avoid them.

Sorry, I use the bus every day currently because it suits my personal needs for travel to and from work. I also have a car at home because the public transport in this city is limited in its useability.

And the fact that you don’t believe the bus option cost half as much as the light rail means you clearly haven’t read the business case which considered the options for this route.

Which was rejected. As was a similar case in Perth.

None of them fully costed the buses making the same assumption that they simply exist, which had me scratching my head.

The Perth study went through a long list of examples and came up with the summary that BRTs are not cheap but have a fraction of the capacity of any form of Rail, are difficult to expand, just like freeways, need 3 times as many drivers, do not transition to anything better without huge cost and become congested at all the stations where the buses attempt to pass each other.

But the principal case against them is that they do do not foster development near them. They repel development, because they stink, are noisy, and only add to the traffic. In fact many of the places they were tried they ended up having to rip them out at huge expense and redo them as Light Rail.

chewy14 10:50 am 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

A bus is is a bus is a bus is a bus. Something I doubt you use which is why you recommend them so highly.

They pollute, are noisy, wreck the roads that they share with the cars, require lots of drivers, which we don’t have thanks to the lazy “solutions” of most of our politicians, and ultimately they pile up in the cities as urban assassins.

They do not cost half as much no matter how much you lie about the cost of the Light Rail, and they have been rejected by many cities because they do not do what Light Rail does which is bring in life to an area. Instead they kill it stone dead.

It doesn’t take Einstein to look at the bus terminuses to see EXACTLY why people really just want to avoid them.

Sorry, I use the bus every day currently because it suits my personal needs for travel to and from work. I also have a car at home because the public transport in this city is limited in its useability.

And the fact that you don’t believe the bus option cost half as much as the light rail means you clearly haven’t read the business case which considered the options for this route.

rubaiyat 9:42 am 14 Oct 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

A bus is is a bus is a bus is a bus. Something I doubt you use which is why you recommend them so highly.

They pollute, are noisy, wreck the roads that they share with the cars, require lots of drivers, which we don’t have thanks to the lazy “solutions” of most of our politicians, and ultimately they pile up in the cities as urban assassins.

They do not cost half as much no matter how much you lie about the cost of the Light Rail, and they have been rejected by many cities because they do not do what Light Rail does which is bring in life to an area. Instead they kill it stone dead.

It doesn’t take Einstein to look at the bus terminuses to see EXACTLY why people really just want to avoid them.

dungfungus 9:26 am 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

rosscoact said :

It’s a shame that the opposition has put up no alternative than the ‘Nope at any cost!’ policy position that the former PM remains so fond of.

And seeing as the Federal NO! brigade is gone, and even in Queensland the local LNP politicians are 100% for Light Rail, the ACT Liberals are looking rather lonely except for the more extreme Tuggeranong pensioners.

Still, the Light Rail really should have a lot more support if only the Government explained it better, and people actually looked at it without over the top emotional negativity because it is a first for Canberra.

This is a cheap fear/smear campaign.

You can rely on people to fall for those because they are mostly lazy, never check anything, and stay ignorant. From ignorance comes fear.

“more extreme Tuggeranong pensioners.”
I know you are referring to me but John Hargreaves is also part of this demographic.

Actually I was not directly referring to you, I suspect most of the can’t see the forest for the “not my trees” are from Tuggeranong.

I think you are confusing “Voices in The Forest” with voices in your head.

chewy14 8:41 am 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Skyring said :

rosscoact said :

Let’s be realistic about this.

A high proportion of people who are not directly benefiting from the first leg of the light rail are taking a dog in the manger approach. They just don’t want anybody to have a benefit that they don’t directly have.

It goes deeper than this. The tram costs a billion dollars. That’s money we’ve got to come up with through extra taxes or reduced services, and that’s something the whole community has to wear. So those who aren’t within cooee of the tram will receive no benefit, *and* will have to lose a big chunk of money or services to boot.

It’s not about being a grumblebum. It’s about reason.

For me, I don’t think this one single tramline is going to do anything that our existing bus fleet cannot do now and for a hell of a lot cheaper.

And then we get those who say, well, let’s run the thing to Tuggeranong and Belco and Weston Creek and give everyone the benefit. Yeah, quadruple the cost.

We don’t have the urban density to make it pay. Not without a few million more residents.

And you say all that almost as if any of it was true!

The BRT option was less than half the cost for the same performance and your own argument is that we need increased density to support the tram, so he’s not 100% wrong, is he.

chewy14 8:38 am 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

If you want to do a true comparison, you should stick to the costs of operating the car on those particular trips that could be switched to public transport rather than including the entire cost of owning and operating the car.

Which is what I did.

Just as many cars to serve the number of commuters, running the same distance.

i.e. If all the tram passengers had to complete the trip in cars.

I work hard at comparing like with like.

No, it’s not like for like because it assumes that the only reason the people have cars is to drive the exact public transport routes covered by my way. It assumes that they wouldn’t have cars anyway for all the other types of trips that current public transport simply doesn’t have the ability to travel.

Unless the performance and convenience is equivalent, you aren’t comparing like for like.

It is a costing. It doesn’t assume anything for the cars other than their cost.

You are not comparing like with like if you ignore the cost of the car.

An empty freeway is not a transport system. Every time you take your car out of the garage it costs you. It costs you day and night just sitting there or in paid parking somewhere.

You can own a car and take the Light Rail to work or for a night out because you do not want to drink and drive, and you will still save money. An enormous amount of money and possibly your licence if you are caught drink driving or total your car or both.

You may choose to pay a lot of money for perceived “performance and convenience”, even if you don’t get it, but that is irrelevant and certainly does not make the car free for the purposes of costing a transport system for this route or any other.

You may even come to realise that you and many others are constantly bitching and moaning about traffic because you are NOT getting the “performance and convenience” you were promised.

If a convenient, clean, pleasant and economic transport system exists, as it does in many other cities, you can avoid owning a car or simply own fewer, smaller cars that you drive less. Which is what many young city dwellers are doing today.

It assumes the cost of a car, the whole cost of a car. So its only a true comparison if you never use that car for trips other than those exactly the same as public transport routes.

As soon as you use the car for other trips, say interstate trips to NSW towns, you would have to reduce the cost attributeable for comparison to public transport. If you have to own a car anyway, all of the ownership costs have to be removed from your comparison because they are sunk regardless of the public transport system.

You say, ” if a convenient, clean, pleasant and economic transport system exists”, then you might not need a car (maybe). But that’s not the cost comparison you’re making because no such system currently exists in Canberra.

Public transport is still going to be cheaper over those PT routes but your figures are excessively exagerrated and provide no worthwhile information in this debate.

wildturkeycanoe 7:54 am 14 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

There is nothing in the stats put up by proponents of freeways for the noise, pollution, deaths, wildlife killed, and huge expense of cars. They pretend that an empty stretch of freeway IS the transport system.

But the tram doesn’t go out on the freeway, it only goes between Gunners and the city. How many roos are killed on that stretch of road? We are not comparing apples and apples because the tram line at 2 trips per day, every day of the year, is only 8760km, half the 15,000km you use for the average car journeys annually. So the travel costs of the car should be halved to make it a little more even in comparisons. I doubt anyone would use the tram at least once a day anyway.

rubaiyat said :

You are more likely to be held up for work stuck in unpredictable traffic due to weather, accidents or just because its just another traffic jam! Hey, nobody knows where they come from!

And how exactly does the tram get around the same traffic jam that holds up the cars? There is no advantage when a car can detour around the back streets and continue to it’s destination, but the poor tram is stuck on the tracks.

rubaiyat said :

What does staying in bed with the flu or how you got to work to give them the flu have to do with this?

Sharing your germs with 200 other people on a 30 minute tram ride increases your chances of getting sick infinitely more than sitting in your own car. All the time taken off work and associated costs of getting sick can be directly attributed to public transport and avoided by minimizing exposure through individual modes of travel.

rubaiyat said :

I didn’t get the bit about buses, what are you trying to say?
The schedule for the trams will be frequent and regular and the ride extremely comfortable.

Some of the expected population taking the tram, factored into its future patronage, will be living on the outskirts of Gungahlin, some as far away as over 4km from the Gungahlin town center. How are they meant to get to the tram from their house? Walking that far is not suitable so a bus will be needed to make the connection. How often will the buses be doing their rounds in these far reaches? Will it be with the same frequency as the tram? Presently, it takes around 30 minutes to get from the furthest reaches of Gunners to where the tram station is, so that makes it a 1 hour commute to Civic if you don’t count the time wasted sitting at the stop waiting for the next service to arrive. Does this figure get any promotion in the “pro-tram” debate?

rubaiyat said :

And again on about the hellhole that is Canberra! Where you live seems to alternate between cyclones and blizzards. Obviously not near the Light Rail

How long have you lived in Canberra? We are often told this is the place where you have 4 seasons in one day. This past week alone we’ve had three days of rapidly changing weather conditions, storms and heavy rain. Are you suggesting that this doesn’t happen? There is no dome over the tram to protect it from the elements. Having to carry a poncho and umbrella every time you travel is just not convenient but is necessary with public transport. At least with a vehicle you can have the option of undercover parking when shopping. Your spiel about getting wet when going to a city restaurant doesn’t add up when you look at the amount of under cover parking available at the Canberra Center and near the university, which would always have more free spaces than the outdoor alternative. Was it perhaps that you didn’t want to walk far to get to the eatery, but instead parked close by for convenience? Where was you umbrella? The boot is a great place to store these kinds of items.

rubaiyat 10:36 pm 13 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

rosscoact said :

It’s a shame that the opposition has put up no alternative than the ‘Nope at any cost!’ policy position that the former PM remains so fond of.

And seeing as the Federal NO! brigade is gone, and even in Queensland the local LNP politicians are 100% for Light Rail, the ACT Liberals are looking rather lonely except for the more extreme Tuggeranong pensioners.

Still, the Light Rail really should have a lot more support if only the Government explained it better, and people actually looked at it without over the top emotional negativity because it is a first for Canberra.

This is a cheap fear/smear campaign.

You can rely on people to fall for those because they are mostly lazy, never check anything, and stay ignorant. From ignorance comes fear.

“more extreme Tuggeranong pensioners.”
I know you are referring to me but John Hargreaves is also part of this demographic.

Actually I was not directly referring to you, I suspect most of the can’t see the forest for the “not my trees” are from Tuggeranong.

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