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ACT Greens make big Wi-Fi election promises

By 25 July 2012 96

ACT greens

The ACT Greens have made election commitments to hold a one-year trial free Wi-Fi hotspots at Canberra bus interchanges and free Wi-Fi hubs in Civic. They also aim to enable at least ten buses with Wi-Fi. The trial will cost $100,000.

I can definitely see the young’uns getting excited about this one. Any thoughts?
[Photo courtesy Tom Burmester]

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ACT Greens make big Wi-Fi election promises
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HenryBG 9:55 am 01 Aug 12

devils_advocate said :

pirate_taco said :

Is Pirate Party ACT the only party questioning the value of the free WiFi plans?
How about we focus on getting public transport more usable instead of distractions like WiFi?

– Glen Takkenberg, Pirate Party ACT.

thank the lord.

If the rest of your policies (even if those policies are simply “this idea is stupid and a waste of money, we aren’t doing it”) are as sensible consider my vote locked in for pirate party (or its constituent members, whatever).

I was skeptical about supporting a gimmick group but so far you guys are emerging as least harmful.

SNAP!

devils_advocate 9:09 am 01 Aug 12

pirate_taco said :

Is Pirate Party ACT the only party questioning the value of the free WiFi plans?
How about we focus on getting public transport more usable instead of distractions like WiFi?

– Glen Takkenberg, Pirate Party ACT.

thank the lord.

If the rest of your policies (even if those policies are simply “this idea is stupid and a waste of money, we aren’t doing it”) are as sensible consider my vote locked in for pirate party (or its constituent members, whatever).

I was skeptical about supporting a gimmick group but so far you guys are emerging as least harmful.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:26 am 01 Aug 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You bring it up again but didn’t answer my question before, al. Maybe you missed it. Il ask again though, what are your thoughts on your new bus shelters being imported from and installed by a new zealand company instead of a local one?

CaGN: Yes I missed it earlier, then did up a response a couple of days ago, bumped a key, and lost the lot… Try again.
I have a number of concerns about the commercial bus shelter deal with Adcorp.

For starters, there’s the overarching problem that the ad has to face oncoming traffic, meaning that bus shelters are always slavishly aligned to the street even when inappropriate. For example, the shelters southbound along Flemington Rd could face to the north – would allow passengers to see oncoming buses easier, allow winter sun access to keep warm and put the shelter to the south to block the cold wind and rain that comes off the mountains. But instead, they face into the weather.

The need for ad prominence seems to mean that less exposure-attractive routes don’t get any shelters. The best those passengers can hope for is a bench seat that’s too frosted up to use.

The design of the shelters is hopeless. They can only seat two people, whereas a different bench design could seat 4-5 or more. The roofs drip rain or condensation onto the seat. And the seats get quite wet from condensation too. There’s only shelter on one end – again because of the ads.

Even the pads they install for them – they end up with a mish mash of connecting paths and grass patches, making it harder/more costly to maintain the grass through the entire life of the shelter.

I don’t know about the company building them – perhaps it’s a function again of the Adcorp deal, and they didn’t build in any safeguards around local purchasing? It sounds like the sort of thing you’d prefer to avoid, but frankly I think the dysfunctional design is a bigger issue.

Good points. Another flaw is what they are made of, sure they look nice, but glass lol. How much money has been set aside for vandalisation costs?

I think its a huge issue if local work is being out sourced to international companies, when local buisneses here are struggeling.

Gungahlin Al 1:03 am 01 Aug 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You bring it up again but didn’t answer my question before, al. Maybe you missed it. Il ask again though, what are your thoughts on your new bus shelters being imported from and installed by a new zealand company instead of a local one?

CaGN: Yes I missed it earlier, then did up a response a couple of days ago, bumped a key, and lost the lot… Try again.
I have a number of concerns about the commercial bus shelter deal with Adcorp.

For starters, there’s the overarching problem that the ad has to face oncoming traffic, meaning that bus shelters are always slavishly aligned to the street even when inappropriate. For example, the shelters southbound along Flemington Rd could face to the north – would allow passengers to see oncoming buses easier, allow winter sun access to keep warm and put the shelter to the south to block the cold wind and rain that comes off the mountains. But instead, they face into the weather.

The need for ad prominence seems to mean that less exposure-attractive routes don’t get any shelters. The best those passengers can hope for is a bench seat that’s too frosted up to use.

The design of the shelters is hopeless. They can only seat two people, whereas a different bench design could seat 4-5 or more. The roofs drip rain or condensation onto the seat. And the seats get quite wet from condensation too. There’s only shelter on one end – again because of the ads.

Even the pads they install for them – they end up with a mish mash of connecting paths and grass patches, making it harder/more costly to maintain the grass through the entire life of the shelter.

I don’t know about the company building them – perhaps it’s a function again of the Adcorp deal, and they didn’t build in any safeguards around local purchasing? It sounds like the sort of thing you’d prefer to avoid, but frankly I think the dysfunctional design is a bigger issue.

KB1971 1:48 pm 30 Jul 12

Thumper said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Feng said :

Well said. For a political candidate, Gungahlin Al sounds certainly like an angry individual. I’m scared if I vote for him, he have a go at me as well for expressing an opinion. I think that it’s ok to be angry like that if you were just a normal citizen but as a political candidate, I believe we expect a higher standard of views.
I think you just damaged your rep there and may have cost you votes.
But I like what Thumper said before, how about fixing up the public transport network and make it cheaper and more efficient? Or is that too hard to tackle? I think the community will be behind you even if you have to make tough decisions.

Sorry if you think that Feng. I’m not angry at all. But occasionally someone will try to make out that I’m concealing my role as a current election candidate for the Greens. The reality that they are trying to slide past is that I’ve been contributing to RA for years, and have always been known by my actual name – unlike the people who choose to make such accusations from behind anonymous accounts.

And C__C’s accusation was especially silly given I had even mentioned my part of the Greens team in the very post that he chose to criticise.

On your suggestion about fixing public transport, I agree that there does need to be serious work done, and I and the Greens have been active campaigners for improvements to the bus service in the short term and implementation of light rail in the longer term.

Personally, I’ve been able to convince Roads staff to install new shelters and seats at various Gungahlin stops, make improvements to a number of routes, get new 200 stops, and for changes to the Territory Plan to require bus stop infrastructure to be installed when new suburbs are built, rather than after they are finished and everyone’s been “trained” to use their cars instead.

The Greens were successful in this last term at getting the express 200 service continued, and expanded to Belco and southern town centres, improved after hours services, and more.

And you can be sure that as a regular public transport user myself, if I was elected, public transport would be a dominating topic for me.

Finally, for those who’ve been saying real-time information systems should come first, this is already happening. The following is from ACTION’s website:

“The request for tender for the supply, installation and on-going maintenance of the system was released in December 2011. Installation of the system is expected to commence by mid-2012 with the system becoming fully operational by 2013.”
https://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/RTPIS.html

To be fair, Al has never hidden the fact that he’s a greens supporter and his record on Gungahlin issues speaks for itself.

.

The thing I get from c_c’s posts are that he/she doesnt talk with you he/she talks at you & that fairness doesnt come into it. It’s c_c’s way or the highway.

If he/she could cut back on the bitterness & insults, some of the points are quite valid & thoughtful. Even when responses are given to he/she’s post’s, he/she usually come back with another spat of vitriol.

pirate_taco 11:19 am 30 Jul 12

What a timely article – I tried searching for up to date, publicly available bus patronage numbers but couldn’t find any.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/adult-bus-passenger-numbers-stagnating-20120729-236tk.html
The article claims an average of 24,865 adult passenger fares on weekdays, including transfers, and goes on to estimate 20,000 unique passengers daily including students and pensioners once you subtract transfers.

Under Labor’s $1m/year plan for WiFi, that gives a cost per passenger (assuming EVERY passenger uses the service) of $50/year
Under the Greens more modest trial proposal, that is $5/year per passenger (though not every passenger will be able to use the service due to the very limited size of the trial)

In a free market, who would pay $50/year for limited access to WiFi while on a bus and at interchanges?

Thumper 10:17 am 30 Jul 12

I should add that I think Al will do a much better job of representing his electorate than the current bunch of numpties.

Thumper 7:07 pm 29 Jul 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Feng said :

Well said. For a political candidate, Gungahlin Al sounds certainly like an angry individual. I’m scared if I vote for him, he have a go at me as well for expressing an opinion. I think that it’s ok to be angry like that if you were just a normal citizen but as a political candidate, I believe we expect a higher standard of views.
I think you just damaged your rep there and may have cost you votes.
But I like what Thumper said before, how about fixing up the public transport network and make it cheaper and more efficient? Or is that too hard to tackle? I think the community will be behind you even if you have to make tough decisions.

Sorry if you think that Feng. I’m not angry at all. But occasionally someone will try to make out that I’m concealing my role as a current election candidate for the Greens. The reality that they are trying to slide past is that I’ve been contributing to RA for years, and have always been known by my actual name – unlike the people who choose to make such accusations from behind anonymous accounts.

And C__C’s accusation was especially silly given I had even mentioned my part of the Greens team in the very post that he chose to criticise.

On your suggestion about fixing public transport, I agree that there does need to be serious work done, and I and the Greens have been active campaigners for improvements to the bus service in the short term and implementation of light rail in the longer term.

Personally, I’ve been able to convince Roads staff to install new shelters and seats at various Gungahlin stops, make improvements to a number of routes, get new 200 stops, and for changes to the Territory Plan to require bus stop infrastructure to be installed when new suburbs are built, rather than after they are finished and everyone’s been “trained” to use their cars instead.

The Greens were successful in this last term at getting the express 200 service continued, and expanded to Belco and southern town centres, improved after hours services, and more.

And you can be sure that as a regular public transport user myself, if I was elected, public transport would be a dominating topic for me.

Finally, for those who’ve been saying real-time information systems should come first, this is already happening. The following is from ACTION’s website:

“The request for tender for the supply, installation and on-going maintenance of the system was released in December 2011. Installation of the system is expected to commence by mid-2012 with the system becoming fully operational by 2013.”
https://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/RTPIS.html

To be fair, Al has never hidden the fact that he’s a greens supporter and his record on Gungahlin issues speaks for itself.

However, I still think this is a waste of time and money.

What we need to see is better bus services, including cheaper fares, which will lead to a greater use, not wifi, which will make no difference whatsoever.

More buses, better routes, more coverage, cheaper fares, better interchanges, interconnecting routes with minimal turnaround times. These will make a difference.

Felix the Cat 4:39 pm 29 Jul 12

This Wi-Fi thing seems like a waste of taxpayer’s money. IMO it is a luxury rather than a neccessity amd the $100K would be better off being spent on more important things like shortening hospital waiting lists or working out a way of getting ACTION buses to not run at a multi-million dollar loss.

Do people really need to update Facebook, Tweet or check emails while on the bus to work? There are already Wi-Fi spots at a number of cafes/coffee shops inc McDonalds, most people have internet at home and work, do they really need it 24/7 in every square inch of town?

steveu 3:32 pm 29 Jul 12

Gerry-Built said :

If they made the buses free to ride and absorbed the cost into rates/taxes (so in theory taxpayers would all be paying to use the service anyhow), then more people would probably use them, making them more efficient and removing many cars from the road. If they did that, then the proposition of free wifi makes the buses a little more attractive a proposition also… This would also save on the cost of the infrastructure to process and collect fares. Taxpayers already pay most of the cost of the bus service anyhow.

Agreed. I think the leaders think they are ‘thinking outside the box’ with proposals such as free wifi – but they are not.

A radical change in thinking is needed. What you have suggested above makes alot of sense. Maybe they should catch a tram in the Melbourne CBD and see how that works. Seems to function very well indeed (apart from their ticketing system…)

steveu 3:30 pm 29 Jul 12

I think there is probably other things that will attract people to buses than free wifi. The money they are talking about is the tip of the iceberg IMHO on what it would cost to roll out to its entirety.

That money would be better spent on either reducing bus fares, or looking at mini buses where routes are sparsely patronised. Or beefing up the real-time bus info project.

But not free wifi. go to mcdonalds for that. Or the library (if they have it there?)

Henry82 2:59 pm 29 Jul 12

I’m not sure it’s really needed to be honest. Most people will have their own 3g devices, or will sync before they leave the house (like i do). I’d rather they spend the money reducing ticket prices, or doing upgrades, more services etc etc.

c_c 2:27 pm 29 Jul 12

Gungahlin Al said :

And you can be sure that as a regular public transport user myself, if I was elected, public transport would be a dominating topic for me.

Well, at least Al can be honest about being a narrow minded, selfish Green.

Jim Jones 10:22 am 29 Jul 12

HenryBG said :

We can’t possibly do anything cool because it will all go wrong and it could never work here anyway.

Nice positive attitude dude.

miz 10:06 am 29 Jul 12

I agree with the statement “Wasteful, ignorant, people. Luckily though the Greens have just about every other party in Australian politics trying to turf them out, so shouldn’t be long before they go the way of the Democrats” . . .
what they say is almost always ‘aspirational’ (as opposed to actually do-able) because they don’t have the numbers.

It is unfortunate that they abused the mandate to be a third voice in the ACT Assembly – they have shown their true colours and won’t again be getting anything like the power they have had over the past four years.

Al, I would get out now and stand as an independent. I reckon you’d have the numbers.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:03 am 29 Jul 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Feng said :

Well said. For a political candidate, Gungahlin Al sounds certainly like an angry individual. I’m scared if I vote for him, he have a go at me as well for expressing an opinion. I think that it’s ok to be angry like that if you were just a normal citizen but as a political candidate, I believe we expect a higher standard of views.
I think you just damaged your rep there and may have cost you votes.
But I like what Thumper said before, how about fixing up the public transport network and make it cheaper and more efficient? Or is that too hard to tackle? I think the community will be behind you even if you have to make tough decisions.

Sorry if you think that Feng. I’m not angry at all. But occasionally someone will try to make out that I’m concealing my role as a current election candidate for the Greens. The reality that they are trying to slide past is that I’ve been contributing to RA for years, and have always been known by my actual name – unlike the people who choose to make such accusations from behind anonymous accounts.

And C__C’s accusation was especially silly given I had even mentioned my part of the Greens team in the very post that he chose to criticise.

On your suggestion about fixing public transport, I agree that there does need to be serious work done, and I and the Greens have been active campaigners for improvements to the bus service in the short term and implementation of light rail in the longer term.

Personally, I’ve been able to convince Roads staff to install new shelters and seats at various Gungahlin stops, make improvements to a number of routes, get new 200 stops, and for changes to the Territory Plan to require bus stop infrastructure to be installed when new suburbs are built, rather than after they are finished and everyone’s been “trained” to use their cars instead.

The Greens were successful in this last term at getting the express 200 service continued, and expanded to Belco and southern town centres, improved after hours services, and more.

And you can be sure that as a regular public transport user myself, if I was elected, public transport would be a dominating topic for me.

Finally, for those who’ve been saying real-time information systems should come first, this is already happening. The following is from ACTION’s website:

“The request for tender for the supply, installation and on-going maintenance of the system was released in December 2011. Installation of the system is expected to commence by mid-2012 with the system becoming fully operational by 2013.”
https://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/RTPIS.html

You bring it up again but didn’t answer my question before, al. Maybe you missed it. Il ask again though, what are your thoughts on your new bus shelters being imported from and installed by a new zealand company instead of a local one?

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