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ACT Light Rail Coalition – reforms to refight the good fight.

By bonfire - 13 August 2007 23

I received this in an email today which could be of interest to those who care about the future of public transport in the ACT.

(stuff snipped)

A meeting to discuss reforming (the ACT LRC) as a group to explore options for a light rail network in the ACT region.

The initial meeting will be held at the

Dickson Tradies Club

(in the tram which is located in the dinning room). The meeting time is

5.30pm to 7pm Wednesday 22nd August


There are a number of matters that indicate that this might be a good time to try to get some focus on a light rail network. These include:

1) The Action\ Public transport enquiry, that is due on the 30th August.
2) Options re Federal Government funding for public transport/ environmental initiatives. Should there be a change of government.
3) Continuing media interest in light rail as a public transport option for the ACT region.

What’s Your opinion?

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23 Responses to
ACT Light Rail Coalition – reforms to refight the good fight.
Pandy 8:28 am 14 Aug 07

As long as you build it to Belconnen first, upgrade the buses and tell us what it will really cost.

Maelinar 8:22 am 14 Aug 07

Maelinar the Democrat will support light rail development, in kitset stages, which will spread the cost over several years.

Pandy 10:03 pm 13 Aug 07

The Government did the study years ago andf decided that the route to Belconne was best. It would link-up the student campii at UC and ANU to Civic. It would cater for 20,000 fans at Canberra Stadium. It would allow a Park and Ride at AIS. It would cater for the high density housing at Bruce.

Yes great idea, build heaps of units in the town centers so people can get off their fat asses and walk to work.

noodle 9:49 pm 13 Aug 07

I’ve never seen any serious discussion about where a light rail system would go. And how would this city pay for it, anyhow? Keeping ACTION buses on the road already costs taxpayers something like $65 million per year. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to get some more urban densities so people could walk to work?

Pandy 6:23 pm 13 Aug 07

Light rail 5 years ago was estimated to cost $800 million for a start. As with the cost blow-outs for GDE, those costs have probably sky=rocketed. Canberra just cannot afford $ 1 billion dollar projects without substantial Federal funding.

OK I know you will say again that the costs are based on heavy rail, but from what I have seen and what you will not accept that there is lots of recent Australian construction and unit purchase costs to show that the figures are valid.

If costs were so low, why did the Federal government reject the old-time tram line between the National Museum and the War Memorial that ws proposed some 5 years ago? Why don’t the developers of Tralee extend the line rail line and run a rail car to Civic-better than expect ACT residents to expect to upgrade Monaro Highway yes?

Also, you still will need a bus network to feed in to the rail network. We cannot even afford to run a decent bus network with clapped out buses. So what hope is there to run,let alone a bus network, replaced with Ero V diesel/LPG/NG/hybrid buses? Frankly, the local government should be seeking funds to replace the bus fleet.

Anyway, the light rail route if built should be first built to Belco (yeah!) because nothing has changed since it ws decided that the busway should be built to Belconnen.

BTW: You will need a change of local Government first.

Ralph 5:46 pm 13 Aug 07

Well if we’re going to trade something uneconomic (buses) for something completely uneconomic, lets go the whole hog and get an underground subway system.

jr 5:37 pm 13 Aug 07

Ralph what is with all the underground comments? – Elaborate?

Ralph 5:10 pm 13 Aug 07

Underground would be best.

bonfire 5:08 pm 13 Aug 07

its a volume issue.

buses are excellent in moving say 30-100 people.

but the volume of cars pouring out of say gungahlin and surrounds heading towards civic would indicate that mass transit in the form of lightrail would service this more effectively.

when teh voluem of passengers increases, you add another carriae. this doesnt require an extra driver.

personnel scheduling and costs are the major issues behind action route timetable problems.

while you may still require the same number of drivers for lightrail and schedules it would follow – increased volume is more easily catered to.

also physical tracks encourage higher density development and employers to build. they dont need to provide as many car spaces when proper pt infrastructure exists.

buses are very good for pt but they are not a good solution to the increased pt patronage the city is experiencing and this is only going to get worse.

lightrail has no downside except initial installation cost. bite that bullet and the benefits to this city would be great.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 4:58 pm 13 Aug 07

Why can’t the buses be made to go where the light rail would go? Is it a timing issue?

bonfire 4:53 pm 13 Aug 07

the ‘sustainable transport plan’ indicated that there would be more use of public transport if a light rail system existed. the govt chose not to go that route. the KBR report calculated light rail costs based on us heavy rail figures.

we keep extending the boundaries of urban density via new city centres (gungahlin, stromlo etc) and consider that a part of planning, yet installation of a suitable transport system is bizarrely the responsibility of some future govt.

the act labor govt has made it clear its a bus only supporter. light rail does require a change of govt.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 2:31 pm 13 Aug 07

Seems to me to be a classic case of trying to define the problem in terms of a preconceived solution. How about working out exactly what the public transport issues are (I mean doing real analysis not just capturing opinionated crapola), and coming up with a series of options that could be considered as solutions. If this was done for real we may have a way forward. At the moment I suspect we are in one of two possible situations:
1) We haven’t done the analysis; or
2) We have the analysis, and it says that we don’t have the population size or density needed to make public transport work effectively.

But defining a problem in terms of a solution? No, no, no.

Maelinar 2:30 pm 13 Aug 07

So the Feds are interesting in funding light rail only if there is a change of government ?

Call it what you will, I’ll call that discrimination with a hint of pork barrelling.

Ralph 1:17 pm 13 Aug 07

Put it underground.

Thumper 1:04 pm 13 Aug 07

the meeting held in a tram.

Gotta love that…

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