Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Recruiting experts in
Accountancy & Finance

Age a key factor in light rail support

By Charlotte Harper - 19 October 2015 31

Light rail

A majority of older Canberrans are anti-light rail but overall capital residents are for the Capital Metro according to new survey results.

Only 46% of over-65s are pro-light rail compared to 67% of 35-49-year-olds.

ACT Minister for Capital Metro Simon Corbell has released a summary of data from surveys undertaken by Piazza Research for the government showing the level of support for light rail overall has remained steady at 54-56% over the past 16 months.

The full report is online here.

Support for light rail increased to 67% when people knew it was part of a wider plan to connect the whole city with an integrated transport system, the Minister said.

“Light rail helps attract new people to public transport with 61% of respondents saying they were more likely to use public transport if it involved light rail,” he said.

The most recent survey showed 49% of people considered traffic congestion a problem now and 69% believed it would be in the future.

Sixty-three per cent (63%) of ACT residents agreed or strongly agreed that the Capital Metro development will provide a good economic stimulus to the Canberra economy. 

Statistics on the government’s motives for investing in light rail showed 43% believed the move was to upgrade or improve transport options. Twenty nine per cent (29%) thought it was to reduce or prevent traffic congestion, and 24% believed it was for political reasons.

“While there is a very vocal minority opposition to this project it is clear that the majority of Canberrans want investment in a modern, reliable public transport system that will provide for them both today and into the future,” Mr Corbell said.

Each of the Piazza Research surveys contained sample groups of at least 1190 people and were therefore accurate to within a +/- 2.8% margin of error, providing a 95% confidence interval for the results.

The government issued the research after The Canberra Times ran a report on a survey of its own this morning. The Canberra Times survey was based on a larger sample size of more than 7000, but rather than being random like those of Piazza Research, was self-selecting. Visitors to The Canberra Times website chose to participate rather than being randomly selected from the broader population which would include those who don’t access the Fairfax paper’s website generally or didn’t during that period, and perhaps more of those who don’t have strong views on the light rail either way. A self-selecting sample such as this can’t be generalized to the entire ACT population as a random sample could.

Inherent bias aside, the survey found support for the light rail line was at 49% with opposition to it at 47%. Some 4% were undecided.

The ACT Opposition spokesman on transport Alistair Coe pounced on the newspaper’s flawed survey results, saying they demonstrated most Canberrans didn’t support the light rail line between Gungahlin and the City.

“This is despite the ACT government spending $50 million to progress light rail, including a large amount of taxpayers’ money to promote light rail over the last year,” he said.

“The poll also shows that the majority of Canberrans [read: the majority of a self-selected group of Canberra Times website readers] would rather see investment in buses over light rail, with 52 percent of Canberrans [read: 50% of a self-selected group of Canberra Times website readers] believing that taxpayers’ money would be better spent on improving the bus network. This is compared to the 41 percent who support building light rail over investing in the bus network.

“The Canberra Liberals believe that investment in our bus network is the best way to improve public transport in Canberra. Buses provide a sensible low-cost option which will improve public transport services for all Canberrans.

“Investing in the bus network instead of light rail will also free up money to spend in other critical areas such as health and education.

“Overall, the results show that light rail is a divisive issue in Canberra. It is more confirmation that the ACT government should delay signing the contracts to build light rail until all Canberrans can have their say on the project at the October 2016 Election,” Mr Coe concluded.

 

 

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
31 Responses to
Age a key factor in light rail support
rosscoact 6:46 am 20 Oct 15

Kalliste said :

The poll was based on landline numbers? How many younger (24 – 35) Canberrans even have landline phones? I can say I am not one of them.

Also, as a younger person who lives in Gungahlin I also say no to light rail so it doesn’t necessarily mean they just polled people in Gungahlin, I also don’t know how they justify spending so much when, according to their own poll only 54 – 56% of the population actually want it.

If any party got 54-56% of the vote it would be a landslide victory.

Look, the Libs have said they will tear up the contract regardless of the cost. Labour and the Greens said they will proceed. Make up your mind based on that if that issue is the only one you’re concerned about. This endless rending of hair and gnashing of teeth on here is not doing your cause any good. Go out and do something about it if you want to convert enough people to the cause to do something about it.

This is why we vote.

rubaiyat 3:26 am 20 Oct 15

OpenYourMind said :

Do you support light rail, yes. Do you hate traffic congestion, yes. Do you realise a tram will add to the traffic congestion on Northbourne Ave….oh 🙁 Do you support light rail, yes. Do you realise our rates are already rising at an alarming rate and things will get worse with light rail, all at a time when this town’s many public servants are getting no pay rises…oh 🙁 Do you support light rail, yes. Will you use it, oh yes. Right, sure you will, like you use the buses now…oh 🙁

Do you support the tram (with cables) yes, do you want the tram to go to more of Canberra, of course. Do you realise those trams with overhead wires can’t do that….oh 🙁 Now….3.2.1. wait for the comment from Rubaiyat. If Rubaiyat got a $1 for every word he blogs blindly in support of the tram, he may well be able to fund the preposterous cost of the tram for us.

Do you hate traffic congestion, yes.

Do you realise more cars will add to the traffic congestion on Northbourne Ave? OH!!!! 🙁

Why are you opposing people getting off the road and using a clean alternative instead? DOH!

rubaiyat 2:47 am 20 Oct 15

Kalliste said :

The poll was based on landline numbers? How many younger (24 – 35) Canberrans even have landline phones? I can say I am not one of them.

Also, as a younger person who lives in Gungahlin I also say no to light rail so it doesn’t necessarily mean they just polled people in Gungahlin, I also don’t know how they justify spending so much when, according to their own poll only 54 – 56% of the population actually want it.

When you say “so much” you realise that that is spread over 30 years and that the population of the A.C.T. spends personally over 5 times that much on cars every year, which does not include what the government spends on top of that.

You don’t have to ride on it, doesn’t mean others won’t or shouldn’t.

My maths is not as sharp and up to date as it seems to be with many others here, but 54-56% is a majority I believe.

gooterz 10:41 pm 19 Oct 15

“Support for light rail increased to 67% when people knew it was part of a wider plan to connect the whole city with an integrated transport system, the Minister said.”

Wouldn’t people be more likely to say yes, at risk of not having it rolled out to their suburb?

Sounds like it could easily be: if light rail was rolled out would you like it to go to your suburb?
Or they might agree with having more public transport they may include light rail but not limited to it.

Which is a far cry from agreeing that should light rail start next year or at all.

Any idea where they got the phone numbers from? Did they get the list from Action buses?
There’s not much of a bias in a self selecting poll if each side has equal chance take part. And yet the light rail coalition has a centralised platform to advertise the poll to pro light rail proponents.

Would be far more robust to pick some streets at random and survey everyone in the houses on those streets.

Charlotte Harper 9:57 pm 19 Oct 15

So I raised this with Corbell’s office today and they told me Piazza Research contacted those in the random sample via mobile as well as landline. The polling was across Canberra, not just in Gungahlin.

Kalliste 9:32 pm 19 Oct 15

The poll was based on landline numbers? How many younger (24 – 35) Canberrans even have landline phones? I can say I am not one of them.

Also, as a younger person who lives in Gungahlin I also say no to light rail so it doesn’t necessarily mean they just polled people in Gungahlin, I also don’t know how they justify spending so much when, according to their own poll only 54 – 56% of the population actually want it.

miz 8:34 pm 19 Oct 15

Yes, those older people know a thing or two – many have probably worked in government departments or businesses themselves in the past and know a crock when they see one 😉

We all want better transport options – of course. But that does not mean we like the model they are forced to keep putting in front of us (for political reasons). It’s like going to a restaurant and being told the only thing on the menu is cold porridge. I for one am fed up.

OpenYourMind 7:32 pm 19 Oct 15

Do you support light rail, yes. Do you hate traffic congestion, yes. Do you realise a tram will add to the traffic congestion on Northbourne Ave….oh 🙁 Do you support light rail, yes. Do you realise our rates are already rising at an alarming rate and things will get worse with light rail, all at a time when this town’s many public servants are getting no pay rises…oh 🙁 Do you support light rail, yes. Will you use it, oh yes. Right, sure you will, like you use the buses now…oh 🙁 Do you support the tram (with cables) yes, do you want the tram to go to more of Canberra, of course. Do you realise those trams with overhead wires can’t do that….oh 🙁 Now….3.2.1. wait for the comment from Rubaiyat. If Rubaiyat got a $1 for every word he blogs blindly in support of the tram, he may well be able to fund the preposterous cost of the tram for us.

HiddenDragon 6:06 pm 19 Oct 15

The age question might also be a surrogate for “likely still to be in Canberra when the ACT Budget blows up” – it’s that much easier to support nice ideas if you think your career will have taken you elsewhere if/when things go wrong.

Maya123 2:33 pm 19 Oct 15

bj_ACT said :

I Don’t know if it is the same Poll as the one that rang me up. But their question for support of the light rail went something along the lines of.

“If you knew it meant long term benefits for Canberra, would you support light rail?”

Of course I had to answer yes to that, I am sure most fair minded Canberran’s want long term benefits to the City, it is just skipping the key point of whether money spent will equal return on investment for those who pay.

Anyway the way the question was worded struck me a little along the lines of “If you knew a horse was going to win a Melbourne Cup, would you bet on it?”

The poll I answered for the tram was not that unbalance example. The questions for the one I answered were fair and balanced.
I have had polls on different subjects that have tried to push the result. I tell the pollster that the question is not answerable as it is, and just keep saying it to the questions, if the future questions continue to push the answer. If the question is not a proper question, don’t let them have a result from you.

rubaiyat 2:29 pm 19 Oct 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Of course older people will not be in support of light rail, because as a mode of transport it doesn’t suit their needs. Most older people [over 65s] do not have the same mobility as younger, more active folks. Hence, a method of getting around which requires walking up to a kilometer to get to a pickup or drop off point by a connecting bus, then having to disembark and walk again to get onto the tram will be rejected for the convenience of a motor vehicle, which won’t use up all their limited energy just to get to their destination. I’m sure only those within a few hundred meters of the tram route would be in support whilst the rest make up the 54% opposed.
What is the point of this report anyway? All it proves is that people would support the light rail more if it becomes Canberra wide. The question asked of participants is like asking if people would like more ice-cream on their cone, without knowing the flavour, without knowing how much exactly there is and how much extra it will cost. Sure everyone will say yes, but if given the facts they may change their mind to a resounding “NO”.
There is nothing in the survey to illuminate us to the demographic of the respondents either, they could mostly be from Gunners, we just don’t know. Saying “a randomised sample of ACT residents” just doesn’t say professionalism in my book. Picking phone numbers at random doesn’t necessarily give you a broad spectrum of Canberra, when landline phones are probably more prevalent in older suburbs.
From the “summary of main findings” it appears 96% of respondents didn’t believe the tram was primarily to benefit the environment, but for other reasons. The green argument doesn’t carry much weight then, does it?
There already has been another poll showing different results since this one was completed, so it doesn’t hold much credibility.
Canthetram!

Yes I’ve noticed those older drivers, they do add to the flavour of the National Capital’s roads.

When the police finally catch on and take away their licences they’ll be able to get the full benefit of their years of unflagging opposition to Public Transport.

Charlotte Harper 1:35 pm 19 Oct 15

Hi, I’ve added in some details about the other poll you mention.
I suspect there are not many over-65s living in Gungahlin and therefore few set to benefit from the first stage of light rail, but I don’t know that for a fact. Does anyone else have age of residents stats on Gungahlin?
A random sample is more reflective of the population than a self-selecting but I take your point about landlines. I wonder whether they also dialled mobiles. I’ll ask them and get back to you.

wildturkeycanoe 1:07 pm 19 Oct 15

Of course older people will not be in support of light rail, because as a mode of transport it doesn’t suit their needs. Most older people [over 65s] do not have the same mobility as younger, more active folks. Hence, a method of getting around which requires walking up to a kilometer to get to a pickup or drop off point by a connecting bus, then having to disembark and walk again to get onto the tram will be rejected for the convenience of a motor vehicle, which won’t use up all their limited energy just to get to their destination. I’m sure only those within a few hundred meters of the tram route would be in support whilst the rest make up the 54% opposed.
What is the point of this report anyway? All it proves is that people would support the light rail more if it becomes Canberra wide. The question asked of participants is like asking if people would like more ice-cream on their cone, without knowing the flavour, without knowing how much exactly there is and how much extra it will cost. Sure everyone will say yes, but if given the facts they may change their mind to a resounding “NO”.
There is nothing in the survey to illuminate us to the demographic of the respondents either, they could mostly be from Gunners, we just don’t know. Saying “a randomised sample of ACT residents” just doesn’t say professionalism in my book. Picking phone numbers at random doesn’t necessarily give you a broad spectrum of Canberra, when landline phones are probably more prevalent in older suburbs.
From the “summary of main findings” it appears 96% of respondents didn’t believe the tram was primarily to benefit the environment, but for other reasons. The green argument doesn’t carry much weight then, does it?
There already has been another poll showing different results since this one was completed, so it doesn’t hold much credibility.
Canthetram!

rubaiyat 11:38 am 19 Oct 15

That is what is called Push Polling.

They are not getting your opinion they are sowing an idea in your head.

bj_ACT 10:43 am 19 Oct 15

I Don’t know if it is the same Poll as the one that rang me up. But their question for support of the light rail went something along the lines of.

“If you knew it meant long term benefits for Canberra, would you support light rail?”

Of course I had to answer yes to that, I am sure most fair minded Canberran’s want long term benefits to the City, it is just skipping the key point of whether money spent will equal return on investment for those who pay.

Anyway the way the question was worded struck me a little along the lines of “If you knew a horse was going to win a Melbourne Cup, would you bet on it?”

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site