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Capital Metro can repeat the Gold Coast’s light rail success

By Damien Haas 16 June 2015 82

light rail artist impression

Higher than expected light rail patronage, overall growth in all public transport patronage and decreased road traffic…. how did the Gold Coast achieve this?

Page eight of the latest ARA Newsletter offers some insight:

Australasia’s newest Light Rail project on the Gold Coast recorded its 5 millionth passenger in April, reaching Year 2 patronage figures in its first 9 months of operation.

Redesign of the region’s bus network linking to light rail and heavy rail
helped drive 22.6 percent growth in Gold Coast public transport patronage.

Traffic volumes on the Gold Coast Highway fell 5 percent since introduction of light rail in July 2014. Pressure is growing for approval to proceed with Stage 2 that connects with heavy rail at Helensvale station.


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Capital Metro can repeat the Gold Coast’s light rail success
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rubaiyat 8:03 am 14 Sep 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

“we travel further in our cars than residents of any other major city in Australia” What BS! The A.C.T from top to bottom is only 30km long. Sydney is 40 to 45km from end to end whilst you could drive 100km in Melbourne from one end before getting into the outer suburbs on the other side. Do they think we are a little unintelligent?

Not true. Canberra is over 40kms from Amaroo to Banks and 30 km from Flynn to Fyshwick (ignoring another 12 to 15 km to the outlying suburbs of Queanbeyan.

All for a population that would barely make up one municipality in Sydney or Melbourne, both cities which sensibly have built Public Transport networks despite the machinations of the car lobbies.

I wouldn’t test the lower range possibilities for “intelligence”, you may not like the answers, as you haven’t any of the countless easily researched rebutals here.

wildturkeycanoe 9:15 pm 30 Jul 15

dungfungus said :

Latest light rail propaganda brochure.
http://www.capitalmetro.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/610244/Capital-Metro-Brochure-Design-Overview.pdf
The “day in the life of Capital Metro” is an insult to Canberrans’ intelligence.

First point “Canberra has a vision”. A vision to be the most highly taxed state [territory] in the country? “Canberra needs to keep growing as a smart and sustainable city” – Light rail is neither smart or sustainable for our economy, which is already in deep doo-doo.
“we travel further in our cars than residents of any other major city in Australia” What BS! The A.C.T from top to bottom is only 30km long. Sydney is 40 to 45km from end to end whilst you could drive 100km in Melbourne from one end before getting into the outer suburbs on the other side. Do they think we are a little unintelligent?
As for the “A day in the life of Capital Metro” graph….OMG. They have planned out our lives for us and it all revolves around being on a tram. The highly praised wi-fi services are useless as we can all get almost unlimited data on the phone networks already. They have us buying coffee on the way to work, why can’t we have it at home whilst having breakfast? Why does lunch time have to be an activity with friends across town and include shopping? Get back to work and stop wasting productive time. 30 minutes is enough to eat and drink, then back to whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. I could go on but it isn’t worth any more effort….what a complete joke this whole thing is.

aussie2 3:44 pm 30 Jul 15

Generating support for light rail network across Canberra. Let’s not get ahead of us folks. Mr Corbell would have us believe that the government has a mandate for light rail. In Tuggeranong, new housing in Southquay is being built but they will not commence spending until something like 75% of properties have deposits on them.

Canberrans are over public transport-27 years of subsidising ACTION, this past year in the order of $140m, suggests we need to take a leaf out of Commercial Business Handbook 101-no nebulous unmeasurable comments, we need hard cash on the line.

Therefore, I suggest, given Messrs Barr, Corbell, Rattenbury and Gentleman the Canberra public are so enamoured with the project, that they should establish a “Light Rail Bond”. We the public can show our support, put our money where our mouth is by investing in “the Bond”. After all, we will not pay for it for the next three years, so here’s an opportunity to squirrel away some monies and get a good return on the investment in the interim.

When asked if they would be prepared to run a petition or referendum on the subject, the government told us that they may agree provided 150 000 out of 220 000 voters signed on the dotted line. This seems a great figure! Offer the Bond to the public, seek a regular deposits into the fund, and provided 150 000 voters contribute regularly-the contract gets signed!

Failure to get the required number of voters to commit, will give the government the ability to cease the project, divert the Capital Metro staff into something likely to be more productive-engage with car commuters into a view to fix ACTION and commit to using public transport. Everybody wins, the government comes out of it smelling of roses, the public are satisfied. and a dollar white elephant (a light rail network across Canberra).

Either that, or run a Referendum before contract signature! So far Messrs Barr, Corbell, Rattenbury and Gentleman have given a flat No to a Referendum, so a Light Rail Bond seems the only other way to go! Or we face a possible cancellation of a $24Billion resident rate killing contract in 2016. the future is here now! Decide!

Russ Morison
Chair, Canberra Public Transport Alliance
dabblers2@hotmail.com

dungfungus 6:56 pm 19 Jul 15

Latest light rail propaganda brochure.
http://www.capitalmetro.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/610244/Capital-Metro-Brochure-Design-Overview.pdf
The “day in the life of Capital Metro” is an insult to Canberrans’ intelligence.

rubaiyat 4:11 pm 23 Jun 15

justin heywood said :

You don’t spend all your money on one fabulous room that is so expensive you can’t afford to do anything else for a decade or two.

Like the $288 million Majura Parkway that duplicates an existing road that you can practically lean out of the car window to spit on?

Did a great job of burying and cutting off perfectly good farmland however, and should do a great job of eliminating the remaining wildlife that succeeds in crossing Majura Road.

JC 12:52 pm 23 Jun 15

dungfungus said :

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

Only the users (occupiers) of the house will use it and they alone will be paying for it. If they default on the loan the rest of Canberra don’t have to underwrite the loss.
What you say is an investment is actually a contingent liability around the neck of all Canberra ratepayers but less than 20% will have a practical use for the light rail.
I have seen better analogies from you, JC.

Though those users as they live in new suburbs are already paying a disproportionate amount of revenue to the act through stamp duty, especially appartments where land and build contracts cannot be split. So in many ways the occupiers are paying for it.

dungfungus 10:00 am 23 Jun 15

JC said :

gooterz said :

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

Assuming 5% returns expected a year on the investment. We would pay back double after 20 years.
However if we held off building it for 20 years and invested the money at 5% we could just pay for it outright and be 1.6 billion better off.

In 20 years everyone will have FTTP. 50% of Canberra will work from home. Hard to see where we’ll get our money from. No more car parking/ parking fines etc.

Assuming that in 20 years the cost would be as it is today, which it won’t be. So not very valid, besides the use is needed now not in 20 years time.

If, as you say, the need for light rail is now, you can only be referring to the need to move passengers so the claimed added benefits of residential densification are academic.
It should be noted that without the future benefits of residential development along the route the project will be even a bigger failure.
The lack of risk management is appalling.

JC 6:57 am 23 Jun 15

gooterz said :

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

Assuming 5% returns expected a year on the investment. We would pay back double after 20 years.
However if we held off building it for 20 years and invested the money at 5% we could just pay for it outright and be 1.6 billion better off.

In 20 years everyone will have FTTP. 50% of Canberra will work from home. Hard to see where we’ll get our money from. No more car parking/ parking fines etc.

Assuming that in 20 years the cost would be as it is today, which it won’t be. So not very valid, besides the use is needed now not in 20 years time.

gooterz 12:03 am 23 Jun 15

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

Assuming 5% returns expected a year on the investment. We would pay back double after 20 years.
However if we held off building it for 20 years and invested the money at 5% we could just pay for it outright and be 1.6 billion better off.

In 20 years everyone will have FTTP. 50% of Canberra will work from home. Hard to see where we’ll get our money from. No more car parking/ parking fines etc.

dungfungus 10:25 pm 22 Jun 15

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

Only the users (occupiers) of the house will use it and they alone will be paying for it. If they default on the loan the rest of Canberra don’t have to underwrite the loss.
What you say is an investment is actually a contingent liability around the neck of all Canberra ratepayers but less than 20% will have a practical use for the light rail.
I have seen better analogies from you, JC.

rommeldog56 9:33 pm 22 Jun 15

Some quotes fvrom the ACT Gov’ts 1600pg draft environmemntal impact statement on the Light Rail project published by the Canberra Times :

1) “its own analysis finds more cars, increased travel times and longer delays on the drive home from work.”

2) “Traffic signals will give priority to trams along the corridor from Gungahlin to the city, with traffic lights programmed to detect the approach of a tram and change to allow it through.”

3) “The new documents also reveal the planned closure of the London Circuit carpark opposite the Melbourne Building during the four-year construction, when it will be taken over as a construction compound, with the loss of 250 carparks.”

4) My personal fav. “Trams will run every six minutes during the morning and afternoon peaks, with the full journey taking 25 minutes – the same at peak and off-peak times. At the moment buses travel every three minutes at peak times, taking 28 minutes in the morning and 26 minutes in the afternoon.”

5) “The analysis anticipates many more vehicles in the corridor in 2021 as a result of the tram, which brings more apartments and businesses and results in worse delays than if the tram wasn’t built.”

6) “The average morning delay without the tram is pegged at 163 seconds in 2021; with the tram it will be 176 seconds. The average afternoon delay without the tram in 2021 is estimated at 126 seconds; with the tram, 203 seconds.”

7) “Tram replaces trunk and express bus routes on Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway and Flemington Road.”

And the list goes on. Of course, the Chief Minister says that the EIS is to identify these issues. So, perhaps it would have been a good idea to do this before going to tender ?

rommeldog56 6:38 pm 22 Jun 15

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

The question asked in post #7 was “Q2. How much is too much? At what point (if any) would ACT Light Rail concede that the cost of the current route outweighs the possible benefits?”

The answer from Mr Haas on post #34 was “A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

The answer (A2) in post #34 was not an answer to the original question at all.

Nor is your comment.

justin heywood 6:15 pm 22 Jun 15

JC said :

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

The ‘home loan’ analogy doesn’t stand up;

It’s not a house. We already live beyond our means. We (as a community) have no ‘income’ not already accounted for, and nobody pretends this will make any money. A bank would laugh at us.
You don’t buy a house for about 4% of your family
You don’t spend all your money on one fabulous room that is so expensive you can’t afford to do anything else for a decade or two.

As an aside JC, I know that one of the proposed benefits of the tram will be increased infill down Northbourne, which would be great for this city.
But surely a light rail to Gunghalin is not the best or only way to achieve this.

MERC600 6:11 pm 22 Jun 15

damien haas said :

justin heywood said :

Q1. What does ACT Light Rail consider the likely eventual cost of the current route?

Q2. How much is too much? At what cost point (if any) would ACT Light Rail concede that the cost of the current route outweighs the possible benefits?

A1 – The bidders are working on their submissions so that question will be answered shortly.
A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Regarding the PPP. Govy contracts used to be worded where the contractor could put in a variation to the contract if they found things that were not outlined in the speccy. Like rock or underground water, or a big blue in the speccy itself.
It used to be commonly referred to as a open ended contract, and there are some very wealthy people in Canberra who spent a good deal of time varying contracts when building some of our suburbs; all kosher, and well within their rights as they had to do the extra work they came across to complete the contract.

I just wonder who will pick up the bill for the extra work along this train track when they come across some of the unknown infrastructure hidden under the route. No one is real sure what even lays under the few K’s of Northbourne Avenue.

JC 5:54 pm 22 Jun 15

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

damien haas said :

dungfungus said :

To have a solution one must first have a problem.
A bit of road congestion at peak times isn’t a problem and regarding car parks, well, we used to have plenty of them but apparently our Labor government deemed them unnecessary so we have to live with that.

Road congestion extends outside the peaks. Weekend road congestion is occurring in town centres and on major roads.

As you are in so many things, you are wrong about carparking. There is more carparking in Canberra now than there has ever been before.

There is also a project underway to look at using technology to enhance carparking availability under the ACT Governments ‘Smart parking’ program.

Placing price signals on all forms of transport is the fairest way to approach the problem. Providing better transport options is the right way to encourage a shift to to a more livable city.

“As you are in so many things, you are wrong about carparking. There is more carparking in Canberra now than there has ever been before.

There is also a project underway to look at using technology to enhance carparking availability under the ACT Governments ‘Smart parking’ program.”

The aforementioned claims appear to be contradictory. If parking is “better than ever”, why do we need to waste more money on enhancing it?

What happened to all that carparking that used to be in Marcus Clarke Street?

Now the carpark adjacent to the Magistrates’s Court is to go for a least 4 years in the name of Capital Metro. An alternative will be parking under un-named buildings in Marcus Clarke Street.

Don’t think we will ever see that back as it was earmarked for sale anyway, light rail or no light rail.

JC 4:24 pm 22 Jun 15

rommeldog56 said :

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

You mean how like most people go to a bank and borrow money to build or buy a house and then over a 25 and more increasingly over 30 years pay that money back at considerable oncost?

If so don’t really see the issue, spreading the lightrail cost over 20 years would therefor make it affordable and a reasonable investment for he future.

dungfungus 4:22 pm 22 Jun 15

dungfungus said :

damien haas said :

dungfungus said :

To have a solution one must first have a problem.
A bit of road congestion at peak times isn’t a problem and regarding car parks, well, we used to have plenty of them but apparently our Labor government deemed them unnecessary so we have to live with that.

Road congestion extends outside the peaks. Weekend road congestion is occurring in town centres and on major roads.

As you are in so many things, you are wrong about carparking. There is more carparking in Canberra now than there has ever been before.

There is also a project underway to look at using technology to enhance carparking availability under the ACT Governments ‘Smart parking’ program.

Placing price signals on all forms of transport is the fairest way to approach the problem. Providing better transport options is the right way to encourage a shift to to a more livable city.

“As you are in so many things, you are wrong about carparking. There is more carparking in Canberra now than there has ever been before.

There is also a project underway to look at using technology to enhance carparking availability under the ACT Governments ‘Smart parking’ program.”

The aforementioned claims appear to be contradictory. If parking is “better than ever”, why do we need to waste more money on enhancing it?

What happened to all that carparking that used to be in Marcus Clarke Street?

Now the carpark adjacent to the Magistrates’s Court is to go for a least 4 years in the name of Capital Metro. An alternative will be parking under un-named buildings in Marcus Clarke Street.

rommeldog56 3:24 pm 22 Jun 15

damien haas said :

A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

Ummm….true. Contractors do bear the cost. Surprisingly, Ratepayers have to repay that + a considerably oncost. Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand the structure of a PPP ?

dungfungus 2:20 pm 22 Jun 15

gooterz said :

damien haas said :

justin heywood said :

Q1. What does ACT Light Rail consider the likely eventual cost of the current route?

Q2. How much is too much? At what cost point (if any) would ACT Light Rail concede that the cost of the current route outweighs the possible benefits?

A1 – The bidders are working on their submissions so that question will be answered shortly.
A2 – You don’t understand the structure of the PPP, the constructor bears the cost of *construction*.

No one is blind to the fact that infrastructure is expensive. Its an investment in our future.

A2 why doesn’t government get these magic PPP’s to pay for everything. Apparently they never have to be repaid.

If the PPP is going to cover the costs why not get Mag lev for all of Canberra. Why isn’t PPP used to fund the bullet train.

So really thru act rate payer/commuter will pay for the full cost of light rail. However if PPP they will also have to pay the pockets of whoever decides to fund it too and then some?

Would you concede that?

The P in PPP that stands for private means the proposal is looked at commercially so a price on anticipated capitalised return can be determined and offered.
Recent history of failed transport PPP’s in Australia reveal the actual usage was about 50% less than what was projected.
The Capital Metro project is undergoing financial scutiny by the shortlisted consortiums at this time.
Don’t be surprised if they walk away from it.
I would be horrrified if some of my superannation ended up funding this folly.
Remember the industry superannuation funds that were badly burned in the Transact debacle?

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