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Capital Metro Project Director meets the public

By Damien Haas - 14 November 2013 7

Emma Thomas, the new Project Director for Capital Metro, attended the Gungahlin Community Council meeting on Wednesday 12 November to talk to the public about the project. She handled her introduction to the community on such an important project very competently. She stood up and talked about what she saw as the benefits and challenges of Capital Metro – without a powerpoint display – just talked and then invited questions.

Most of the questions from the crowd of about 50 people (including a strong turnout by members of ACT Light Rail) were reasonable, there were a few light rail sceptics in the audience and she answered those as well as the questions from believers. One person (who was having their questions texted to them) asked the predictable ‘do we have enough density’ question (we do, especially along the Northbourne Flemington corridor). Some discussion about the challenges (such as the Flemington/Northbourne intersection) involved several people and I’m sure that the duo of communications staff that accompanied Ms Thomas captured those comments for later study.

I especially appreciated her mention of how buses and light rail are used differently by passengers. Bus passengers tend to ride from end to end and not get off along the way, whereas light rail passengers hop on and off and visit multiple places on their journey. Several mentions of Dickson and a transport hub there, were also made. This is not by accident.

It is clear that the project team is still considering several options such as the placement of the Gungahlin terminus, and also taking into account future expansion (including from the town centre) of the network.

She also assured one person that reading a book on light rail was far easier than on a bus!

After the Capital Metro team left, and much later in the meeting, the GCC were discussing how they had setup a stall in the Town Centre and were surprised how many people they spoke to weren’t Gungahlin residents, but visited to shop. I think that when Capital Metro starts operations, Gungahlin will benefit from more people from Dickson and along Northbourne visiting the Town Centre.

I was impressed at the way Ms Thomas introduced herself to the Canberra public. It is vital that this project be delivered properly by the ACT Government. They do have form in poor project delivery. Capital Metro so far, seems to be the exception. The senior staff that have been recruited to date (Glenn Bain and Emma Thomas) have track records of success, and have been managing their interactions with the public very competently. This bodes well for Canberra.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Visit the ACT Light Rail facebook page and website for more frequent updates and discussion on light rail in Canberra.

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7 Responses to
Capital Metro Project Director meets the public
La_Tour_Maubourg 11:58 am 15 Nov 13

Still think the tram is an excellent opportunity to liven up City Walk should the terminus be somewhere near the Casino. The rails could go left down Alinga St and have a stop by Garema Place, Canberra Centre and Allara St with further opportunity for expansion to Airport, Parliament House & Manuka

davo101 11:17 am 15 Nov 13

damien haas said :

Except that it isn’t.

Population in Gungahlin is expected to double. Redevelopment along Northbourne is a priority of the ACT Government and the LDA.

Which part of:

Light Rail Transit with business as usual land use:1.0

do you not understand?

damien haas 11:10 am 15 Nov 13

davo101 said :

One person (who was having their questions texted to them) asked the predictable ‘do we have enough density’ question (we do, especially along the Northbourne Flemington corridor).

Err, no we don’t. How do I know? This is what the ACT Government told Infrastructure Australia. Don’t believe me? It’s here at the top of p.4 in black and white.

Except that it isn’t.

Population in Gungahlin is expected to double. Redevelopment along Northbourne is a priority of the ACT Government and the LDA.

maxblues 9:21 am 15 Nov 13

Tim33 said :

Bring it on all ready! The sooner we replace some of those wasteful green and orange bus monstrosities with light rail the better. It could really work so well, heck I may consider driving less once and if we get LR.

Bring it on all ready! The sooner we cut down all those green trees in the middle of Northbourne Ave that are just sitting there absorbing carbon the better.

davo101 8:35 am 15 Nov 13

One person (who was having their questions texted to them) asked the predictable ‘do we have enough density’ question (we do, especially along the Northbourne Flemington corridor).

Err, no we don’t. How do I know? This is what the ACT Government told Infrastructure Australia. Don’t believe me? It’s here at the top of p.4 in black and white.

Tim33 10:55 pm 14 Nov 13

Bring it on all ready! The sooner we replace some of those wasteful green and orange bus monstrosities with light rail the better. It could really work so well, heck I may consider driving less once and if we get LR.

gooterz 9:18 pm 14 Nov 13

I’m surprised non residents know how to get to Gungahlin.

At least light rail between woden and city would be used both ways. Rather than just one way and the the other 9 hours later.

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