16 May 2014

Capital Metro

| Mark Parton MLA
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light-rail

The closer we get to the magical fairytale of light rail in Canberra, the more it appears that the accounting on this big ticket item has come from the Brothers Grimm.

At the start of this week, Treasurer Andrew Barr was up in arms because of the story that the Canberra Times had run suggesting there would be a city wide levy on rates to pay for toy train line.

He told me that was just incorrect.

“Ok Minister, so you can categorically rule out a city wide levy ?”
“Oh no,” said Mr Barr, “I’m not in the business of ruling things in and ruling things out at this stage.”
“So was the Canberra Times correct in their suggestion ?”
“No they were wrong.”
“So you can rule it out ?”
“No I can’t”

It became an endless conversation and it left my listeners believing that there was as fair chance they would be subject to a city wide levy.

I spoke to the Chief Minister, the morning after the Federal Budget and she wasn’t much clearer.

I put it to her that government “didn’t seem to have any idea how we were going to find the money for this project.”

She explained to me that, it’s not like that I have no idea, it’s just that they have lots of ideas and they haven’t decided which one to go with yet.

And NOTHING is being ruled in or out.

I’m not diametrically opposed to light rail in Canberra. I think if we could wave a magic wand and create a line between Gungahlin and Civic tomorrow it would be wonderful for our city. But we can’t.

Is there anyone reading this who believes the project will be delivered on time and on budget?
Yes Capital Metro has the potential to genuinely propel our city into the 21st century, but at what cost?

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milkman said :

rommeldog56 said :

jgsma said :

Can hardly wait to have trams that will be able to shave three minutes off the journey from Gungahlin to Civic according to a report in The Canberra Times, p1, June 26, 2014. People of Gungahlin must be very excited.

Oh bother! I forgot that I won’t be using it, just paying for it.

If that is so, then its even more scandalous.

Apart from at the ballot box, I would love to see a system of penalties at the Ministerial level for the failure of such projects (and rewards, where such projects actually work !).

There is just an overwhelming absence of logic and common sense being shown by the ACT Gov’t on the Light Rail proposal. It’s become an obsession – not an example of good Government or responsible fiscal/economic management.

If it weren’t for a Greens balance of power, would we really be pushing forward with this?

As I recall, and I’m sure I’ll be corrected on this, ACT Labor did a backflip on the Light Rail in the run up to the last ACT election.

Maybe they saw the writing on the wall about a potentially hung assembly and it was all about “positioning” post election.

If so, it was a great piece of foresight and politicking by ACT Labor. The Greens got them into power and were duly rewarded. But the residents and Ratepayers of Canberra will go on paying for it.

Who said power corrupts ?

rommeldog56 said :

jgsma said :

Can hardly wait to have trams that will be able to shave three minutes off the journey from Gungahlin to Civic according to a report in The Canberra Times, p1, June 26, 2014. People of Gungahlin must be very excited.

Oh bother! I forgot that I won’t be using it, just paying for it.

If that is so, then its even more scandalous.

Apart from at the ballot box, I would love to see a system of penalties at the Ministerial level for the failure of such projects (and rewards, where such projects actually work !).

There is just an overwhelming absence of logic and common sense being shown by the ACT Gov’t on the Light Rail proposal. It’s become an obsession – not an example of good Government or responsible fiscal/economic management.

If it weren’t for a Greens balance of power, would we really be pushing forward with this?

jgsma said :

Can hardly wait to have trams that will be able to shave three minutes off the journey from Gungahlin to Civic according to a report in The Canberra Times, p1, June 26, 2014. People of Gungahlin must be very excited.

Oh bother! I forgot that I won’t be using it, just paying for it.

If that is so, then its even more scandalous.

Apart from at the ballot box, I would love to see a system of penalties at the Ministerial level for the failure of such projects (and rewards, where such projects actually work !).

There is just an overwhelming absence of logic and common sense being shown by the ACT Gov’t on the Light Rail proposal. It’s become an obsession – not an example of good Government or responsible fiscal/economic management.

Can hardly wait to have trams that will be able to shave three minutes off the journey from Gungahlin to Civic according to a report in The Canberra Times, p1, June 26, 2014. People of Gungahlin must be very excited.

Oh bother! I forgot that I won’t be using it, just paying for it.

Looking more like $3,000 for every man, woman and child in Canberra. Ask the good burghers of Tuggeranong whether they’d like to pay $12,000 for the average family, for a light rail in the inner north!

The rail network will be 10-30 times bigger. Does every family want to shell out $120,000-$360,000 for light rail for all of Canberra?

Why should we pay for the inner north when we definitely can’t afford it for everyone?

If the average house prices rise by $360,000 how many people will be able to afford to live in Canberra?

In years to come – and I predict medium term – young single income families, most self funded retirees, people who rent, singles, low-medium income earners, the disabled, etc, simply will not be able to afford to live in Canberra – especially when Annual Rates exceed $5K and start pushing $8K pa. Admittedly, that is some years away yet – but what sort of home ownership future have we “voted” our children into ? Even if the kids inherit the house, will they be able to afford the Annual Rates and the other absurdly high ACT Government charges. Yes, Yes, I know, I know. They should sell the place and buy something smaller. A shoebox perhaps ? Maybe we should force them to do that rather than utilise passive means like 10% avg. Annual Rate increases forcing them out of the home ownership market and interstate.

Even the Annual Rates on townhouses/units will be increasing proportionally.

As a self funded retiree, I will have no choice but to sell up in Canberra and move interstate within 5 years. About then, my Annual Rates will be about $2,700pa. I have worked hard all my life to be self funded in retirement. The worst mistake I have made in my life was to buy a place in Canberra and pay the ACT Govt $21K in stamp duty 3 years ago. If I had of know about the 10% avg. Annual Rates increases over 20 years in the ACT, I certainly would have purchased across the border. Pensions and most peoples wages, certainly do not increase on avg. 10% pa. So, less to spend dampend down demand and economic growth too.

If there is a diminishing workforce here, why would industry move here ? What happens to job creation when workers will need far, far more $ in wages here just to pay Annual Rates and cover loss making infrastructure like the toy train set ??? Obviously, job creation and economic expansion will suffer. So much for broadening the economic base of the ACT. Just keep your eye on the short term Katy Gallagher – well done ! Goose.

Masquara said :

rommeldog56 said :

If a “smother ride” is an incentive, maybe with some of the $ saved by scrapping the toy train set, we could get some half decent road resurfacing in this place – hot mix, rather than boulders with tar sprayed over them – would be a good idea perhaps.

Heard Katy Gallagher on Mark Parton’s talkback radio show early Friday morning.

Amongst other clangers/admissions, she said that the M$614 estimate for the toy train set / tram was a 2011 estimate but is today, still being touted by the ACT Government.

Like, they are even too arrogant and concept driven to increase it at least by the CPI each year !

Says it all really.
. The fiu

Looking more like $3,000 for every man, woman and child in Canberra. Ask the good burghers of Tuggeranong whether they’d like to pay $12,000 for the average family, for a light rail in the inner north!

The rail network will be 10-30 times bigger. Does every family want to shell out $120,000-$360,000 for light rail for all of Canberra?

Why should we pay for the inner north when we definitely can’t afford it for everyone?

If the average house prices rise by $360,000 how many people will be able to afford to live in Canberra?

davo101 said :

damien haas said :

To answer Mark Partons original question, the Treasurer has ruled out a levy.

http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Seriously? How stupid does Mr Barr think we are? So it’ll be called a fee, charge, rate, or tax but not a levy. Doesn’t matter what it’s called we’re still going to have to pay it.

They wouldn’t have to do that even. They could simply alter the methodology for valuing land and instruct their valuer or legislate accordingly.

rommeldog56 said :

If a “smother ride” is an incentive, maybe with some of the $ saved by scrapping the toy train set, we could get some half decent road resurfacing in this place – hot mix, rather than boulders with tar sprayed over them – would be a good idea perhaps.

Heard Katy Gallagher on Mark Parton’s talkback radio show early Friday morning.

Amongst other clangers/admissions, she said that the M$614 estimate for the toy train set / tram was a 2011 estimate but is today, still being touted by the ACT Government.

Like, they are even too arrogant and concept driven to increase it at least by the CPI each year !

Says it all really.
. The fiu

Looking more like $3,000 for every man, woman and child in Canberra. Ask the good burghers of Tuggeranong whether they’d like to pay $12,000 for the average family, for a light rail in the inner north!

davo101 said :

damien haas said :

To answer Mark Partons original question, the Treasurer has ruled out a levy.

http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Seriously? How stupid does Mr Barr think we are? So it’ll be called a fee, charge, rate, or tax but not a levy. Doesn’t matter what it’s called we’re still going to have to pay it.

Oh, come on Damian ! Surely no one believes what a politician says nowdays – local or federal. Of course they can rule out a “levy” – they will just continue to increase Annual Rates and all other Government charges to pay for this folly. I hope ACT residents get the chance to vote on this issue before any more $ are wasted on it. I can just see it now “Introducing the Minister for the Toy Train Set……..” .

If a “smother ride” is an incentive, maybe with some of the $ saved by scrapping the toy train set, we could get some half decent road resurfacing in this place – hot mix, rather than boulders with tar sprayed over them – would be a good idea perhaps.

Heard Katy Gallagher on Mark Parton’s talkback radio show early Friday morning. Amongst other clangers/admissions, she said that the M$614 estimate for the toy train set / tram was a 2011 estimate but is today, still being touted by the ACT Government. Like, they are even too arrogant and concept driven to increase it at least by the CPI each year ! Says it all really.
. The fiu

The benefits, as described by the proponents of light rail, are frankly made up. There are no numbers that support the idea, no hard facts at all.

Build the busway if you must, but please don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that light rail is a compelling, positive idea.

Innovation said :

As I understand it:
– the benefits of light rail are: smoother ride, reduces road damage caused by heavy buses, possible tourism value from attraction of light rail, ability to carry bulky items such as bicycles on board; possible improved safety
– the benefits of buses are: lower infrastructure costs, allows future route changes if needed, allows bus infrastructure to be more fully utilised (ie assets are used before obsolescence).

.

You’re wrong about buses causing road damage. They aren’t that heavy. It’s trucks transporting goods that cause damage to roads.

Not sure that “smoother ride” warrants a few thousand dollars per head of the ACT population to achieve.

Doubt whether tourists will be excited about taking light rail from Civic to Gungahlin – and they won’t be staying in Gungahlin – oh, wait a seccy – isn’t there a hotel somewhere in Gungahlin? Well, those tourists would probably be quite happy to catch a bus.

“Ability to carry heavy items such as cycles on board” – um, besides cyclists boarding the cycles, who will be carting heavy items on board light rail? Everyone else will be on foot before they board! Not sure that “transporting cyclists” will be much of a sell to ACT ratepayers as an argument for footing this massive (pre-blowout calculations) bill.

Any other benefits you can quote there?

damien haas said :

To answer Mark Partons original question, the Treasurer has ruled out a levy.

http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Seriously? How stupid does Mr Barr think we are? So it’ll be called a fee, charge, rate, or tax but not a levy. Doesn’t matter what it’s called we’re still going to have to pay it.

Damien (or anyone else pro light rail)… I’ve always been a fence sitter re rail vs bus but I have been puzzled why the pro rail arguments are not made more clearly.

As I understand it:
– the benefits of light rail are: smoother ride, reduces road damage caused by heavy buses, possible tourism value from attraction of light rail, ability to carry bulky items such as bicycles on board; possible improved safety
– the benefits of buses are: lower infrastructure costs, allows future route changes if needed, allows bus infrastructure to be more fully utilised (ie assets are used before obsolescence).

Debatable benefits include energy efficiency (eg if gas or battery powered buses are used vs coal fired electricity for rail), faster (this would appear to be more of a question of road/intersection design), quieter (presumably gas or battery buses would be similarly quiet), faster loading and offloading (if bus stations were designed better multi articulated buses could use all doors also), passenger numbers (eg around 220 vs 200 for multi articulated buses doesn’t seem like a substantial difference).

On balance light rail would be great but the cost seems too large and the risk of the service being underutilised too great. I suspect too many people have a romanticised idea of how light rail will solve everything when their problem is current bus routes, regularity of services, buses incapable of carrying large passenger numbers, road and intersection design and employment conditions for drivers.

I covered off in a previous post on this thread how some simple road rule and sign changes along Northbourne and possible redesign of about three intersections would probably solve the greatest problems getting to and from Civic in the North (even if light rail is built something is going to have to be done about all of the intersections en route). A handful of multi articulated buses and, if employment conditions can’t be tightened, outsourcing the Gungahlin to Civic direct bus route would be a far cheaper experiment than rushing into light rail.

The Government’s idea to dramatically increase infrastructure along corridors is great and should be done no matter what. However, I don’t think that they have done enough to test other ideas yet before rushing into light rail.

To answer Mark Partons original question, the Treasurer has ruled out a levy.

http://www.actlightrail.info/2014/06/treasurer-rules-out-levy-to-pay-for.html

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

rommeldog56 said :

Well, I suppose its all been said already – then the ACT Government does it again ! The ACT Government has been proudly trumpeting a new express bus service from Gunners to Civic. 20 Minutes i heard. So, tell me again why we need a toy train set ………….?

It’s visionary and European. What other reasons do you need because there aren’t any.

Well, I suppose its all been said already – then the ACT Government does it again ! The ACT Government has been proudly trumpeting a new express bus service from Gunners to Civic. 20 Minutes i heard. So, tell me again why we need a toy train set ………….?

wildturkeycanoe8:29 am 03 Jun 14

Pandy said :

rosscoact said :

rommeldog56 said :

Well, I’m not “against” light rail/tram.

Why don’t we read the various reports that come out, assess that information against other research, then reconvene in a week or two?

Why don’t we ask the people of Canberra this?

“Would you support:

A) Your rates going up 5Y to pay for a Gungahlin light rail that will cost 4X along a route that will take 30 years to get to the same sort of population densities as equivalent European cities have?; or
B) Your rates join up Y to pay for a equivalent bus rapid transit system that will cost X to build as long as one lane of Northbourne Avenue in each direction is reserved as a bus lane?”

Insert POLL here.

Pandy said :

rosscoact said :

rommeldog56 said :

Well, I’m not “against” light rail/tram.

Why don’t we read the various reports that come out, assess that information against other research, then reconvene in a week or two?

Why don’t we ask the people of Canberra this?

“Would you support:

A) Your rates going up 5Y to pay for a Gungahlin light rail that will cost 4X along a route that will take 30 years to get to the same sort of population densities as equivalent European cities have?; or
B) Your rates join up Y to pay for a equivalent bus rapid transit system that will cost X to build as long as one lane of Northbourne Avenue in each direction is reserved as a bus lane?”

Geeezzz……Pandy, why would they do that. It’s far, far too logical, common sense, straight forward and not ideologically driven. Problem is they haven’t a clue what the capital cost/running cost deficit per annum will be so they can not provide the figures. It’s like writing a blank cheque that all ACT Ratepayers will have to meet isn’t it ! It’s farcical.

To date, even the private sector don’t seem to smell a decent ROI – they haven’t exactly been knocking down the doors to jump into bed with the ACT Gov’t as a “public/private partnership” have they !

This is such a big issue now – especially since more detail has been released since the last ACT election – that the ACT Government should go back to the people for a vote on it before they go any further.

Will be interesting to see tomorrows ACT budget after the alleged slashing by the Fed’s and the new expenditure items gleefully being rolled out over the past few weeks by Katy Gallagher & co. Of course it will be the Fed’s fault – nothing about postponing the light rail till the Territory’s budget position improves !

Pandy said :

Your rates join up Y to pay for a equivalent bus rapid transit system that will cost X to build as long as one lane of Northbourne Avenue in each direction is reserved as a bus lane?”

The Northbourne lane should only be reserved for buses at peak times. Too many roads in the ACT have been narrowed to provide bus lanes that are then unused for much of the day. And don’t get me started on bike lanes!

rosscoact said :

rommeldog56 said :

Well, I’m not “against” light rail/tram.

Why don’t we read the various reports that come out, assess that information against other research, then reconvene in a week or two?

Why don’t we ask the people of Canberra this?

“Would you support:

A) Your rates going up 5Y to pay for a Gungahlin light rail that will cost 4X along a route that will take 30 years to get to the same sort of population densities as equivalent European cities have?; or
B) Your rates join up Y to pay for a equivalent bus rapid transit system that will cost X to build as long as one lane of Northbourne Avenue in each direction is reserved as a bus lane?”

dungfungus said :

Actually, Zed and the Liberals polled more votes than Labor and The Greens were almost wiped out. We certainly didn’t end up with who we voted and for most it is not what we deserve.
If Labor opt out of the light rail before the next election will you consider that a broken pre-election promise and vote Liberal?

Why do you think I voted Labor last time? I was simply pointing out that it wasn’t a single issue referendum.

If Labor cancelled light rail before the next election I would consider it a suitable adaption to changed circumstances and it would make me more likely to vote for them.

The only arguments I’h hearing here in favour of light rail seem a lot like Dennis Denuto trying to convince the court that it’s “the vibe of the thing”.

Light rail is ridiculous. It provides no meaningful benefits over a busway, and costs a heap more.

justin heywood said :

But I have a plan than can transform this place into that most beautiful of European cities:
Partially drain the lake. Build decrepit-looking apartments and coffee shops on the higher ground, and train up all the retrenched public servants to be gondoliers singing O Sole Mio.

Sounds like a Plan!

dungfungus said :

If you are so gung-ho about a Canberra light rail being viable then why don’t you finance it yourself?

Now you’re just being silly and it doesn’t serve you well.

rosscoact said :

Right, so density is the only measure worth consideration?

So,therefore if the proposed density along the line can be established as higher than or equivalent to another light rail line (still operating and therefore viable right?) anywhere in the world that would serve to effectively refute your argument and you would become an advocate?

If there are other hurdles just let me know.

This seems like a good precedent to consider for city to Gungahlin.(it was cheaper too!).
Last year, a debt-ridden Spanish town, Velez-Malagal, in Spain’s south, with a population of 75,000, shut down its light rail line after just six years of operation.
Patronage on the line, which cost $60 million to build, fell from a high of 900,000 passengers a year in 2007 to just 700,000 before it was closed.

If you are so gung-ho about a Canberra light rail being viable then why don’t you finance it yourself?

justin heywood10:49 am 02 Jun 14

rosscoact said :

… if the proposed density along the line can be established as higher than or equivalent to another light rail line .

There you go again with unfalsifiable argument. ‘Proposed’ density? You can make a ‘proposed’ density whatever you need it to be, can’t you?

The reality is that this city’s fathers did not envision a densely packed, European-style city. So we got the ‘Bush Capital’ instead. Even though we’ve now learned that high density is the way to go (environmentally speaking), in my view we cannot reasonably make the place into a European-style city, nor even a Melbourne style one.

(But I have a plan than can transform this place into that most beautiful of European cities:
Partially drain the lake. Build decrepit-looking apartments and coffee shops on the higher ground, and train up all the retrenched public servants to be gondoliers singing O Sole Mio.
The Triple Bottom Line Analysis on this plan blows Light Rail out of the water (so to speak); cheaper than trams (economic), uses NO power (environmental), and everyone lives close to the city and good coffee (sociological).

Crazy idea I know. But if I can convince enough Greens…)

rommeldog56 said :

” The tram would be built now for the future. The plan is that the density of people will increase along the tram’s corridor. Too many people think of now and not the future.”,

So, Maya123, I want a top of line Mercedes.

I don’t have the $ for it now.

So, I save – or earn more money.

U can not use the “visionary” argument if it’s unaffordable now and into the future. Unless of course your budget is cash unlimited ie. just jack up Annual Rates, Gov’t charges, invent new charges/taxes and support jacking up the GST – all because u can not live within your means.

The Federal Government of all hues is actively increasing population though immigration, plus the baby bonus is likely adding to this, (uncontrollably and without thought for the future in my opinion. A disaster waiting to happen! But that’s for another thread.) so with this future the increased population needs to be catered for. Mecedes in the wrong comparison – a tram is better. We can’t afford a bigger population, but it is being forced on us. The bigger population will cost a lot of money for new infrastructure and the money will need to be found; otherwise that will create other problems. Needing a better transport system is part of that money cost. It is better to have a plan in place now than wait for the transport problem to happen and then try to catch up. Planning the light rail now will direct this increasing population to where it can be best served by a light rail. Waiting until the population is here, but not concentrated along the rail line will make the tram less effective. Yes there will likely be new charges; how else will the increasing population be catered for!

Right, so density is the only measure worth consideration?

So,therefore if the proposed density along the line can be established as higher than or equivalent to another light rail line (still operating and therefore viable right?) anywhere in the world that would serve to effectively refute your argument and you would become an advocate?

If there are other hurdles just let me know.

justin heywood9:56 am 02 Jun 14

rosscoact said :

It seems that there’s a lot of grasping at simple metrics……. .

Well, given that no metrics support your argument, you would say that, wouldn’t you.

rosscoact said :

…. triple bottom line analysis (that would be economic, environmental and sociological).

Triple Bottom Line Analysis. Given that two of the three factors (environmental and sociological) are value based, you can pretty much use triple bottom line analysis to justify anything. You might as well wave a wand over your argument.

rosscoact said :

But how can you discount comparisons without understanding the routes and associated population placement of the other cities?

It seems that there’s a lot of grasping at simple metrics without referring to any real research about inter-relatedness and triple bottom line analysis (that would be economic, environmental and sociological).

And as far as
“Some people are still in denial about the electoral somersault that ACT Labor did just before the 2012 election to promise light rail after decisively rejecting it previously.
P.S. I am one of the 12 dissenters so you only have to name the other 11. How hard is that?”

I have resolved not to indulge in puerility.

If you want some hard data, try this.
Saint Ettiene is 60km SW of Lyon in France with approx. 180,000 residents living in 80sq.kms. This gives a population density of 2,250 per sq.km.
The tram service is well suited to the city and the length of the main line (from the regional bus terminal to the main hospital) is 9.3 km. There is one side track of several kms. Most people live in apartments adjacent to or very close to the tram line. The apartment blocks are old and don’t have provision for any car parking which forces residents to rely solely on public transport. The trams are always full.
Now Canberra (no data on population density on the proposed route city to Gungahlin), has about 350,000 residents living in 428 sq.km which gives a population density of about 814 residents per sq.km. This is totally inadequate to operate a tram network without massive subsidies and because Canberra is private car friendly, most people will choose the convenience of their cars for all travel.
The rest of your method to establish viability (inter-relatedness and triple bottom line analysis that would be economic, environmental and sociological) is academic.
The Canberra light rail proposal is simply a micro version of the Very Unviable Fast Train (another Green inspired folly).

But how can you discount comparisons without understanding the routes and associated population placement of the other cities?

It seems that there’s a lot of grasping at simple metrics without referring to any real research about inter-relatedness and triple bottom line analysis (that would be economic, environmental and sociological).

And as far as
“Some people are still in denial about the electoral somersault that ACT Labor did just before the 2012 election to promise light rail after decisively rejecting it previously.
P.S. I am one of the 12 dissenters so you only have to name the other 11. How hard is that?”

I have resolved not to indulge in puerility.

rosscoact said :

rommeldog56 said :

Well, I’m not “against” light rail/tram.

Just not right now when the Feds are about to hit this place and the Territory has a large budget deficit.

Now is NOT the time.

Also, I have absolutely zero confidence of the current ACT Government to plan/build the thing correctly – as has been done in overseas examples.

Also, can you define exactly what your claims of “successful” light rail actually means ?

What is “successful”.

Successfully built ?

Breaks even/makes a profit ?

Actually runs ?

Is used ?

Has met passenger projections ???

I’snt subsidised by taxpayers/ratepayers ?

In fairness, I rattled off a dozen light rail systems out of about 450 which have lower populations than Canberra. I haven’t found each and every one which is lower, there would be plenty of those. It was directly in response to the contention that Canberra has too small a population etc etc which is not the case.

Therefore as a reason not to have a light rail, population in and of itself is not it. Whether any of the other issues you raise are fair and valid points are open to debate but in fairness, given there has been a 130 odd posts in this thread which are merely contentions (rather than facts) about the negatives, it’s perhaps a forum which is seeking to vent rather than debate.

Why don’t we read the various reports that come out, assess that information against other research, then reconvene in a week or two?

Your comparisons of cities all over the world that have similar populations to Canberra are meaningless as we are not comparing the 400,000 odd that live in Canberra, we are only dealing with the population between City and Gungahlin which would be about 75,000.
Also, you have not taken into account the population densities and the invalid assumption that everyone in Gungahlin works in Civic. Have you read Alistair Coe’s excellent light rail for Canberra analysis in Saturday’s Canberra Times?
It would be far better to run the first stage of any light rail project from the airport, through Russell to the Parliamentary Triangle via city. The distance is a lot less (cheaper to implement) and there is strong passenger demand for at least 12 hours a day.
All the current proposal will do is duplicate the existing heavily subsidised Action bus service which already offers a good service from Gungahlin to city through to Fyshwick via Parliamentary Triangle.
Some people are still in denial about the electoral somersault that ACT Labor did just before the 2012 election to promise light rail after decisively rejecting it previously.
P.S. I am one of the 12 dissenters so you only have to name the other 11. How hard is that?

” The tram would be built now for the future. The plan is that the density of people will increase along the tram’s corridor. Too many people think of now and not the future.”,

So, Maya123, I want a top of line Mercedes. I don’t have the $ for it now. So, I save – or earn more money. U can not use the “visionary” argument if it’s unaffordable now and into the future. Unless of course your budget is cash unlimited ie. just jack up Annual Rates, Gov’t charges, invent new charges/taxes and support jacking up the GST – all because u can not live within your means.

dungfungus said :

I think he meant the dozen people on the this thread that you initially referred to.

Oh. I’m not convinced that going through this thread to do that is a good use of my time.

rommeldog56 said :

Well, I’m not “against” light rail/tram.

Just not right now when the Feds are about to hit this place and the Territory has a large budget deficit.

Now is NOT the time.

Also, I have absolutely zero confidence of the current ACT Government to plan/build the thing correctly – as has been done in overseas examples.

Also, can you define exactly what your claims of “successful” light rail actually means ?

What is “successful”.

Successfully built ?

Breaks even/makes a profit ?

Actually runs ?

Is used ?

Has met passenger projections ???

I’snt subsidised by taxpayers/ratepayers ?

In fairness, I rattled off a dozen light rail systems out of about 450 which have lower populations than Canberra. I haven’t found each and every one which is lower, there would be plenty of those. It was directly in response to the contention that Canberra has too small a population etc etc which is not the case.

Therefore as a reason not to have a light rail, population in and of itself is not it. Whether any of the other issues you raise are fair and valid points are open to debate but in fairness, given there has been a 130 odd posts in this thread which are merely contentions (rather than facts) about the negatives, it’s perhaps a forum which is seeking to vent rather than debate.

Why don’t we read the various reports that come out, assess that information against other research, then reconvene in a week or two?

rommeldog56 said :

davo101 said :

davo101 said :

Canberra 160

Bad cut and paste, make that 450.

Davo. Thank u for the stats. Interesting. So, once again claims in support of a viable light rail in Canberra just don’t stack in light of cold, hard facts – or simple common sense/logic.

The tram would be built now for the future. The plan is that the density of people will increase along the tram’s corridor. Too many people think of now and not the future. That could also be used to argue why we get the governments that we commonly do get. It’s a bad circle. People think of how will this effect me now (whether their ‘fears’ are justified or not) and vote accordingly. The politicians get in and are aware of how many people think and then vote, and are afraid/not capable of being visionary. So many comments here reflect exactly this.

That statistic of 450 people per square km. How is it worked out? Does it include the large open areas between the town centres, or only the areas that people live. Many European cities don’t have a Y-plan with open spaces. Before this 450 number is ‘cleverly’ given some facts about what areas it covers needs to be clarified. It is not planned that this light rail will run through fields, but along Northbourne Avenue and then along a corridor that will be increasingly urbanised with a greater density of people than the ‘traditional’ suburban areas of Canberra we have now. Those are the density statistics that need to be looked at; not a density figure which might include the open spaces between town centres, which do not figure here, as the tram is not going there.

justin heywood11:01 pm 01 Jun 14

JC said :

Masquara said :

I drove up Northbourne yesterday – it would look awful with light rail where the trees are. Northbourne is visitors’ welcome drive into the city, and the avenue of trees is fantastic.

Never mind of course the visual pollution from that 6 lane road you were driving down. But guess that was in the past so doesn’t matter.

I’ve seen plenty of light rail that has been done along similar roads and has been done well. They can put grass between the rails, the overhead doesn’t have to be industrial (like what they did in Sydney). It can and does work. I’ve got some photos of Strasburg one of which you struggle to see the fact it is a light rail line. Tracks blend in with the grass, overhead poles look like streetlights, overhead minimal.

Yep, I agree. Strasbourg has done it right. Beautiful city.

But,

Strasbourg population density: 3,500 per square km
Canberra population density: 426 per square km

Strasbourg population (metro): 759,000
Canberra population (metro): 381,000

Canberra is not like a European city. It will never be like a European city. It’s a bush capital. If this goes ahead we will be the first people to have trams running through sheep paddocks.

davo101 said :

rosscoact said :

Easy –

Bergen – pop 260k
Dijon – 230k
Brest – 210k
Padua – 210k
Reims – 215k
Le Harve – 250
Nottingham line 1 – 275k
Navapolatsk – 107k
Angers – 148k
Kassel – 196k
Bergamo – 119k
Porto – 207k

Population density per square kilometre:

Bergen – 2400
Dijon – 3750
Brest – 2900
Padua – 2300
Reims – 4000
Le Harve – 3800
Nottingham – 4000
Navapolatsk – 2000
Angers – 3500
Kassel – 1800
Bergamo – 3100
Porto – 5700

Canberra 160.

Says it all.

GOLD!!!!

A cautionary tale (and the negative cyclist feedback is particularly interesting)
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/scotland-blog/2013/mar/21/edinburgh-trams-lost-faith

davo101 said :

davo101 said :

Canberra 160

Bad cut and paste, make that 450.

Davo. Thank u for the stats. Interesting. So, once again claims in support of a viable light rail in Canberra just don’t stack in light of cold, hard facts – or simple common sense/logic.

rosscoact said :

Pandy said :

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

Please rattle off those dozen.

Easy –

Bergen – pop 260k
Dijon – 230k
Brest – 210k
Padua – 210k
Reims – 215k
Le Harve – 250
Nottingham line 1 – 275k
Navapolatsk – 107k
Angers – 148k
Kassel – 196k
Bergamo – 119k
Porto – 207k

There’s hundreds more if you want to get into it

Well, I’m not “against” light rail/tram. Just not right now when the Feds are about to hit this place and the Territory has a large budget deficit. Now is NOT the time. Also, I have absolutely zero confidence of the current ACT Government to plan/build the thing correctly – as has been done in overseas examples.

Also, can you define exactly what your claims of “successful” light rail actually means ? What is “successful”. Successfully built ? Breaks even/makes a profit ? Actually runs ? Is used ? Has met passenger projections ??? I’snt subsidised by taxpayers/ratepayers ?

rosscoact said :

Pandy said :

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

Please rattle off those dozen.

Easy –

Bergen – pop 260k
Dijon – 230k
Brest – 210k
Padua – 210k
Reims – 215k
Le Harve – 250
Nottingham line 1 – 275k
Navapolatsk – 107k
Angers – 148k
Kassel – 196k
Bergamo – 119k
Porto – 207k

There’s hundreds more if you want to get into it

I think he meant the dozen people on the this thread that you initially referred to.

davo101 said :

Canberra 160

Bad cut and paste, make that 450.

Masquara said :

I drove up Northbourne yesterday – it would look awful with light rail where the trees are. Northbourne is visitors’ welcome drive into the city, and the avenue of trees is fantastic.

Never mind of course the visual pollution from that 6 lane road you were driving down. But guess that was in the past so doesn’t matter.

I’ve seen plenty of light rail that has been done along similar roads and has been done well. They can put grass between the rails, the overhead doesn’t have to be industrial (like what they did in Sydney). It can and does work. I’ve got some photos of Strasburg one of which you struggle to see the fact it is a light rail line. Tracks blend in with the grass, overhead poles look like streetlights, overhead minimal.

rosscoact said :

Easy –

Bergen – pop 260k
Dijon – 230k
Brest – 210k
Padua – 210k
Reims – 215k
Le Harve – 250
Nottingham line 1 – 275k
Navapolatsk – 107k
Angers – 148k
Kassel – 196k
Bergamo – 119k
Porto – 207k

Population density per square kilometre:

Bergen – 2400
Dijon – 3750
Brest – 2900
Padua – 2300
Reims – 4000
Le Harve – 3800
Nottingham – 4000
Navapolatsk – 2000
Angers – 3500
Kassel – 1800
Bergamo – 3100
Porto – 5700

Canberra 160.

Says it all.

dungfungus said :

Surely any ACT Government that has diminishing sources of revenue can see that it is not in their interests to get cars off the road given the massive fees they collect from motorists. We are all captive to this given that Canberra is still a very convenient place to use a car to get around and yes, the “rush hour” is not a real problem compared to most other cities of a comparable size.
It won’t be long before e-tag tolls will be in place on main arterial roads in the ACT either.

What massive fee? Only about $250 of the rego fee goes to the ACT government, so assuming 100,000 cars that is a massive $25m. So yeah a very major source of income, not.

The rest of the money paid by motorists goes to the Federal Government.

justin heywood8:30 pm 01 Jun 14

rosscoact said :

,,,,,Easy –

Bergen – pop 260k
Dijon – 230k
Brest – 210k
Padua – 210k
Reims – 215k
Le Harve – 250
Nottingham line 1 – 275k
Navapolatsk – 107k
Angers – 148k
Kassel – 196k
Bergamo – 119k

Porto – 207k

There’s hundreds more if you want to get into it

I’d never heard of Porto so I looked it up on Wiki. First thing I see is

“The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.3 million”

Comparing European cities with sprawling, low density Canberra is pretty pointless anyhow in my view..

Pandy said :

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

Please rattle off those dozen.

Easy –

Bergen – pop 260k
Dijon – 230k
Brest – 210k
Padua – 210k
Reims – 215k
Le Harve – 250
Nottingham line 1 – 275k
Navapolatsk – 107k
Angers – 148k
Kassel – 196k
Bergamo – 119k
Porto – 207k

There’s hundreds more if you want to get into it

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

I won’t comment on the (present) public support of the light rail as I haven’t done a survey, but I am one of the people who are not against it. I haven’t commented before, as I thought it a waste of effort in this thread. Perhaps now there is not the patronage that would be ideal for the light rail, but one day there will be, and it will be a lot better to have it built and be ready for that day than have to play catch up. The light rail will encourage denser living along the route and bring the customers. I congratulate the local government for being forward thinking here, even if some other people lack vision. I think too many governments lack vision and live only for the next election, which is very disappointing, but this lack of vision reflects many in the community. Personally I have been disappointed at some of the money spent over the years on roads. It could have been better directed at public transport. The old adage is true with roads; “Build it and they will come.” After that more roads are built and more “come”. And so on.
Separate public transport routes are needed for all the main routes. I have sat in a bus as we crawled through gridlocked traffic. This shouldn’t happen. Whatever form of public transport we have it should have its own corridor, or failing that be given one of the present car lanes on main routes, even if it forces cars into fewer lanes.
A light rail to Gungahlin will not be an advantage to me living in southern Canberra, but it has to be built somewhere first and I am not so selfish to grizzle about it not being built in my area. Hopefully after it is built it would be extended elsewhere, although I imagine that would be many years away, and the personal advantage to me will be small.
Walter Burley Griffin designed Canberra with trams. I am not someone who thinks we need to adhere to his plans religiously, but I include that as a comment. Walter Burley Griffin’s Canberra was much smaller too. http://tdu.to/a12895/Griffin%27s_Canberra_Street_Car_Lines.jpg
The best solution would be for the population to stop growing and stabilise, so that needing trams and the like becomes less necessary, but no Federal Government appears likely to attempt to stabilise the population any time soon. Big business doesn’t want them to. Being that the population is going to continue growing (even if unsustainably) forward thinking is needed for things like public transport. Looking at bringing in trams is preparing for the future when there are MANY more people.

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

Well, at least you have outed yourself as a Green (and there is nothing wrong with that) and you are a supporter of light rail in Canberra.
And while there maybe globally hundreds of light rail systems in the planning stages (as the Canberra one is) a lot of those won’t convert into reality. There are unsucessful light rail systems that have closed down in Europe actually.
One thing is certain though and that is the Canberra light rail will never travel in “a circle of its own”.

rosscoact said :

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

Please rattle off those dozen.

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Well, here’s the thing. You travel in different circles than I do because nobody I talk to is opposed to the light rail per se.

Also,

Off the top of my head I could cite a dozen successful light rail projects and at least half of those are in cities smaller than Canberra.

There’s over 400 light rail systems in the world and probably half that again in the planning stages. I’m thinking that Canberra isn’t so different from those places.

rosscoact said :

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

Unless you live on another planet, you would be talking to other people all the time and the issue is foremost on eveyone’s minds (few people talk about climate change anymore).
Everyone I talk to is against light rail in Canberra.
Even Emma Thomas couldn’t believe in it as she said “if one wants to gauge the success of light rail in cities like Canberra they should look on the internet”.
Well, I regularly check the internet and unsuccessful light rail projects like the proposed Capital Metro one outnumber the successful ones by at least 3 : 1.

Masquara said :

I drove up Northbourne yesterday – it would look awful with light rail where the trees are. Northbourne is visitors’ welcome drive into the city, and the avenue of trees is fantastic.

The trees will be replaced by ugly poles and wires to remind visitors that “we too have light rail”.
The white cockatoos are looking forward to destroying the catenarys in the morning and ringbarking the exotic trees at the arboretum in the afternoons.
Cocky cull perhaps?

I’m not sure that opposition by a dozen or so people on this thread constitutes “overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram”

I drove up Northbourne yesterday – it would look awful with light rail where the trees are. Northbourne is visitors’ welcome drive into the city, and the avenue of trees is fantastic.

Well put miz, a good summary. So, does the ACT Government think it is smarter than what I believe would be the now overwhelming weight of public opinion AGAINST a light rail/tram at this point in time ? Recently, on Mark Partons morning show on 1206, Corbell (or was it Barr, or Gallagher, ??) said that the light rail/tram would go ahead regardless. Or does the ACT Government have an ulterior motive – apart from rewarding the Greens for putting ACT Labor back into power as a minority Government ? Nah – I wouldn’t think so.

“Never confuse rat cunning for rank stupidity” – especially from this ACT Government. Sadly, we will all pay for this folly.

Yes they have not countered the bus lanes argument at all. It is an obvious flaw in their argument.

To sum up:

1. Transport efficiency:
(a) It would be far cheaper and significantly more efficient to focus on the bus network we already have by spending at least some of the proposed allocation on improving bus transport across Canberra, i.e., for all Canberrans.
(b) Bus lanes along thoroughfares like Northbourne would achieve exactly the same result as the Metro, for far less capital and general inconvenience. All that digging up and relocating of power lines and water pipes would not be required!

2. Claimed economic/community benefits:
(a) Expanding the bus network in a similar way to the proposed city wide Metro plan would achieve similar or better economic/community benefits in the proposed Gunners to Northbourne stretch.
(b) Such expenditure on the bus network would go a lot further than the first proposed Metro stretch and could be implemented much faster, so the benefits would similarly extend to other areas across Canberra, sooner.
(c) This would also stop some of the divisiveness (based on the perception that certain areas of Canberra ‘get everything’) that the Metro proposal is causing.

3. Practical aspects:
(a) Tram lines buckle in very hot weather such as Canberra experiences in summer. In Melbourne, buses are the back up for trams. We already have buses.
(b) Trams can only run on the tracks provided. It is expensive to alter tram routes. Buses are far more flexible, as routes can be adjusted cheaply and quickly as demand requires.
(c) Commuters generally dislike having to change forms of transport (e.g. tram to bus, bus to tram). It adds a complication and acts as a deterrent to potential passengers. It therefore would be simpler (and of course way cheaper) to have a single transport network (i.e. buses), and focus on implementing more direct bus routes that don’t require passengers to change.

4. There is no environmental advantage in trams. Newer ACTION buses run on natural gas which is ‘greener’ than electric trams.

5. Numerous studies have indicated that Canberra does not have the population density to support the proposed Metro. It is going to cost far more to operate than the buses.

6. The Cth considered the Metro proposal and did not consider it worthy of infrastructure investment.

In summary, the arguments put forward in support of the Metro are fallacious and not based on either fact or reality. Canberra can’t afford the Metro – it can’t even afford the first leg! However everything the Metro purports to do can be done better and cheaper by using an expanded bus network, the foundation of which already exists. The Government should therefore genuinely consider expanding the bus network as a realistic solution to Canberra’s public transport problems.

HiddenDragon11:46 am 31 May 14

sepi said :

Northbourne is congested and gets worse every year. Just because it is ok at 7.40am doesn’t mean it is great for everyone.

I think now is the time to be coming up with a transport solution like light rail, not waiting until northbourne is at a complete standstill to try to do something.

Well, it’s not just Northbourne Avenue which gets congested (by Canberra standards), and in the case of Northbourne, if it’s OK to sacrifice the central strip of grass and trees for a tram line, why not for dedicated bus lanes – that could be done more quickly and cheaply, and buses are so much more flexible.

All the other stuff which is now being talked about – e.g. development/redevelopment of residential and commercial properties on and near Northbourne – could surely be achieved with new dedicated bus lanes. I have yet to hear one clear benefit which could only be achieved with trams, and nothing which comes remotely close to justifying the huge blank cheque being signed, on behalf of all Canberrans – now, and for many years to come – by nine passing players currently occupying the local political stage.

rommeldog56 said :

Well, at the last ACT election it was widely publicised / known that a vote for ACT Labor was a vote for (a) Light rail, (b) up to tripling of Annual Rates and making (then) existing ACT home owners pay twice+ for their stamp duty, and (c) more extravagant additional spending promises from Labor/Greens (and the Lib’s of course too) despite the large deficit the Territory had and still has now.

Even with the Light rail cost, this week the ACT Gov’t is still rolling out the big $ on things.

So, I dunno what u are all whinging about.

ACT residents/ratepayers are getting what they deserve – a fiscally irresponsible and financially incompetent tin pot local council.

ACT Labor had history/form – promised more, and more and more – and they still got voted back in (with help from the Greens of course though).

ACT voters have got to learn to send a decisive message to an incompetent incumbent government at the ballot box.

If u don’t, then suck it up people and enjoy the ride – in your new loss making trams !!! (PS : and i hope u are monitoring how your Annual Rates increases are going and projecting that out as being the minimum increase for at least the next 5 years or so, so u can enjoy that too).
guys. !!!

You have said it all.

Well, at the last ACT election it was widely publicised / known that a vote for ACT Labor was a vote for (a) Light rail, (b) up to tripling of Annual Rates and making (then) existing ACT home owners pay twice+ for their stamp duty, and (c) more extravagant additional spending promises from Labor/Greens (and the Lib’s of course too) despite the large deficit the Territory had and still has now.

Even with the Light rail cost, this week the ACT Gov’t is still rolling out the big $ on things.

So, I dunno what u are all whinging about. ACT residents/ratepayers are getting what they deserve – a fiscally irresponsible and financially incompetent tin pot local council.

ACT Labor had history/form – promised more, and more and more – and they still got voted back in (with help from the Greens of course though). ACT voters have got to learn to send a decisive message to an incompetent incumbent government at the ballot box. If u don’t, then suck it up people and enjoy the ride – in your new loss making trams !!! (PS : and i hope u are monitoring how your Annual Rates increases are going and projecting that out as being the minimum increase for at least the next 5 years or so, so u can enjoy that too).
guys. !!!

bikhet said :

It’s harder for taxpayers to walk away.

Might be useful to talk to the Detroit City Council about how true that is.

switch said :

dungfungus said :

Surely any ACT Government that has diminishing sources of revenue can see that it is not in their interests to get cars off the road given the massive fees they collect from motorists. We are all captive to this given that Canberra is still a very convenient place to use a car to get around and yes, the “rush hour” is not a real problem compared to most other cities of a comparable size.
It won’t be long before e-tag tolls will be in place on main arterial roads in the ACT either.

Please don’t give them any more ideas about how to stuff up the driving experience here! After many years living in Sydney and trying to get across it every day for work, moving here was so nice.

Whatever they do here it will always be better (and cheaper) than Sydney.

Northbourne is congested and gets worse every year. Just because it is ok at 7.40am doesn’t mean it is great for everyone.

I think now is the time to be coming up with a transport solution like light rail, not waiting until northbourne is at a complete standstill to try to do something.

dungfungus said :

Surely any ACT Government that has diminishing sources of revenue can see that it is not in their interests to get cars off the road given the massive fees they collect from motorists. We are all captive to this given that Canberra is still a very convenient place to use a car to get around and yes, the “rush hour” is not a real problem compared to most other cities of a comparable size.
It won’t be long before e-tag tolls will be in place on main arterial roads in the ACT either.

Please don’t give them any more ideas about how to stuff up the driving experience here! After many years living in Sydney and trying to get across it every day for work, moving here was so nice.

switch said :

bigfeet said :

Seriously? Northbourne Avenue is ‘congested as anything’? Really?

Sepi should move to a real city to see real congestion. Canberra has a “peak ten minutes” and complains!

Surely any ACT Government that has diminishing sources of revenue can see that it is not in their interests to get cars off the road given the massive fees they collect from motorists. We are all captive to this given that Canberra is still a very convenient place to use a car to get around and yes, the “rush hour” is not a real problem compared to most other cities of a comparable size.
It won’t be long before e-tag tolls will be in place on main arterial roads in the ACT either.

Even large scale LRT projects are not always PPP viable:
http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/05/30/lrt-expansion-not-viable-ang/

bikhet said :

dungfungus said :

The Capital Metro LRT project was a Labor policy BEFORE the 2012 election. Everyone went into the voting booths with their eyes open so if there was any doubt that the majority of Canberrans didn’t want it there should have been a decisive Liberal victory.

That may have been true if the election was a referendum on Lie Trail (to resurrect an oldie), but it wasn’t. The choice was between Labor + Light Rail and Liberal + Zed.

davo101 said :

Indeed, but the policy was a “private sector partnership”; we’re now talking about the Government borrowing the money to build it themselves.

Yes, because the private sector took one look at it and walked away holding their noses. It’s harder for taxpayers to walk away.

Actually, Zed and the Liberals polled more votes than Labor and The Greens were almost wiped out. We certainly didn’t end up with who we voted and for most it is not what we deserve.
If Labor opt out of the light rail before the next election will you consider that a broken pre-election promise and vote Liberal?

bigfeet said :

Seriously? Northbourne Avenue is ‘congested as anything’? Really?

Sepi should move to a real city to see real congestion. Canberra has a “peak ten minutes” and complains!

dungfungus said :

The Capital Metro LRT project was a Labor policy BEFORE the 2012 election. Everyone went into the voting booths with their eyes open so if there was any doubt that the majority of Canberrans didn’t want it there should have been a decisive Liberal victory.

That may have been true if the election was a referendum on Lie Trail (to resurrect an oldie), but it wasn’t. The choice was between Labor + Light Rail and Liberal + Zed.

davo101 said :

Indeed, but the policy was a “private sector partnership”; we’re now talking about the Government borrowing the money to build it themselves.

Yes, because the private sector took one look at it and walked away holding their noses. It’s harder for taxpayers to walk away.

sepi said :

I support it.

The northbourne corridor is congested as anything and not decentralised – that is why they have picked that as the starting point.

People liking trams more than buses is also perfectly valid – it means more people will make use of public transport.

Seriously? Northbourne Avenue is ‘congested as anything’? Really?

I drive the entire length of Northbourne almost every morning, hitting Epic at about 7.40am. I then come home up Northbourne at anytime between 4.30pm and 6.00pm. I also quite often use it on week-ends and during the middle of the day.

I have yet to see anything slightly resembling congestion. The difference between driving Northbourne at ‘peak-hour’ and at midday or on a weekend is usually about 5 minutes and never more than 10 minutes.

dungfungus said :

The Capital Metro LRT project was a Labor policy BEFORE the 2012 election. Everyone went into the voting booths with their eyes open so if there was any doubt that the majority of Canberrans didn’t want it there should have been a decisive Liberal victory.

Indeed, but the policy was a “private sector partnership”; we’re now talking about the Government borrowing the money to build it themselves.

I support it.

The northbourne corridor is congested as anything and not decentralised – that is why they have picked that as the starting point.

People liking trams more than buses is also perfectly valid – it means more people will make use of public transport.

justin heywood said :

justsomeaussie said :

Can someone explain why a dedicated bus only lane, free busses with free wifi wouldn’t be a better option than the millions and millions spent on a train?

In my opinion, the Greens want the light rail for no other reason than it is ‘cool’.

Buses are dirty, smelly, old tech. Light rail is hip – all the cool European cities have it, so why not Canberra? It doesn’t matter that it’s hugely expensive and totally unsuited to Canberra’s decentralised structure.

I

Agree. Plus they think people that talk about the fact that we have a finite amount of taxpayer money are fascists.

Opposition to the proposal is not simply about ‘what’s in it for me,’ as Mr Corbell claims. Most can see the justification for, e.g., a new hospital precinct for Belco, the Majura Parkway, the years of the GDE extension and duplication (though I note as a Tuggeranong resident that there is still no uni or CIT in Tuggeranong and planned duplication of roads in Tuggeranong has been delayed for years).
This light rail proposal? It does not come close to the above examples in terms of justification for government spending. You’d have to be Blind Freddy to think it’s economically viable or will in fact make any difference to commuter times or congestion. A short bus trip on the present 200 route and a study trip to Melbourne to use the trams would soon enlighten one about this. From there, it is not hard to see that Tuggeranong is never going to get light rail, will not benefit in any way, shape or form (being last on the list as bl**dy usual) yet everyone will apparently have to pay for it. There is therefore no good reason to support it.
I think I might call Mr Corbell ‘Blind Freddy’ from here on in.

justin heywood5:44 pm 29 May 14

bundah said :

We now have Minister Corbell continuing to sing the praises of this potential white elephant. He says “I think everyone in Canberra needs to think broader than what’s in it for me?

Yes, the joke here is that the only reason that we’re discussing it is that Rattenbury looked at the numbers in the Assembly after the election and asked himself ‘what’s in it for me?’ and Simon and his mates looked also looked at the numbers and said ‘if we back you on this this Shane, what’s in it for us?’

justin heywood said :

justsomeaussie said :

Can someone explain why a dedicated bus only lane, free busses with free wifi wouldn’t be a better option than the millions and millions spent on a train?

In my opinion, the Greens want the light rail for no other reason than it is ‘cool’.

Buses are dirty, smelly, old tech. Light rail is hip – all the cool European cities have it, so why not Canberra? It doesn’t matter that it’s hugely expensive and totally unsuited to Canberra’s decentralised structure.

It doesn’t matter that the project has only a narrow band of support – and that this huge slice of pork is just to appease a party that was all but wiped out in the last ACT election.

It seems incredible that so much public money could be expended to secure the political support of one man (Rattenbury) – and surely his support for Labor was never in doubt. But we are talking ACT politics here. A very shallow talent pool indeed.

The Capital Metro LRT project was a Labor policy BEFORE the 2012 election. Everyone went into the voting booths with their eyes open so if there was any doubt that the majority of Canberrans didn’t want it there should have been a decisive Liberal victory. Labor won 8 seats and the Liberals won 8. As you point out Shane Rattenbury was always going to support Labor so Labor’s phony play for the light rail was not necessary afterall. I say phony because the evidence is out there if one knows where to look. The $40,000 per week payroll to Capital Metro staff and all the Corbell bluster is just a face saving veneer.

Well, for my family, we’ll get rid of a car and go into the city via train to go out (and no, a 45 minute bus journey isn’t a substitute by any measure).

I’ll also welcome the fewer busses spewing out diesel fumes along Northbourne when I ride into town.

But that’s just me, your experience may vary.

We now have Minister Corbell continuing to sing the praises of this potential white elephant. He says “I think everyone in Canberra needs to think broader than what’s in it for me – ie, where I live dictates how I feel about the project. The challenge is to say what’s in it for Canberra.”

That’s easy it’s an unnecessary, overly expensive, ostentatious project that will do nothing to change the lifestyle of Canberrans in any tangible way. But if Simon says that’s what Canberra desperately needs then who are we to question his superior wisdom….

justin heywood2:09 pm 29 May 14

justsomeaussie said :

Can someone explain why a dedicated bus only lane, free busses with free wifi wouldn’t be a better option than the millions and millions spent on a train?

In my opinion, the Greens want the light rail for no other reason than it is ‘cool’.

Buses are dirty, smelly, old tech. Light rail is hip – all the cool European cities have it, so why not Canberra? It doesn’t matter that it’s hugely expensive and totally unsuited to Canberra’s decentralised structure.

It doesn’t matter that the project has only a narrow band of support – and that this huge slice of pork is just to appease a party that was all but wiped out in the last ACT election.

It seems incredible that so much public money could be expended to secure the political support of one man (Rattenbury) – and surely his support for Labor was never in doubt. But we are talking ACT politics here. A very shallow talent pool indeed.

justsomeaussie12:22 pm 29 May 14

Can someone explain why a dedicated bus only lane, free busses with free wifi wouldn’t be a better option than the millions and millions spent on a train?

Ignoring the argument of trams vs buses, Northbourne, at least, could have better traffic flow if intersections were redesigned. Banning cross traffic, right hand and U turns at all intersections except Barry Dr/Cooyong St, Macarthur/Wakefield Ave and Mouatt/Antill at least during peak hours would make a huge difference. For the cost of a few signs it certainly seems worth an experiment.

Inserting traffic light controlled roundabouts and priority lanes for buses/trams at those three intersections (which might require relocation of services for short distances only) would allow multi directional traffic (but not necessarily all traffic) to flow through intersections simultaneously rather than the current situation where there are massive gaps in traffic flow while lights change.

HiddenDragon11:04 am 29 May 14

And here’s some national blog coverage on the tram plan, including knowing and entertaining comments:

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/05/act-light-rail-faces-more-cost-blowouts/

Had ACT Labor not agreed to this fiscal black hole, would Shane have made Zed Chief Minister? – not bloody likely – no more likely than he would make Jeremy Chief Minister if the plan is dumped.

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

it should have been done last year for our centenary instead of wasting money on that SkyWhale abomination.

So where would the other 98% of the cost have come from?

Andrew Barr’s “special events account”.

dungfungus said :

it should have been done last year for our centenary instead of wasting money on that SkyWhale abomination.

So where would the other 98% of the cost have come from?

davo101 said :

Oh dear, this just gets better and better. Turns out even the people hired to work for the Capital Metro Authority don’t believe in the tram plan. There’s a story in today’s Times reporting that the plan is now to first build the tram as far as EPIC so that it, and the racecourse, can be redeveloped.

What we really need is this. It was a good idea 13 years ago and it should have been done last year for our centenary instead of wasting money on that SkyWhale abomination. It is a better idea now and it would help tourism.

http://www.nma.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/2401/Federation_Line.pdf

Oh dear, this just gets better and better. Turns out even the people hired to work for the Capital Metro Authority don’t believe in the tram plan. There’s a story in today’s Times reporting that the plan is now to first build the tram as far as EPIC so that it, and the racecourse, can be redeveloped.

Well, I got the robo survey tonight. I thought the policy questions were poorly phrased, with one or two value words like ‘fairer’ used in regards to education spending, which is fine for rhetoric but inappropriate for an objective survey.

As for the light rail question, it was tied in with wider support for the improvement of public transport. The question went roughly along the lines of ‘do you support the development of public transport infrastructure, like the Light Rail’.

I’d have to agree with Jeremy Hanson this time that there was an element of push poll about it.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-labor-robopolls-on-light-rail-20140527-zrq2n.html

I live in Belco, don’t really mind about the tram one way or another. But it’s not about doing stuff for Gungahlin, it’s all about the inner north. In fact, pretty much everything the government does is for the inner north, the endless Civic ‘revitalisation’ rubbish, the interminable tedium of churning redevelopment, all to make money for the property sector by creating a local Brunswick or Yarraville clone for wealthy trendoids. And the traffic problems on Northbourne are an own goal, all the government’s own work, the result of trying to build up Civic into a ‘real’ CBD in pathetic imitation of large cities elsewhere. Long live the Y plan.

chewy14 said :

rommeldog56 said :

chewy14 said :

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Yeah, right.

These are the same ACT voters who voted back the current Gov’t (which an assist from the Greens), in the full knowledge that their Annual Rates would, if not triple, then certainly skyrocket not to mention changing existing ACT homeowners twice for stamp duty ? Right.

That would be the same ACT Labor party that declared that they would pursue the light rail project if re elected ???

Right.

Canberra voters got what they deserve.

They are far, far too apathetic. Hopefully, the light rail saga will cause ACT voters to think more before they vote, but by then (late 2016 ?), it may be too late to stop the light rail.

Funny that you mention the move away from stamp duty to higher land taxes as a negative, when it is probably their best policy. Stamp duty is a completely inefficient tax and the change to higher land taxes gets phased in over many years. Perhaps some voters aren’t completely selfish when it comes to recognising good policy?

The size of the revenue base created by rolling in stamp duty into Annual Rates will be too great for the ACT Gov’t not increase Annual Rates by more than the 10% on average per year over 20 years. Loss making decisions like the Light Rail will inevitably flow through to even higher Annual Rates for all ACT residents – unless the GST is increased of course.

Its not about being being selfish, its about being fair and about the ACT Gov’t living within their means.

Existing homeowners have already paid their stamp duty on purchasing a house here – now they must pay it again, and again.

Anyone who thinks that Annual Rates will NOT increase past the 10% avg.pa is in some form of denial.

The Annual Rates issue is such a great policy, every State is looking at it ???

No, they are not. They know voters in their States are not that apathetic.

Other states are looking at it but they simply know that they would face a massive backlash from self interested voters if they tried it.
Don’t kid yourself, a vast amount of voters decide their vote based on how it affects their back pocket rather than any serious analysis of the merits of various policies.

I don’t disagree with you that the Capital Metro might be a white elephant or that the government should live within their means, but the move away from stamp duty is a well thought out and economically sensible policy.

Electorally about half of Canberra doesn’t agree with you. Are rates paid by ACT Housing? Who are the people / institutions that are exempt from rates in the ACT?

davo101 said :

Pandy said :

Many many people. I include accountants from the top end of town who have stated that to me in private, but know they cannot alienate government business.

You know accountants who think we should build the tram because none of the options will be profitable? Odd.

The Government of the day only deals with those who support it. If you are in business and you bag the government don’t expect to do any business with them.
If you think I am joking, try and get a local lawyer to take them on for something the governmnet has done that has caused you loss.

rommeldog56 said :

chewy14 said :

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Yeah, right.

These are the same ACT voters who voted back the current Gov’t (which an assist from the Greens), in the full knowledge that their Annual Rates would, if not triple, then certainly skyrocket not to mention changing existing ACT homeowners twice for stamp duty ? Right.

That would be the same ACT Labor party that declared that they would pursue the light rail project if re elected ???

Right.

Canberra voters got what they deserve.

They are far, far too apathetic. Hopefully, the light rail saga will cause ACT voters to think more before they vote, but by then (late 2016 ?), it may be too late to stop the light rail.

Funny that you mention the move away from stamp duty to higher land taxes as a negative, when it is probably their best policy. Stamp duty is a completely inefficient tax and the change to higher land taxes gets phased in over many years. Perhaps some voters aren’t completely selfish when it comes to recognising good policy?

The size of the revenue base created by rolling in stamp duty into Annual Rates will be too great for the ACT Gov’t not increase Annual Rates by more than the 10% on average per year over 20 years. Loss making decisions like the Light Rail will inevitably flow through to even higher Annual Rates for all ACT residents – unless the GST is increased of course.

Its not about being being selfish, its about being fair and about the ACT Gov’t living within their means.

Existing homeowners have already paid their stamp duty on purchasing a house here – now they must pay it again, and again.

Anyone who thinks that Annual Rates will NOT increase past the 10% avg.pa is in some form of denial.

The Annual Rates issue is such a great policy, every State is looking at it ???

No, they are not. They know voters in their States are not that apathetic.

Other states are looking at it but they simply know that they would face a massive backlash from self interested voters if they tried it.
Don’t kid yourself, a vast amount of voters decide their vote based on how it affects their back pocket rather than any serious analysis of the merits of various policies.

I don’t disagree with you that the Capital Metro might be a white elephant or that the government should live within their means, but the move away from stamp duty is a well thought out and economically sensible policy.

Pandy said :

Many many people. I include accountants from the top end of town who have stated that to me in private, but know they cannot alienate government business.

You know accountants who think we should build the tram because none of the options will be profitable? Odd.

It would be educational to see some figures for this tram line.

How many passengers would each tram carry? How many people are expected to use it? Over what time period would these passengers be utilising the service?

Would we be building a facility that is (hopefully) highly utilised for a couple of hours morning and evening, but on a miniscule scale at other times? What do you do with 20(?) trams and drivers for the rest of the day?

Sorry, but I think Green politics has short circuited rational thinking.

davo101 said :

bikhet said :

That may be so, but it shouldn’t be taken as an excuse to build the most wasteful option.

Who said it was?

Many many people. I include accountants from the top end of town who have stated that to me in private, but know they cannot alienate government business.

bikhet said :

That may be so, but it shouldn’t be taken as an excuse to build the most wasteful option.

Who said it was?

davo101 said :

gazket said :

The train numbers don’t add up at all to make the train anywhere near profitable ever.

The only profitable option would be toll roads. Not sure if either side would be “courageous” enough to do that.

That may be so, but it shouldn’t be taken as an excuse to build the most wasteful option.

chewy14 said :

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Yeah, right.

These are the same ACT voters who voted back the current Gov’t (which an assist from the Greens), in the full knowledge that their Annual Rates would, if not triple, then certainly skyrocket not to mention changing existing ACT homeowners twice for stamp duty ? Right.

That would be the same ACT Labor party that declared that they would pursue the light rail project if re elected ???

Right.

Canberra voters got what they deserve.

They are far, far too apathetic. Hopefully, the light rail saga will cause ACT voters to think more before they vote, but by then (late 2016 ?), it may be too late to stop the light rail.

Funny that you mention the move away from stamp duty to higher land taxes as a negative, when it is probably their best policy. Stamp duty is a completely inefficient tax and the change to higher land taxes gets phased in over many years. Perhaps some voters aren’t completely selfish when it comes to recognising good policy?

The size of the revenue base created by rolling in stamp duty into Annual Rates will be too great for the ACT Gov’t not increase Annual Rates by more than the 10% on average per year over 20 years. Loss making decisions like the Light Rail will inevitably flow through to even higher Annual Rates for all ACT residents – unless the GST is increased of course. Its not about being being selfish, its about being fair and about the ACT Gov’t living within their means. Existing homeowners have already paid their stamp duty on purchasing a house here – now they must pay it again, and again. Anyone who thinks that Annual Rates will NOT increase past the 10% avg.pa is in some form of denial. The Annual Rates issue is such a great policy, every State is looking at it ??? No, they are not. They know voters in their States are not that apathetic.

chewy14 said :

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Yeah, right.

These are the same ACT voters who voted back the current Gov’t (which an assist from the Greens), in the full knowledge that their Annual Rates would, if not triple, then certainly skyrocket not to mention changing existing ACT homeowners twice for stamp duty ? Right.

That would be the same ACT Labor party that declared that they would pursue the light rail project if re elected ???

Right.

Canberra voters got what they deserve.

They are far, far too apathetic. Hopefully, the light rail saga will cause ACT voters to think more before they vote, but by then (late 2016 ?), it may be too late to stop the light rail.

Funny that you mention the move away from stamp duty to higher land taxes as a negative, when it is probably their best policy. Stamp duty is a completely inefficient tax and the change to higher land taxes gets phased in over many years. Perhaps some voters aren’t completely selfish when it comes to recognising good policy?

No, most punters don’t want to see their rates triple over the next 10 years to sustain a government that wastes money.

rommeldog56 said :

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Yeah, right.

These are the same ACT voters who voted back the current Gov’t (which an assist from the Greens), in the full knowledge that their Annual Rates would, if not triple, then certainly skyrocket not to mention changing existing ACT homeowners twice for stamp duty ? Right.

That would be the same ACT Labor party that declared that they would pursue the light rail project if re elected ???

Right.

Canberra voters got what they deserve.

They are far, far too apathetic. Hopefully, the light rail saga will cause ACT voters to think more before they vote, but by then (late 2016 ?), it may be too late to stop the light rail.

Funny that you mention the move away from stamp duty to higher land taxes as a negative, when it is probably their best policy. Stamp duty is a completely inefficient tax and the change to higher land taxes gets phased in over many years. Perhaps some voters aren’t completely selfish when it comes to recognising good policy?

gazket said :

The train numbers don’t add up at all to make the train anywhere near profitable ever.

The only profitable option would be toll roads. Not sure if either side would be “courageous” enough to do that.

wildturkeycanoe8:29 am 26 May 14

A brilliant point made here so far is why can’t they synchronise the lights so that buses can get people moved faster as the tram will be delayed in exactly the same fashion. One problem with that is, it gets Gungahlin residents to work quicker, but will make the Northbourne parking lot even worse, due to the fact that all the turning vehicles will inevitably build up back into the traffic going straight, for example what happens turning right into Barry Drive from Northbourne right now. Residents from Belconnen will have increasingly painful trips into the city on Barry Drive and Macarthur Ave, not to mention the Barton Highway intersection building up way back past Kaleen.
A typical tram carriage holds 200 odd people at a length of 30m. Say you had five of them, you’d have roughly 1000 folks on the tram if full and 150m of tram to move. Unfortunately, by the time the tram gets to the inner city area, the distance between the intersections isn’t greater than roughly 75m so you’d have to reduce the length to 2 carriages or you’d block London Circuit and/or Alinga Street. That makes the total capacity of our wonder train only 400 people. The other types are 20m per 100 people, with similar limitations on capacity in relation to length of vehicle. A bus that is 18.5m long can carry 130 people, so is technically more efficient in terms of capacity.
It’s a flop already!

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Yeah, right. These are the same ACT voters who voted back the current Gov’t (which an assist from the Greens), in the full knowledge that their Annual Rates would, if not triple, then certainly skyrocket not to mention changing existing ACT homeowners twice for stamp duty ? Right. That would be the same ACT Labor party that declared that they would pursue the light rail project if re elected ??? Right.

Canberra voters got what they deserve. They are far, far too apathetic. Hopefully, the light rail saga will cause ACT voters to think more before they vote, but by then (late 2016 ?), it may be too late to stop the light rail.

gooterz said :

gazket said :

The train numbers don’t add up at all to make the train anywhere near profitable ever.

Neither do the busses.

How long before the trolley breaks down and causes a city wide traffic jam.

actually if you read the report, the bus rapid transit plan seems quite likely to generate a reasonable return on investment. assuming one can believe the report, of course. in any event, i don’t have a problem with mass transit “losing money” (any more than i have a problem with road maintenance or garbage collection “losing money”). it’s a service that contributes to the overall welfare of the city. however, when you have two alternatives virtually indistinguishable in terms of benefits but one costs a fraction of the other and yet, despite this, the gov’t keeps pushing for the option guaranteed to lose the most money… well, it is puzzling

gooterz said :

gazket said :

The train numbers don’t add up at all to make the train anywhere near profitable ever.

Neither do the busses.

How long before the trolley breaks down and causes a city wide traffic jam.

Like this?
http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/traffic-chaos-after-tram-breaks-down-during-info-event-1-3421877

goggles13 said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

montana said :

I’ve never understood why cities use Trams.

Is it because they are considered cooler than stinky old buses?

A tram isn’t going to get to point A to point B any faster than a bus, and if it does it was because there were upgrades made elsewhere, the same upgrades could have just been made for a bus.

Trams are struck to one route whilst buses can go anywhere.

Oh and trams cost heaps to install the tracks.

Am I missing something? what is the advantage of a tram over a bus?

A Metro – now that would be something!

A steel wheel on a steel rail has less rolling resistance that a rubber tyre on a bitumen road.
Trams look cooler than buses and cost heaps more. They also usually are powered by electricity which is perceived to be cleaner because the dirty bits involved in generating and transmitting the power are miles away.
What other reasons do you want?
Oh, and the tram salesmen have better deals than the bus ones.

Oh, and Capital Metro sounds groovier than Capital Tram.

What about Captial Monorail. Lyle Lanley did a good sales job for Springfield

What about this in tomorrow’s SMH?
http://www.smh.com.au/act-news/liberals-say-canberra-light-rail-network-could-cost-109-billion-20140525-zrncr.html

goggles13 said :

What about Captial Monorail. Lyle Lanley did a good sales job for Springfield

Is there a chance the track could bend?

gazket said :

The train numbers don’t add up at all to make the train anywhere near profitable ever.

Neither do the busses.

How long before the trolley breaks down and causes a city wide traffic jam.

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

montana said :

I’ve never understood why cities use Trams.

Is it because they are considered cooler than stinky old buses?

A tram isn’t going to get to point A to point B any faster than a bus, and if it does it was because there were upgrades made elsewhere, the same upgrades could have just been made for a bus.

Trams are struck to one route whilst buses can go anywhere.

Oh and trams cost heaps to install the tracks.

Am I missing something? what is the advantage of a tram over a bus?

A Metro – now that would be something!

A steel wheel on a steel rail has less rolling resistance that a rubber tyre on a bitumen road.
Trams look cooler than buses and cost heaps more. They also usually are powered by electricity which is perceived to be cleaner because the dirty bits involved in generating and transmitting the power are miles away.
What other reasons do you want?
Oh, and the tram salesmen have better deals than the bus ones.

Oh, and Capital Metro sounds groovier than Capital Tram.

What about Captial Monorail. Lyle Lanley did a good sales job for Springfield

Why do they always draw the train so small and not to scale. What is wrong with a bus lane down the left hand lane of Northbourne Ave.

A train line in the centre of Northbourne Ave with a train every 2 minutes is going to cause traffic chaos for every Canberran commuter who doesn’t live in Gungahlin but needs to travel Northbourne Ave.

Where is the carpark for commuters going to fit in Gungahlin town centre or are extra busses going to be needed to feed the train it’s passengers? The feeder buss from Bonner will take 30/40 minutes just to get to Gungahlin by the time it does it’s milk run to pick people up. 50 people to a bus and to get the 4000 people to use the train in the morning will need around 80 bus trips.

The train numbers don’t add up at all to make the train anywhere near profitable ever.

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Unfortunately in our smallish city, we have smallish politicians with an over-inflated sense of their own importance.

Masquara said :

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

Hopefully, the next election will be before 2016.

Hopefully at the next election the citizens of Canberra will remind the politicians that we are a smallish city, with smallish-city transport and infrastructure needs.

switch said :

Masquara said :

A dedicated bus lane is all that’s needed – and the technology has existed for 20 years, that allows buses to “shoot green” traffic lights ahead of them.

Just synchronising the lights properly along Northbourne for everyone would go a long way towards Canberra doing its bit to save the planet. Another trip this arvo stuck waiting at each set…

Ms Thomas has probably just paid an interstate consultant a million dollars of ratepayers’ money to tell her that.

Masquara said :

A dedicated bus lane is all that’s needed – and the technology has existed for 20 years, that allows buses to “shoot green” traffic lights ahead of them.

Just synchronising the lights properly along Northbourne for everyone would go a long way towards Canberra doing its bit to save the planet. Another trip this arvo stuck waiting at each set…

milkman said :

urchin said :

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

It’s nothing more than Greens grandstanding. The numbers don’t add up.

This is all being expressed in terms of property outcomes – not benefits to commuters. A dedicated bus lane is all that’s needed – and the technology has existed for 20 years, that allows buses to “shoot green” traffic lights ahead of them. I can’t see how the property/revenue outcomes would be very different in any case! Shane needs to drop mummy’s hand and stop begging for new toys.

milkman said :

urchin said :

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

It’s nothing more than Greens grandstanding. The numbers don’t add up.

I don’t really buy that either, though. Environmentally the difference between BRT and LRT should be minimal–particularly when compared to private cars. I just don’t see any upside to light rail other than for people who like trains. I like trains too but… 400 million and the risk of falling into the red with even a minor downturn is a lot to pay for being able to say “we have a train”. bus rapid transit, on the other hand, would be fantastic. cheaper, more convenient, virtually the same capacity and speed and able to more flexibly address changing needs.

urchin said :

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

You are correct, urchin. Apart from the support of some with vested interests like the potential for windfall property value increases for speculators and “green” considerations, it doesn’t stack up economically nor as a matter of logic. We will all pay through the nose for this folly for decades to come. If it goes ahead, I wish there was some way of holding the Ministers/Chief Minister financially responsible for the economic loss eg. with hold their superannuation and offset that against the loss the light rail/tram will inevitably make. Alternatively, get rid of this economically and fiscally incompetent ACT Government and vote for – who ? The ACT Lib’s ? That doesn’t fill me with much more sense of hope I’m afraid. Groan……. But at least they said they will stop the light rail/tram, but how much $ will be spent on it before the next election ?

The only responsible thing for the Labor ACT Government to do is to make it a central plank of the next election (when is that ???) and let the people decide. Gallagher/Barr/Rattenbury MUST declare what the impact of ACT Government charges and Annual Rates will be so that the people can decide if its wothwhile. As it stands, the ACT Government is writing a blank cheque – and all ACT residents/Ratepayers will pay for it !

I sometimes don’t agree with Mark Parton, but on this issue, Mark is 100% correct, so good on him for keeping the heat on the pollies on this one.

urchin said :

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

It’s nothing more than Greens grandstanding. The numbers don’t add up.

bigred said :

urchin said :

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

The cogent argument is that I expect to make a supernormal profit on a future real estate transaction should it go ahead, if international trends apply in this enclave.

but the report says that property value increases are essentially the same under both LRT and BRT scenarios. so even property speculation doesn’t make sense as a motive. getting paid off by LRT lobbyists would explain it, i suppose…

urchin said :

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

The cogent argument is that I expect to make a supernormal profit on a future real estate transaction should it go ahead, if international trends apply in this enclave.

After 70 odd posts still haven’t seen anything that demonstrates how or why light rail is superior to a dedicated bus lane. Did i miss something or is it that there really is no cogent argument to support it?

bigred said :

The whole idea of the light rail project is to provide an economic stimulus during the coming downturn. Don’t really care where they get the $, but the economy needs this to start asap. The secondary benefits inlude fixed transport linkages and increased land tax revenue. Bit of a no lose really.

Oh, come on “….I don’t care where they get they get the $….”. Really ? It comes from all ACT residents/ratepayers, as will the ongoing operating loss. Who says that the “….economy needs this to start asap…..” And are you accepting “….increased land tax revenue……” as acceptable ? Good grief – again, this comes from ACT residents/ratepayers !!! With rationale like that bigred, its no wonder the ACT Gov’ts finances are in such a mess – ACT residents/ratepayers must be totally apathetic (or is that too well paid ?) to accept this sort of economic/fiscal madness at the current time.

banco said :

miz said :

Tuggeranong residents perhaps might have held a different view if the project actually ends up completed as planned (including to parts of Tuggers -though unfortunately not the Monaro Highway which is a strange omission – this was pointed out at the TCC meeting).

There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell this thing gets to Tuggers.

I would say that the budget has this “dead, buried and cremated” …

miz said :

Tuggeranong residents perhaps might have held a different view if the project actually ends up completed as planned (including to parts of Tuggers -though unfortunately not the Monaro Highway which is a strange omission – this was pointed out at the TCC meeting).

There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell this thing gets to Tuggers.

And now – a walk of 1.5km to a tram stop is seen as ok (according to a report in the CT today from the Cap Metro). Googlemap says that walking 1.5km takes 18 minutes. 18 minutes walking for an elderly person, or if carrying your shopping means back to the car for some of us.

According to Ms Thomas the traffic lights on Northbourne will need to be synchronised – what a surprise. Why can’t that happen immediately so that the benefits of more efficient travel by buses and cars can begin right now?

Pandy, see my recent comment on Damien’s comment about the TCC meeting on light rail. You will be pleased to hear that his recollection does not tally with what actually happened.

Damian said “I was at a TCC meeting recently and heard some very parochial views on how all money was being spent in Gungahlin and nothing down south, which just defies scrutiny (and i should point out, do not represent the views of the TCC which have always been supportive of light rail). First i would say that it simply isn’t true, there was significant spending on the Monaro quite recently and secondly, i may never need to use a sewage pipe in Gilmore, but I don’t object to them being installed. I hope I live to see light rail running from Jerrabombera to Hall.”

I was at that TCC meeting and my recollection is quite different to yours. Tuggeranong people expressed considerable chagrin about the fact that they will get no benefit whatsoever from the planned light rail project yet are expected to pay for it. They also drew the speaker’s attention to the fact that even Gunners does not have the density to support it (statistics were provided).

Tuggeranong residents perhaps might have held a different view if the project actually ends up completed as planned (including to parts of Tuggers -though unfortunately not the Monaro Highway which is a strange omission – this was pointed out at the TCC meeting). Or it might even be something Tuggeranong could support if the first leg added a missing public transport link such as Civic to the airport; however the repeated Tuggeranong experience is that projects and policies invariably start on the north and get cancelled before they get to Tuggeranong, so why would anyone in Tuggeranong think this is any different? That may seem parochial to you, but to me that is the voice of experience and common sense. You seem to indicate that Tuggeranong should be lucky the govt is actually duplicating Ashley/Erindale Drives, 30 years later – it appears you think we should be grateful for that? Recent money spent on the Monaro Hwy was all up the Fyshwick end (the bridge), which is hardly what could be considered ‘money spent on Tuggeranong’.
Further, your argument that ‘all taxpayers pay for things they don’t use’ is a spurious one in this case, as you are not comparing like with like. The light rail project, while perhaps desirable, is completely unnecessary at this time (as it completely duplicates an existing, well patronised bus service) and is very, very expensive to boot – unlike something like repairing a sewer pipe which is an essential service for which people pay rates and would have serious public health implications if not attended to.
When did you last use an ACTION bus? Apart from weekends (which continue to be neglected) they are clean and generally efficient, particularly at peak times. I dare you to take the bus along the proposed light rail route. If you do that and are honest with yourself, you will see that we really don’t need light rail.

jase! said :

Surely those 2 pages can be the start of a Cost benefit analysis of why it makes more sense than light rail.

Too late already done. See page 80 of this report. If we use the Field of Dreams/Magic Pudding scenario the benefits are:

Bus $1.2 billion
Tram $1.2 billion

and costs are:

Bus $250 million
Tram $525 million

That right! The same benefit for only slightly more than twice the cost. It’s the kind of genius you might only see one or twice in a generation.

Light rail’s a great idea.

If we could afford it. We can’t. Someone blew the budget on festivals, fake forests and football teams during a period of massive revenue growth in the ACT.

Now the downturn has come and there’s nothing left, no-one provisioned for this inevitability. The credit card bill is huge and basic services are going to suffer.

Stick a fancy 3D model of the light rail in Woden’s ER waiting room.

nothappyjan said :

The Brazilians in Curitiba seem to have been doing this better than anyone for a very long time. Why can’t the ACT council learn from best practice rather than pretending to have a clue when they clearly don’t.

see it in action on SBS at http://www.sbs.com.au/programs/this-is-brazil/article/2014/04/23/episode-1-curitiba-belo-horizonte

or read about it at –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rede_Integrada_de_Transporte
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit

This, with the first dedicated bus lane right down the middle of northbourne.

Surely those 2 pages can be the start of a Cost benefit analysis of why it makes more sense than light rail.

Would Shane Rattenbury like to reply to this thread explaining the benefits of light rail over BRT for canberra?

damien haas said :

qbngeek said :

damien haas said :

Yes.

If properly managed, the project can be delivered on time and on budget.

The question you ask Mark is not related to the point you are trying to make in your article. The article alludes to financing options that aren’t yet decided upon, are part of a range of options, and which you (and other journos) have singled out as the one to focus upon.

I am heartened that you think light rail is a good idea.

As the project is going ahead, It has to be paid for in some form.

The federal governments of both liberal and labour flavours preferred not to invest in ACT public transport infrastructure. If we both agree light rail is a good idea, we agree it must be paid for, then the points of difference come down to the method of financing. I suggest its best to explore all options and then arrive at the method most likely to ensure that it actually can be built.

Let us wait and see what the real financing option is before hyperventilating about magical fairytales.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Damien,
I don’t want this to sound like an attack on you personally, but I have noticed that the only people who seem to be willing to fight to tooth and nail for light rail are those that live in or around Gungahlin or on the route it will take. Would you fight so hard for it if it was running to Woden and not going to assist Gungahlin at all?

The ACT government has spent many years catering to Gungahlin and what its people want, while letting other areas of Canberra go without until its time for an election and they need some votes. The worst part is that I am not from the ACT and I can see this so I wonder how people who actually live in south ACT feel.

I don’t live in Gungahlin, i don’t own property in Gungahlin or anywhere near Gungahlin or the route chosen. I would be supportive of Capital Metro if the first route was Molonglo to Civic or Tuggeranong via Woden to Civic.

Most members of ACT Light Rail are from all over Canberra. The Deputy Chair and Secretary are from Gungahlin. They were also members of the GCC.

It is a misnomer that there is no support for Capital Metro except from those in Gungahlin that will immediately benefit. I would prefer all Canberrans to take a long term view. You do need to start somewhere, and the Northbourne Flemington corridor is the first route chosen for many reasons.

ACTGOV are already doing some planning for extensions – although I really would prefer all effort was directed to cementing the financing and beginning construction.

I was at a TCC meeting recently and heard some very parochial views on how all money was being spent in Gungahlin and nothing down south, which just defies scrutiny (and i should point out, do not represent the views of the TCC which have always been supportive of light rail). First i would say that it simply isn’t true, there was significant spending on the Monaro quite recently and secondly, i may never need to use a sewage pipe in Gilmore, but I don’t object to them being installed. I hope I live to see light rail running from Jerrabombera to Hall.

And who are the TCC? Not elected by the wider population. Just a few old foggiest with nothing better to.do. if they did represent the greater views of Tuggers, they would be against trams to Gunghalin.

dtc said :

But don’t argue on the basis of ‘we don’t need it’ unless you also make that argument against (for example) the Majura parkway.

Yeah, two facts:
Majura Parkway: net present value $480 million
Tram Plan: net present value $0*

The tram plan is by definition unnecessary.

*Actually claimed to be $10 million, but in an $800 million that’s near enough to rounding error to ignore.

JC said :

dtc said :

c. only links north canberra to the Highway and thus is of no benefit to people living in Tuggeranong or Woden etc

Really? I would have thought it links South Canberra to the highway, ESPECIALLY Tuggeranong.

North Canberra is linked by Northborne Ave, Gungahlin by Flemmington Road and Horse Park drive.

Of course Majura Parkway will help link Gungahlin to Russell, the Parl Triangle and Fyshwick without having to drive through the city.

So you are telling me that with out the parkway, no one in South Canberra can get to the highway? And that no one in North Canberra can get to Russell?

My point is not that the parkway does nothing, obviously it connects 2 spots. But all arguments against the tramway based on ‘it does nothing for me’ or ‘we dont need it’ apply equally to the parkway. We dont need it, there are existing roads that connect the same two spots. It does little for many people as it connects places they dont go. It costs money to build – $288m to be precise (budgeted) plus ongoing maintenance. In return it saves a few minutes of driving and reduces traffic through the city.

I know the tramway costs more and, sure, argue on the basis of economic return and ‘value for money’ and alternative options to achieve the same results. dedicated busways, for example, make sense to me.

But dont argue on the basis of ‘we dont need it’ unless you also make that argument against (for example) the Majura parkway.

HiddenDragon11:16 am 20 May 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

bigred said :

Light rail will actually compete with the need for a second car in the household. Add in the capital cost saving if Households start getting rid of the other car, and you will see the real benefit. Because the link will be permanent people can plan with certainty. However, while I support the thing, I can see pollies abandoning it under pressure from those still residing firmly in the sixth decade of the last century.

Not too many households would be getting rid of a second car, I think. Unless you live walking distance to a station, and go where the tram wants to take you, it’s not that much use.

Precisely – anyone who’s lived and commuted in a city with real rail will know that it’s only useful if it’s practicable to get to and from the relevant stations at each end; otherwise it’s cars, buses etc.

The recently aired thought of a special rating zone near the proposed tram line might nudge some households to get rid of their second/third/fourth car but in this high income town, it will be a marginal decision for most. And I will believe the special rating zone when I see it – wouldn’t go down well in what is Labor/Green heartland; more likely the costs will be socialised across the length and breadth of the ACT.

dungfungus said :

montana said :

I’ve never understood why cities use Trams.

Is it because they are considered cooler than stinky old buses?

A tram isn’t going to get to point A to point B any faster than a bus, and if it does it was because there were upgrades made elsewhere, the same upgrades could have just been made for a bus.

Trams are struck to one route whilst buses can go anywhere.

Oh and trams cost heaps to install the tracks.

Am I missing something? what is the advantage of a tram over a bus?

A Metro – now that would be something!

A steel wheel on a steel rail has less rolling resistance that a rubber tyre on a bitumen road.
Trams look cooler than buses and cost heaps more. They also usually are powered by electricity which is perceived to be cleaner because the dirty bits involved in generating and transmitting the power are miles away.
What other reasons do you want?
Oh, and the tram salesmen have better deals than the bus ones.

Oh, and Capital Metro sounds groovier than Capital Tram.

montana said :

I’ve never understood why cities use Trams.

Is it because they are considered cooler than stinky old buses?

A tram isn’t going to get to point A to point B any faster than a bus, and if it does it was because there were upgrades made elsewhere, the same upgrades could have just been made for a bus.

Trams are struck to one route whilst buses can go anywhere.

Oh and trams cost heaps to install the tracks.

Am I missing something? what is the advantage of a tram over a bus?

A Metro – now that would be something!

A steel wheel on a steel rail has less rolling resistance that a rubber tyre on a bitumen road.
Trams look cooler than buses and cost heaps more. They also usually are powered by electricity which is perceived to be cleaner because the dirty bits involved in generating and transmitting the power are miles away.
What other reasons do you want?
Oh, and the tram salesmen have better deals than the bus ones.

montana said :

I’ve never understood why cities use Trams.

Is it because they are considered cooler than stinky old buses?

A tram isn’t going to get to point A to point B any faster than a bus, and if it does it was because there were upgrades made elsewhere, the same upgrades could have just been made for a bus.

Trams are struck to one route whilst buses can go anywhere.

Oh and trams cost heaps to install the tracks.

Am I missing something? what is the advantage of a tram over a bus?

A Metro – now that would be something!

Apparently trams can carry more people. Also people are more willing to use them. I know that if I go to a strange city I feel more secure with trams, because the tram tracks give more surety where we are going. I feel that I am never quite sure where I might end up on a (strange) bus. Trams also have dedicated routes. Of course buses too could be given dedicated routes (at least on main, busier routes); meaning they would not be blocked and held up by cars, but they still can’t carry the same number of people; therefore more buses and drivers are needed.

I’ve never understood why cities use Trams.

Is it because they are considered cooler than stinky old buses?

A tram isn’t going to get to point A to point B any faster than a bus, and if it does it was because there were upgrades made elsewhere, the same upgrades could have just been made for a bus.

Trams are struck to one route whilst buses can go anywhere.

Oh and trams cost heaps to install the tracks.

Am I missing something? what is the advantage of a tram over a bus?

A Metro – now that would be something!

nothappyjan said :

watto23 said :

I think the biggest issue with the light rail is it isn’t different enough from buses. We really need rapid transport between the town centres, however I suspect this will cost too much to build, whereas a tram down northbourne has a chance to be profitable. However that Rapid Busway from Civic to Belconnen that got canned a few years ago would be ideal. Build those between the Town centres, and by build i mean separate roads with no lights and maybe 1 stop at a major stop (easily can do underpasses of main roads that wouldn’t cost too much).

The Brazilians in Curitiba seem to have been doing this better than anyone for a very long time. Why can’t the ACT council learn from best practice rather than pretending to have a clue when they clearly don’t.

see it in action on SBS at http://www.sbs.com.au/programs/this-is-brazil/article/2014/04/23/episode-1-curitiba-belo-horizonte

or read about it at –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rede_Integrada_de_Transporte
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit

You raise a good point. Car ownership per resident in Curitaba is exactly the same as Canberra (0.63). Brazil now has the world’s 6th largest economy but corruption and price fixing is still endemic.
The local executives of the the largest tram makers in the world are currently facing charges in Sao Paulo. The companies are involved are Canada’s Bombardier, Germany’s Siemens, CAF of Spain, Mitsui of Japan, Alstom of France and South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem.
The prosecutor’s office charged in a statement that the companies engaged in price fixing and said those that won bids then contracted the losing companies to provide services. Five contacts signed between 1998 and 2008 are being investigated.
Could this happen in Australia? Yes.

watto23 said :

I think the biggest issue with the light rail is it isn’t different enough from buses. We really need rapid transport between the town centres, however I suspect this will cost too much to build, whereas a tram down northbourne has a chance to be profitable. However that Rapid Busway from Civic to Belconnen that got canned a few years ago would be ideal. Build those between the Town centres, and by build i mean separate roads with no lights and maybe 1 stop at a major stop (easily can do underpasses of main roads that wouldn’t cost too much).

The Brazilians in Curitiba seem to have been doing this better than anyone for a very long time. Why can’t the ACT council learn from best practice rather than pretending to have a clue when they clearly don’t.

see it in action on SBS at http://www.sbs.com.au/programs/this-is-brazil/article/2014/04/23/episode-1-curitiba-belo-horizonte

or read about it at –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rede_Integrada_de_Transporte
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit

Still haven’t heard the positives of light rail over bases… anyone?

dtc said :

c. only links north canberra to the Highway and thus is of no benefit to people living in Tuggeranong or Woden etc

Really? I would have thought it links South Canberra to the highway, ESPECIALLY Tuggeranong.

North Canberra is linked by Northborne Ave, Gungahlin by Flemmington Road and Horse Park drive.

Of course Majura Parkway will help link Gungahlin to Russell, the Parl Triangle and Fyshwick without having to drive through the city.

dtc said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

a. Massively cheaper than light rail, and it’s partly federally funded. It also won’t be subsidised when in operation.
b. Significantly reducing commute times, and other travel times, is not an economic benefit?
c. People in Woden and Tuggeranong never drive to Sydney? Or to Gungahlin?
d. Is any govt project delivered on time?

I’m not a big fan of the way the current local govt does things, but the Majura Parkway seems a heap better thought out than the proposed light rail solution.

a. a bit cheaper but still several hundred million dollars
b. you can use the perfectly good roads we already have that are more or less empty 90% of the time. Plus at least light rail receives some income to offset the cost, (non toll) roads receive no income whatsoever. Ever. And still cost money in upkeep
c. see (b)
d. you pay peanuts, you get cheap contractors.

You’re joking, right?

VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:25 pm 19 May 14

bigred said :

Light rail will actually compete with the need for a second car in the household. Add in the capital cost saving if Households start getting rid of the other car, and you will see the real benefit. Because the link will be permanent people can plan with certainty. However, while I support the thing, I can see pollies abandoning it under pressure from those still residing firmly in the sixth decade of the last century.

Not too many households would be getting rid of a second car, I think. Unless you live walking distance to a station, and go where the tram wants to take you, it’s not that much use.

Light rail will actually compete with the need for a second car in the household. Add in the capital cost saving if Households start getting rid of the other car, and you will see the real benefit. Because the link will be permanent people can plan with certainty. However, while I support the thing, I can see pollies abandoning it under pressure from those still residing firmly in the sixth decade of the last century.

dtc said :

I trust that y’all complained about the Majura Parkway as well, since it

a. costs a lot of money
b. gives no economic return
c. only links north canberra to the Highway and thus is of no benefit to people living in Tuggeranong or Woden etc
d. isnt going to be delivered on time (dont know about on budget)

In other words, exactly the same arguments as are being put about light rail.

The one difference is that the parkway is generally out of sight and out of mind.

Oh, and how could I forget – its about cars and not public transport.

Majura Parkway is a lot cheaper than this white elephant (I know greens voters struggle with arithmetic) and we’ll be subsiding light rail’s running costs for ever more.

I think the biggest issue with the light rail is it isn’t different enough from buses. We really need rapid transport between the town centres, however I suspect this will cost too much to build, whereas a tram down northbourne has a chance to be profitable. However that Rapid Busway from Civic to Belconnen that got canned a few years ago would be ideal. Build those between the Town centres, and by build i mean separate roads with no lights and maybe 1 stop at a major stop (easily can do underpasses of main roads that wouldn’t cost too much).

HiddenDragon said :

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

I suppose it’s too much to hope that local Labor will, with heavy heart etc. etc., drop their commitment to the northside trams and blame it all on the federal “horror budget” – that truly would be a silver lining (and would be a huge budget win, and a handy political win, locally).

Far more likely, of course, they will defiantly plough on, and raise rates and other taxes and charges to even more extortionate levels to keep the dream alive.

It would be a couple of giant redundancy packages for the Capital Metro Agency heavies if they close it out. The Green would be forced to retaliate to save face. Interesting.
What will happen to all Corbells solar electricity?

The giant redundancy packages would be a very, very small price to pay. Shane could mandate compulsory cycling for Civic and the inner north, as a face saving measure. The solar panels – well, some of them – will be re-oriented towards a Greenpeace satellite and reflected back, laser-like, at Joe Hockey’s inner south des res.

Hidden Dragon, you win the prize for the comment of the day on this thread. Well done. You’ve scored for yourself an unlimited travel free Capital Metro pass for 2016. Enjoy the Northbourne views !!

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

a. Massively cheaper than light rail, and it’s partly federally funded. It also won’t be subsidised when in operation.
b. Significantly reducing commute times, and other travel times, is not an economic benefit?
c. People in Woden and Tuggeranong never drive to Sydney? Or to Gungahlin?
d. Is any govt project delivered on time?

I’m not a big fan of the way the current local govt does things, but the Majura Parkway seems a heap better thought out than the proposed light rail solution.

a. a bit cheaper but still several hundred million dollars
b. you can use the perfectly good roads we already have that are more or less empty 90% of the time. Plus at least light rail receives some income to offset the cost, (non toll) roads receive no income whatsoever. Ever. And still cost money in upkeep
c. see (b)
d. you pay peanuts, you get cheap contractors.

Decent bike storage on a light rail is about the only thing that might improve the proposition of light rail for me. It’s one of the few ways you could extend the otherwise narrow usage corridor.

Light rail in Phoenix have this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g-9yX5RkQ0

There are several other ideas for storing bikes on transport

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesbondsv/3383699295/

Having said that, I tend to agree with others who question the cost vs benefit of light rail.

HiddenDragon said :

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

I suppose it’s too much to hope that local Labor will, with heavy heart etc. etc., drop their commitment to the northside trams and blame it all on the federal “horror budget” – that truly would be a silver lining (and would be a huge budget win, and a handy political win, locally).

Far more likely, of course, they will defiantly plough on, and raise rates and other taxes and charges to even more extortionate levels to keep the dream alive.

It would be a couple of giant redundancy packages for the Capital Metro Agency heavies if they close it out. The Green would be forced to retaliate to save face. Interesting.
What will happen to all Corbells solar electricity?

The giant redundancy packages would be a very, very small price to pay. Shane could mandate compulsory cycling for Civic and the inner north, as a face saving measure. The solar panels – well, some of them – will be re-oriented towards a Greenpeace satellite and reflected back, laser-like, at Joe Hockey’s inner south des res.

Don’t give them any ideas, please!

HiddenDragon12:28 pm 19 May 14

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

I suppose it’s too much to hope that local Labor will, with heavy heart etc. etc., drop their commitment to the northside trams and blame it all on the federal “horror budget” – that truly would be a silver lining (and would be a huge budget win, and a handy political win, locally).

Far more likely, of course, they will defiantly plough on, and raise rates and other taxes and charges to even more extortionate levels to keep the dream alive.

It would be a couple of giant redundancy packages for the Capital Metro Agency heavies if they close it out. The Green would be forced to retaliate to save face. Interesting.
What will happen to all Corbells solar electricity?

The giant redundancy packages would be a very, very small price to pay. Shane could mandate compulsory cycling for Civic and the inner north, as a face saving measure. The solar panels – well, some of them – will be re-oriented towards a Greenpeace satellite and reflected back, laser-like, at Joe Hockey’s inner south des res.

HiddenDragon said :

I suppose it’s too much to hope that local Labor will, with heavy heart etc. etc., drop their commitment to the northside trams and blame it all on the federal “horror budget” – that truly would be a silver lining (and would be a huge budget win, and a handy political win, locally).

Far more likely, of course, they will defiantly plough on, and raise rates and other taxes and charges to even more extortionate levels to keep the dream alive.

It would be a couple of giant redundancy packages for the Capital Metro Agency heavies if they close it out. The Green would be forced to retaliate to save face. Interesting.
What will happen to all Corbells solar electricity?

HiddenDragon11:37 am 19 May 14

I suppose it’s too much to hope that local Labor will, with heavy heart etc. etc., drop their commitment to the northside trams and blame it all on the federal “horror budget” – that truly would be a silver lining (and would be a huge budget win, and a handy political win, locally).

Far more likely, of course, they will defiantly plough on, and raise rates and other taxes and charges to even more extortionate levels to keep the dream alive.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back10:53 am 19 May 14

dtc said :

I trust that y’all complained about the Majura Parkway as well, since it

a. costs a lot of money
b. gives no economic return
c. only links north canberra to the Highway and thus is of no benefit to people living in Tuggeranong or Woden etc
d. isnt going to be delivered on time (dont know about on budget)

In other words, exactly the same arguments as are being put about light rail.

The one difference is that the parkway is generally out of sight and out of mind.

Oh, and how could I forget – its about cars and not public transport.

a. Massively cheaper than light rail, and it’s partly federally funded. It also won’t be subsidised when in operation.
b. Significantly reducing commute times, and other travel times, is not an economic benefit?
c. People in Woden and Tuggeranong never drive to Sydney? Or to Gungahlin?
d. Is any govt project delivered on time?

I’m not a big fan of the way the current local govt does things, but the Majura Parkway seems a heap better thought out than the proposed light rail solution.

I trust that y’all complained about the Majura Parkway as well, since it

a. costs a lot of money
b. gives no economic return
c. only links north canberra to the Highway and thus is of no benefit to people living in Tuggeranong or Woden etc
d. isnt going to be delivered on time (dont know about on budget)

In other words, exactly the same arguments as are being put about light rail.

The one difference is that the parkway is generally out of sight and out of mind.

Oh, and how could I forget – its about cars and not public transport.

FHW said :

The main advantage that light rail has over bus is that the buses are limited to two bicycles at one time.

Having room for more than 2 bikes means
a) families can go for trips together on weekends (eg take the kids to Commonwealth Park)
b) the catchment area for light rail is a lot greater than walking distance from the route. It could take on people from a few kilometres away (depending on how energetic they feel)

It also has a lot of feel-good associated with it. Cities with trams are often more popular than those without.

LRT is primarily for commuters. There would be a secondary benefit for energetic families to take bikes as you suggest but you are talking about weekend and holiday times and if Action bus services at these times are a yardstick then expect a long wait or no service at all.
Suggesting that trams are a feel good thing is the novelty effect for people who travel on them periodically and by choice. People in Europe who are crammed into trams like sardines don’t feel good. They would rather be driving their own cars but most can’t own a car because they can’t park at home or at work. Canberra was designed and built for cars and that is the way it will always be. There is a hint of “build it and they will come” in your post.
Remember the futsal slab?

Some people need to re-boot their sarcasm meter for FHW’s posts. It it a Monday morning thing?

justsomeaussie9:12 am 19 May 14

While I’m not overly enamoured by the idea of a light rail in general but I’ve wondered why not just normal light rail till it gets to Cooyong then turns into civic and then upwards into a monorail (plenty of mountain trains go uphill easily) and then the monorail connects to the Canberra centre. It makes sense to maximise the use of space by going vertical without all the huge amounts of pain of putting a complete elevated railway in.

That way other town centres can build their light rail in the future and all can just connect into the elevated station in civic.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back9:10 am 19 May 14

FHW said :

It also has a lot of feel-good associated with it. Cities with trams are often more popular than those without.

What scares me is that this is probably the main reason in favour of light rail. And it is not a good reason.

FHW said :

The main advantage that light rail has over bus is that the buses are limited to two bicycles at one time.

Having room for more than 2 bikes means
a) families can go for trips together on weekends (eg take the kids to Commonwealth Park)
b) the catchment area for light rail is a lot greater than walking distance from the route. It could take on people from a few kilometres away (depending on how energetic they feel)

It also has a lot of feel-good associated with it. Cities with trams are often more popular than those without.

I don’t see how these benefits would justify a project that’s going to cost hundreds of millions and require huge subsidies to operate.

Sorry, FHW.
Happy to spend money on bike infrastructure, but got to draw the line somewhere. Close to a $billion for feel good doesn’t cut it for me.

damien haas said :

Let us wait and see what the real financing option is before hyperventilating about magical fairytales.

Sorry Damien, but in this case it’s the government that is trying to sell the magical fairytale.

Either they are committing us to light rail without knowing how it’s going to be funded – in which cased they are fools (not unusual for governments) – or they do know how it’s going to be funded and aren’t telling us – in which cased they are liars (also not unusual for governments).

In either case they are setting up the taxpayers to fall for the sunk cost fallacy. They are spending so much money up front that they will eventually claim that the project must go ahead, whatever the cost or funding arrangements, or the sunk costs will be wasted.

gooterz said :

What will light rail do, that getting rid of half the intersections along Northborne av couldn’t?

If its 35 minutes in peak.. should we expect an hour with light rail.

What happens during construction?

One would imagine that they would synchronize the traffic lights in such a way that the tram doesn’t have to stop at said intersections…

The main advantage that light rail has over bus is that the buses are limited to two bicycles at one time.

Having room for more than 2 bikes means
a) families can go for trips together on weekends (eg take the kids to Commonwealth Park)
b) the catchment area for light rail is a lot greater than walking distance from the route. It could take on people from a few kilometres away (depending on how energetic they feel)

It also has a lot of feel-good associated with it. Cities with trams are often more popular than those without.

gooterz said :

What will light rail do, that getting rid of half the intersections along Northborne av couldn’t?

If its 35 minutes in peak.. should we expect an hour with light rail.

What happens during construction?

What happened to that “What’s Under Northbourne Avenue” audit that the Capital Metro Agency were going to do?
Methinks they have found lots of asbestos water pipes that will have to be re-located and if the authorities are consistent (recent precedent of business closures in Dickson because of asbestos discovery) they will have to completely close Northbourne Avenue while the process of re-location happens at great cost and inconvenience.
We may get a monorail yet. That will guarantee removal of all trees on the median strip.

What will light rail do, that getting rid of half the intersections along Northborne av couldn’t?

If its 35 minutes in peak.. should we expect an hour with light rail.

What happens during construction?

urchin said :

Seriously, the simple answer is usually the best. Add another bus lane. See how it goes. iIf it turns out to not be enough you can always build a metro later, but the bus lane seems like the easiest, fastest and cheapest solution.

Amen, Urchin.

Trams will never be a solution for Canberra. Why can’t people see this? Canberra is too spread out for slow trams on ground level, stopping at traffic lights, to ever be a serious solution. Canberra is not a densely populated European city. Trams will simply replace buses on main routes and be just as slow.

The real solution is a fast metro – underground and overground where possible (such as down Adelaide Ave) to minimise costs. Two lines: Tuggeranong/Woden/Civic/Belconnen and Gungahlin/Dickson/Civic/Defence/Airport. This will be really expensive (try $10 billion – double?) but will work, unlike the waste of money on trams. And will still be servicing our children’s children’s children etc. in a couple of centuries.

I suspect we cannot afford it (although the people of Bradfield’s generation never said that) but at least, please don’t waste our money on trams just to satisfy Simon Rattenbury’s nonsensical prejudices.

urchin said :

milkman said :

jase! said :

davjp said :

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

fantastic question davjp. what does light rail provide that a dedicated t-way down the same route wouldnt provide?

This is the question I need answered too. If there’s a sensible answer then great, but if not, forget it.

The answer is that putting in light rail will allow the gov’t to sell land in the rail corridor at a premium. The ACT enjoys nothing more than selling overpriced land.

There’s no chance the premium they’d get would pay for this hugely expensive white elephant.

qbngeek said :

damien haas said :

Yes.

If properly managed, the project can be delivered on time and on budget.

The question you ask Mark is not related to the point you are trying to make in your article. The article alludes to financing options that aren’t yet decided upon, are part of a range of options, and which you (and other journos) have singled out as the one to focus upon.

I am heartened that you think light rail is a good idea.

As the project is going ahead, It has to be paid for in some form.

The federal governments of both liberal and labour flavours preferred not to invest in ACT public transport infrastructure. If we both agree light rail is a good idea, we agree it must be paid for, then the points of difference come down to the method of financing. I suggest its best to explore all options and then arrive at the method most likely to ensure that it actually can be built.

Let us wait and see what the real financing option is before hyperventilating about magical fairytales.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Damien,
I don’t want this to sound like an attack on you personally, but I have noticed that the only people who seem to be willing to fight to tooth and nail for light rail are those that live in or around Gungahlin or on the route it will take. Would you fight so hard for it if it was running to Woden and not going to assist Gungahlin at all?

The ACT government has spent many years catering to Gungahlin and what its people want, while letting other areas of Canberra go without until its time for an election and they need some votes. The worst part is that I am not from the ACT and I can see this so I wonder how people who actually live in south ACT feel.

I don’t live in Gungahlin, i don’t own property in Gungahlin or anywhere near Gungahlin or the route chosen. I would be supportive of Capital Metro if the first route was Molonglo to Civic or Tuggeranong via Woden to Civic.

Most members of ACT Light Rail are from all over Canberra. The Deputy Chair and Secretary are from Gungahlin. They were also members of the GCC.

It is a misnomer that there is no support for Capital Metro except from those in Gungahlin that will immediately benefit. I would prefer all Canberrans to take a long term view. You do need to start somewhere, and the Northbourne Flemington corridor is the first route chosen for many reasons.

ACTGOV are already doing some planning for extensions – although I really would prefer all effort was directed to cementing the financing and beginning construction.

I was at a TCC meeting recently and heard some very parochial views on how all money was being spent in Gungahlin and nothing down south, which just defies scrutiny (and i should point out, do not represent the views of the TCC which have always been supportive of light rail). First i would say that it simply isn’t true, there was significant spending on the Monaro quite recently and secondly, i may never need to use a sewage pipe in Gilmore, but I don’t object to them being installed. I hope I live to see light rail running from Jerrabombera to Hall.

jgsma said :

How are passengers to get to and from this nonsensical means of transport? If I live or work anywhere but along the route or Civic or Gungahlin, will I be getting in my car or on a bus to get to the light rail, then getting off the light rail and bussing to my destination?

I don’t think so.

Wonderful means of transport but not here, not now.

Your right if you don’t live or work on the route you will do what your doing now. The light rail is for that route only, which if you have driven it you will see is full of high density apartments which will generate the required demand to make it feasible.

The lack of high density corridors elsewhere in Canberra is what makes it unsuitable to anywhere else, unless you want to see Belconnen Way or Adelaide Ave turned into apartment line boulevards.

I suspect that a lot of people would rather sit in traffic along Northbourne for 25 minutes AND pay $12 a day for parking, rather than catch light rail. Thanks to ABC 666 and the commercial talkbacks and breakfast shows, you can catch up on news & local issues all the way in your car, so it isn’t actually wasted time. Or, for parents, commute time in the car is often their best “quality time” with their kids. Getting from your house to a light rail station will be far less convenient than driving your car to work. And people’s next best option would be the bus – because bus stops are generally more handy than getting to a train station. Is the expectation that people will bus from their homes to the train station? What a hassle! Might as well just bus it all the way. The ACT Government should take note well ahead of this – car commuters are diehard, and will spew at subsidising underutilised light rail as well as paying in full for their own commuter choices. Not a vote winner.

milkman said :

jase! said :

davjp said :

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

fantastic question davjp. what does light rail provide that a dedicated t-way down the same route wouldnt provide?

This is the question I need answered too. If there’s a sensible answer then great, but if not, forget it.

The answer is that putting in light rail will allow the gov’t to sell land in the rail corridor at a premium. The ACT enjoys nothing more than selling overpriced land.

A straight shot from Gungahlin to Civic without traffic is about 13 minutes. In rush hour its around 35 minutes. Putting in a dedicated bus lane for the parts of the journey that lack it now would improve things immeasurably, cost significantly less and require much less time to actually implement.

It would give other, non-Gungahlin busses running down Northbourne a big boost as well.

If it ever gets built it will displace existing bus services, resulting in only a marginal improvement in traffic reduction. The enormous cost and semi-privatization will no doubt result in even higher fares, putting a greater burden on those who rely on it and creating a greater disincentive to actually use it.

Seriously, the simple answer is usually the best. Add another bus lane. See how it goes. iIf it turns out to not be enough you can always build a metro later, but the bus lane seems like the easiest, fastest and cheapest solution.

damien haas said :

Yes.

If properly managed, the project can be delivered on time and on budget.

The question you ask Mark is not related to the point you are trying to make in your article. The article alludes to financing options that aren’t yet decided upon, are part of a range of options, and which you (and other journos) have singled out as the one to focus upon.

I am heartened that you think light rail is a good idea.

As the project is going ahead, It has to be paid for in some form.

The federal governments of both liberal and labour flavours preferred not to invest in ACT public transport infrastructure. If we both agree light rail is a good idea, we agree it must be paid for, then the points of difference come down to the method of financing. I suggest its best to explore all options and then arrive at the method most likely to ensure that it actually can be built.

Let us wait and see what the real financing option is before hyperventilating about magical fairytales.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Damien,
I don’t want this to sound like an attack on you personally, but I have noticed that the only people who seem to be willing to fight to tooth and nail for light rail are those that live in or around Gungahlin or on the route it will take. Would you fight so hard for it if it was running to Woden and not going to assist Gungahlin at all?

The ACT government has spent many years catering to Gungahlin and what its people want, while letting other areas of Canberra go without until its time for an election and they need some votes. The worst part is that I am not from the ACT and I can see this so I wonder how people who actually live in south ACT feel.

Perhaps the best gauge of credibility of Capital Metro Agency is their failure to recall the “artists’ impressions” of the trams that are constantly shown in related media reports and articles. These “impressions” falsify the facts, for example, there should be only one overhead electrical wire (not two), the wires (catenary) are not showing stanchions to hold them up.
If the said agency is too lazy to commission proper depictions within the millions of dollars they are spending outsourcing reports and studies (which are really re-hashes done for other LRT networks in Australia) then they deserve the outcome also depicted in the picture above which is empty trams.
We rayepayers however do not deserve to underwrite this folly.

damien haas said :

Yes.

If properly managed, the project can be delivered on time and on budget.

Those of us live in the real world know there is zero chance of that happening.

JC said :

gooterz said :

Everyone in Gungahlin will have access to NBN soon enough.. and not just NBN the fibre version.

So Gunganites will have the option of being able to easily work from home cheaply, drive to work, bus to work, find work in Gungahland or travel by magical light rail.

Many parts of the south are only able to drive to work, and then once they get to work parking is a nightmare.

Many parts of the north (Belconnen for example) are in the same boat. So what exactly is your point? Somewhere needs to get infrastructure first, and Gungahlin was the logical choice for NBN considering the internet was worse than anywhere else in Canberra (not saying pockets elsewere weren’t) it is also the only part of Canberra where light rail can really be justified.

You also seem to think light rail will service Gungahlin as a whole, but reality is only those along the actual corridor. The rest of Gungahlin will have to get the bus like everyone else in Canberra.

Where do we start building the Mag lev? Someone needs to get it first. What about nuclear power which part of town will have that first?

You also missed that light rail is going to work for everyone along the corridor.. who also works along the corridor.

gooterz said :

Everyone in Gungahlin will have access to NBN soon enough.. and not just NBN the fibre version.

So Gunganites will have the option of being able to easily work from home cheaply, drive to work, bus to work, find work in Gungahland or travel by magical light rail.

Many parts of the south are only able to drive to work, and then once they get to work parking is a nightmare.

$600 million in light rail for 13kms ~ 20 million taxi fares. ~ 100 million trips by taxi.

Which would create a huge number of jobs and the money goes back into Canberra.

It would take 13 years for 20,000 people to make taxi trips every day to break even with light rail, and yet a taxi isn’t fixed to a particular location.

$600m to transport Gungahlinites (not that there is anything wrong with Gungahlinites).

How about fixing Action buses for all of us instead??

davjp said :

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

This is exactly my argument, why not put a new bus only lane down the middle of northboune ave. It will be exactly as quick at moving people through traffic as a street level light rail system.

Also why does so much new spending have to be in Gungahlin? The inner north and inner south pay way more in rates and get nothing. Why not light rail from Manuka/Kingston via Parlo triangle to civic?

How are passengers to get to and from this nonsensical means of transport? If I live or work anywhere but along the route or Civic or Gungahlin, will I be getting in my car or on a bus to get to the light rail, then getting off the light rail and bussing to my destination?

I don’t think so.

Wonderful means of transport but not here, not now.

It’s simply too expensive, unnecessary and ostentatious. We don’t have the population base to make it viable!

davjp said :

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

+1. Canberra does not need light rail. Just bus priority down Northbourne, and restrict the Gungahlinites to two lanes (and keep booking selfsame Gungahlinites on Ebden Street as they rat-race through Ainslie, please!)

Northbourne Avenue will never be the same !

Hopefully the light rail will be the “straw which breaks the camels back” for ACT voters, and we’ll be rid of the Greens and their; “we will spend billions of your tax $$$ on something useless that no one wants or needs just to satisfy our prejudices” schemes.

gooterz said :

Everyone in Gungahlin will have access to NBN soon enough.. and not just NBN the fibre version.

So Gunganites will have the option of being able to easily work from home cheaply, drive to work, bus to work, find work in Gungahland or travel by magical light rail.

Many parts of the south are only able to drive to work, and then once they get to work parking is a nightmare.

Many parts of the north (Belconnen for example) are in the same boat. So what exactly is your point? Somewhere needs to get infrastructure first, and Gungahlin was the logical choice for NBN considering the internet was worse than anywhere else in Canberra (not saying pockets elsewere weren’t) it is also the only part of Canberra where light rail can really be justified.

You also seem to think light rail will service Gungahlin as a whole, but reality is only those along the actual corridor. The rest of Gungahlin will have to get the bus like everyone else in Canberra.

The whole idea of the light rail project is to provide an economic stimulus during the coming downturn. Don’t really care where they get the $, but the economy needs this to start asap. The secondary benefits inlude fixed transport linkages and increased land tax revenue. Bit of a no lose really.

Everyone in Gungahlin will have access to NBN soon enough.. and not just NBN the fibre version.

So Gunganites will have the option of being able to easily work from home cheaply, drive to work, bus to work, find work in Gungahland or travel by magical light rail.

Many parts of the south are only able to drive to work, and then once they get to work parking is a nightmare.

$600 million in light rail for 13kms ~ 20 million taxi fares. ~ 100 million trips by taxi.

Which would create a huge number of jobs and the money goes back into Canberra.

It would take 13 years for 20,000 people to make taxi trips every day to break even with light rail, and yet a taxi isn’t fixed to a particular location.

jase! said :

davjp said :

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

fantastic question davjp. what does light rail provide that a dedicated t-way down the same route wouldnt provide?

This is the question I need answered too. If there’s a sensible answer then great, but if not, forget it.

the difficulty I have with the light rail project is that it is many years too late for Canberra and the current plans only cater for a proportion of Canberra’s population.

the ACT Govt should not be planning in this way, it is very shortsighted and fraught with danger.

regardless of what the cost of the project, the citizens of the ACT will have to pay for it, and I cannot see the burden only being put on those directly advantaged by the project, otherwise there will be large migration from Gungahlin to other parts of Canberra.

quite bluntly it’s time for the ACT Light Rail project to stop and be buried forever.

davjp said :

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

fantastic question davjp. what does light rail provide that a dedicated t-way down the same route wouldnt provide?

What does light rail offer that a bus doesn’t? Do a bus lane down Northbourne and it’s pretty close to the same thing.

I don’t see a reason to waste money on it there are plenty of other things that are more important at the moment.

Yes.

If properly managed, the project can be delivered on time and on budget.

The question you ask Mark is not related to the point you are trying to make in your article. The article alludes to financing options that aren’t yet decided upon, are part of a range of options, and which you (and other journos) have singled out as the one to focus upon.

I am heartened that you think light rail is a good idea.

As the project is going ahead, It has to be paid for in some form.

The federal governments of both liberal and labour flavours preferred not to invest in ACT public transport infrastructure. If we both agree light rail is a good idea, we agree it must be paid for, then the points of difference come down to the method of financing. I suggest its best to explore all options and then arrive at the method most likely to ensure that it actually can be built.

Let us wait and see what the real financing option is before hyperventilating about magical fairytales.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

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