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Do light-rail systems help cut down on traffic? Perhaps not.

By slashdot 1 March 2013 48

Thanks to the wonderful wonk blog:

new study in the Journal of Transport Geography suggests that four light-rail systems built around England during the 1990s and 2000s had virtually no effect on overall car traffic. Instead, the rail systems mainly seemed to attract riders who would otherwise have taken the bus.

Without shifting away from our bush capital moniker, light rail appears to be another green boondoggle.  The question that nobody is asking but should is, do we want to give up the current character of Canberra as the bush capital?


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48 Responses to
Do light-rail systems help cut down on traffic? Perhaps not.
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milkman 9:19 pm 04 Mar 13

I eagerly await the day when someone figures out how to comprise the control software remotely, and sends everyone in Canberra to somewhere gross and inappropriate against their will, like a Mitchell strip club, the sewage treatment works, or the Greens headquarters.

Bonus points for getting an autonomous car to drop a burnout in Braddon on the way.

OpenYourMind 6:27 pm 04 Mar 13

damien haas said :

I think you are more likely to see autonomous public transport before autonomous cars. I’ve ridden autonomous public transport in several countries and it works amazingly well. Its commercially available and proven technology.

Another advantage is that unlike your average bus driver, a computer can work 24×7 it increases frequency of services. Unless theres a mechanical failure – if the timetable says the service will arrive, it will arrive.

No penalty or overtime rates either. You can have the same frequency at 6 AM as you do at 5PM. As robots are yet to form a union, I dont imagine the TWU could influence these service frequencies either. The computer will turn up for work on a weekend.

Apart from some experimental showcases, I dont believe autonomous cars are in operation on public roads yet. They also dont solve the problem of parking either.

Nevada and California have approved their use on public roads – in limited use. Google have moved from just using them for driving around to using them to transport Google employees to work and back. Google is talking a matter of years. All the car manufacturers are starting to take a very active interest.

Fully autonomous cars solve the problem of parking because they can go and park themselves well out of the way or at some recharge station. Just picture an autonomous car dropping you off at the front of the shopping mall. When you are ready to go, you just use an app on your phone.

Also, cars don’t need to follow old models. With a bit of lateral thinking, an autonomous car can take the place of taxis and buses and delivery vehicles.

Once they start to become mainstream, Governments will start realising the double benefits of drastically reduced road accidents and policing requirements.

And for a bit more futurism:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/01/22/fasten-your-seatbelts-googles-driverless-car-is-worth-trillions/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/01/24/googles-trillion-dollar-driverless-car-part-2-the-ripple-effects/

damien haas 4:15 pm 04 Mar 13

I think you are more likely to see autonomous public transport before autonomous cars. I’ve ridden autonomous public transport in several countries and it works amazingly well. Its commercially available and proven technology.

Another advantage is that unlike your average bus driver, a computer can work 24×7 it increases frequency of services. Unless theres a mechanical failure – if the timetable says the service will arrive, it will arrive.

No penalty or overtime rates either. You can have the same frequency at 6 AM as you do at 5PM. As robots are yet to form a union, I dont imagine the TWU could influence these service frequencies either. The computer will turn up for work on a weekend.

Apart from some experimental showcases, I dont believe autonomous cars are in operation on public roads yet. They also dont solve the problem of parking either.

Aeek 6:20 pm 02 Mar 13

Pandy said :

gooterz said :

Light rail works really well in Adelaide NYE it pays for itself.

You mean on a night of the year where they offer free public transport, the light rail in Adelaide that cost tens of millions of dollars to build pays for itself?

It runs between the CBD and the #1 coastal playground (bit chicken and egg), and now its slowly extending .
When they got the new German trams, they had pull them as their European aircon couldn’t cope, and put the Heritage fleet back on which has no aircon but has opening windows.
Our trams will need to cope with almost that heat, but also with our winter cold.

Pandy 11:09 am 02 Mar 13

gooterz said :

Light rail works really well in Adelaide NYE it pays for itself.

You mean on a night of the year where they offer free public transport, the light rail in Adelaide that cost tens of millions of dollars to build pays for itself?

thy_dungeonman 9:40 am 02 Mar 13

Rollersk8r said :

If you won’t currently catch a bus why would you suddenly start catching a train?

Well I drive in a straight line everyday from the west to the east of canberra along hind-marsh drive and the traffic can double the commute time. Unfortunately the only alternative routes make up for traffic in distance out of the way. If there was a train going that route I would definitely catch it. Even if the train had to stop at lights it wouldn’t have to deal with trucks, bad drivers, roadworks etc. and would be a reliable way to get to and from work.

gooterz 9:26 am 02 Mar 13

Pandy said :

gooterz said :

If light rail serves a suburb or district like Molonglo Valley with a half decent service then wont the residents opt for the cheaper public transport option.

This was suggested to Labor 10 years ago and it was ignored. The Greens should be ashamed of themselves for not pushing that Molonglo should be built with the mistakes of Gungahlin. However, the Greens just want a photo opportunity of trams going Northbourne.

There is also the huge problem of building Canberra metro on the north side of civic, which makes it dear impossible to connect the rest of Canberra to it.

Light rail works really well in Adelaide NYE it pays for itself.

Pandy 8:34 am 02 Mar 13

gooterz said :

If light rail serves a suburb or district like Molonglo Valley with a half decent service then wont the residents opt for the cheaper public transport option.

This was suggested to Labor 10 years ago and it was ignored. The Greens should be ashamed of themselves for not pushing that Molonglo should be built with the mistakes of Gungahlin. However, the Greens just want a photo opportunity of trams going Northbourne.

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