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Do the good citizens of Tuggeranong want to pay ~$150 million for a Civic to Gungahlin tram line?

By johnboy 21 July 2013 105

Alistair Coe is playing the outer suburban spite card quite nicely as he keeps up his fusilade on the light rail plans:

ACT Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe has revealed that every household in Canberra will pay $4,419 for the construction of the Green/Labor light rail project.

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics census data and the ACT Government’s figure of $614 million for the construction of light rail, each area of Canberra will pay the following:

— Belconnen: $163,240,533

— Gungahlin: $77,475,401

— Inner North: $95,358,418

— Inner South: $52,314,565

— Weston Creek: $42,451,730

— Woden: $38,717,816

— Tuggeranong: $144,893,538

“The cost of the project is an extraordinary amount, especially given most Canberrans will not use the service,” Mr Coe said today.

“The Government’s own patronage projections show that only 4,500 people will use light rail in the morning peak.

“I question the Government’s integrity for signing up to such a big infrastructure project when not even Shane Rattenbury, a member of the Light Rail Sub-Committee of Cabinet, has seen the cost benefit analysis.

What’s Your opinion?


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Do the good citizens of Tuggeranong want to pay ~$150 million for a Civic to Gungahlin tram line?
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cscoxk 10:58 am 29 Jul 13

Any permanent infrastructure transport system pays for itself many times over. Light rail is no exception. The problem is not whether it is sensible to do it or not – it is clearly cost effective if all the costs and benefits are considered – but who pays for it and how. There are however, some good models to use. The capital cost of the HK KCR and MTR is paid for from the rentals charged on buildings near the stations – the capital cost is not paid for from ticket sales. The cost models used by Zurich is another case which shows how to provide an economically viable public transport system.

Unfortunately in Australia we seem hell bent on following the US model of privatising capital gains for the benefits of a few while getting the public to pay most of the costs. We can change the system by getting our public servants to become profit oriented, particularly for infrastructure projects, and work out how to fund private industry to build, run and maintain infrastructure while keeping the capital profits in the community. This is pretty easy to do given the right mindset. Our challenge is to get our public servants to start to think in terms of making a profit on capital investments while getting private operators to take the profits on operating and building the systems.

DieciFranchi 11:00 pm 28 Jul 13

The truth is a bit more complicated than the total costs that Alistair Coe is suggesting.

The cost is about $1800 per person in Canberra (I not that Mr Coe used the cost per household which is conveniently larger). Another way of looking at the cost is the financing cost – how much the government would pay in interest for a loan for the money. The financing cost is around $200 per year per person.

The financing cost of the project is around $30 million per year. If there are say 10,000 trips a day 365 days a year the financing cost per trip is $8 which is a bit on the high side and would be heavily subsidised given that passengers would pay $2-3 per ticket. Then there are other costs…

But you have to compare this with the alternatives. We could have busses in new dedicated bus lanes, but the new bus lanes would cost in the hundreds of millions. And transporting 2250 (half of 4500) people from Gungahlin to Civic in an hour would take around 20 busses, one every three minutes. The problem is that busses take more than three minutes to load. The bus system would just become congested. Transporting 2250 people in cars, in slow peak hour traffic, would take a multi lane highway. I’m thinking an elevated road or a tunnel along Northbourne. The cost would be in the billions. And then cars have a lot of other costs, running costs and parking costs in particular. Many of these costs would be subsidised by the taxpayer (free subsidised parking in particular should be eliminated).

The price tag for light rail might be high, but it is the most sensible option.

As an aside, the cost is pretty high. $612 million for 12km of light rail is very expensive compared to what other networks have achieved. Our governments have a real knack for spending more than they need to on infrastructure projects for making things more expensive than they need to be.

dungfungus 5:42 pm 28 Jul 13

ChrisinTurner said :

The light rail proposal is being promoted before even trying a bus lane on Northbourne Avenue. I don’t mean an extra lane but converting the existing left lane to a dedicated bus lane. The cost would only invole painting the signs on the roadway. Any increase in peak-hour congestion for the cars would be an added incentive to Park-and-Ride to Civic. Let’s give it a go!

This is the old “clearway” lane concept that has been used in Sydney (don’t know its current status). For this type of proposal to work efficiently, buses will not be able to stop (like the dedicated lane on part Adelaide Avenue/Yamba Drive) so it all becomes counter productive for following buses. There are lots of stops on Northbourne Avenue unlike Adelaide Avenue. The buses will invariably be snookered by gridlock when the dedicated lane has to merge into the normal traffic.

ChrisinTurner 10:50 am 28 Jul 13

The light rail proposal is being promoted before even trying a bus lane on Northbourne Avenue. I don’t mean an extra lane but converting the existing left lane to a dedicated bus lane. The cost would only invole painting the signs on the roadway. Any increase in peak-hour congestion for the cars would be an added incentive to Park-and-Ride to Civic. Let’s give it a go!

dungfungus 9:12 am 26 Jul 13

LSWCHP said :

Diggety said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The real question is, is there such a thing as a *good tuggeranong resident*(lol)?

But seriously, anybody against a light rail here has no brain.

Wow.

It appears Nick Cater should write another chapter of his book to accommodate imbaciles in the class equation.

Imbaciles? The irony is deep in this one.

Your being derailed on the main issue. Let’s get back on track.

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