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

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.


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

LSWCHP LSWCHP 7:40 pm 25 Jul 13

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.

Diggety Diggety 4:41 pm 25 Jul 13

poetix said :

Pandy said :

poetix said :

gibbering said :

Happy to see actual figures in an actual report showing that a busway would be more expensive than light rail, especially for a similar sized city.

Also the gloss on light rail is fading apart from amongst the light rail sellers and extreme greens.

For example, Wellington (similar climate and population) is abandoning their light rail plans in favour of a busway as a report (wow!) showed that it was 2-3 times more expensive with limited extra benefits.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/8886349/Tripping-the-light-fantastic

Alternatively, show me a city of a similar size anywhere in the world that has implemented light rail without it turning into the Simpsons monorail episode. From what I read it actually reduces overall public transport usage as no one likes changing transport and waiting in sub zero temperatures as well as increasing overall prices for other buses etc.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8832673/Tunnel-vision-pushes-flawed-study-off-the-rails

This article identifies several flaws in the report about the cost of transport options for Wellington that you refer to in your comment.

You mean a letter to the editor written by a couple of students should be listened over an expensive Government study? Okay I’ll buy that.

Sarcasm mode off.

One of whom was awarded a Fulbright.

Tony Abbott was a Rhodes Scholar – just keep that in mind when appealing to intellectual authority.

harvyk1 harvyk1 3:28 pm 25 Jul 13

beardedclam said :

harvyk1 said :

As a Tuggeranong resident, I don’t necessarily mind paying for a light rail, provided there is a plan to either extend the service to the rest of Canberra overtime, or if the good people of northern Canberra can spring us a few $$$ for a project to benefit us down south. – Who am I kidding, there is never any plan to do something to benefit those people who live down south unless it somehow also benefits the north. (Speaking as a former belco / gunners resident)

regretting the move??

No not really… Just more a general observation…

poetix poetix 1:00 pm 25 Jul 13

Pandy said :

poetix said :

gibbering said :

Happy to see actual figures in an actual report showing that a busway would be more expensive than light rail, especially for a similar sized city.

Also the gloss on light rail is fading apart from amongst the light rail sellers and extreme greens.

For example, Wellington (similar climate and population) is abandoning their light rail plans in favour of a busway as a report (wow!) showed that it was 2-3 times more expensive with limited extra benefits.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/8886349/Tripping-the-light-fantastic

Alternatively, show me a city of a similar size anywhere in the world that has implemented light rail without it turning into the Simpsons monorail episode. From what I read it actually reduces overall public transport usage as no one likes changing transport and waiting in sub zero temperatures as well as increasing overall prices for other buses etc.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8832673/Tunnel-vision-pushes-flawed-study-off-the-rails

This article identifies several flaws in the report about the cost of transport options for Wellington that you refer to in your comment.

You mean a letter to the editor written by a couple of students should be listened over an expensive Government study? Okay I’ll buy that.

Sarcasm mode off.

One of whom was awarded a Fulbright.

And I find it amusing that you think that the government study is infallible, because it was expensive, whereas your whole argument is that expense is bad, when it comes to public transport.

But as the article I refer to argues, the cost of the light rail and bus proposals seem not to have not been represented neutrally in the government report.

beardedclam beardedclam 12:15 pm 25 Jul 13

harvyk1 said :

As a Tuggeranong resident, I don’t necessarily mind paying for a light rail, provided there is a plan to either extend the service to the rest of Canberra overtime, or if the good people of northern Canberra can spring us a few $$$ for a project to benefit us down south. – Who am I kidding, there is never any plan to do something to benefit those people who live down south unless it somehow also benefits the north. (Speaking as a former belco / gunners resident)

regretting the move??

harvyk1 harvyk1 9:01 am 25 Jul 13

As a Tuggeranong resident, I don’t necessarily mind paying for a light rail, provided there is a plan to either extend the service to the rest of Canberra overtime, or if the good people of northern Canberra can spring us a few $$$ for a project to benefit us down south. – Who am I kidding, there is never any plan to do something to benefit those people who live down south unless it somehow also benefits the north. (Speaking as a former belco / gunners resident)

Pandy Pandy 6:09 am 25 Jul 13

poetix said :

gibbering said :

Happy to see actual figures in an actual report showing that a busway would be more expensive than light rail, especially for a similar sized city.

Also the gloss on light rail is fading apart from amongst the light rail sellers and extreme greens.

For example, Wellington (similar climate and population) is abandoning their light rail plans in favour of a busway as a report (wow!) showed that it was 2-3 times more expensive with limited extra benefits.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/8886349/Tripping-the-light-fantastic

Alternatively, show me a city of a similar size anywhere in the world that has implemented light rail without it turning into the Simpsons monorail episode. From what I read it actually reduces overall public transport usage as no one likes changing transport and waiting in sub zero temperatures as well as increasing overall prices for other buses etc.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8832673/Tunnel-vision-pushes-flawed-study-off-the-rails

This article identifies several flaws in the report about the cost of transport options for Wellington that you refer to in your comment.

You mean a letter to the editor written by a couple of students should be listened over an expensive Government study? Okay I’ll buy that.

Sarcasm mode off.

JC JC 10:18 pm 24 Jul 13

Diggety said :

Low pop density seems to be the main problem with the proposal. And I see no real solution of which would compliment the light rail making it viable.

Except on the Northborne Ave/Flemmening Road corridor. Where there is the density now or under construction. Hence why the line is going down that route in particular and won’t be viable anywhere else in Canberra. And I must admit I have my doubts about the Northbonre Ave/Flemmington Road corridor too, I think it is marginal.

dungfungus dungfungus 5:39 pm 24 Jul 13

Henry82 said :

Imo the whole thing doesn’t need implementing, but it would be nice to have it planned so if we do need one in the future we just drop it in like a hot wheels track

In fact, this what Very Light Rail (VLR) offers.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 5:13 pm 24 Jul 13

Of course we could just hold onto our cash for a couple more years and then really pioneer public transport with a fit-for-purpose mix of automated macro transit and personal rapid transit systems using dedicated lanes for driverless vehicles, starting with a spine between commercial centres, and prioritise medical centres, retirement homes, disabled homes and other mobility-limited groups, and then slowly branching out into suburbia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns896Thb9oY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5SchtSQcvY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J17Qgc4a8xY

poetix poetix 4:19 pm 24 Jul 13

gibbering said :

Happy to see actual figures in an actual report showing that a busway would be more expensive than light rail, especially for a similar sized city.

Also the gloss on light rail is fading apart from amongst the light rail sellers and extreme greens.

For example, Wellington (similar climate and population) is abandoning their light rail plans in favour of a busway as a report (wow!) showed that it was 2-3 times more expensive with limited extra benefits.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/8886349/Tripping-the-light-fantastic

Alternatively, show me a city of a similar size anywhere in the world that has implemented light rail without it turning into the Simpsons monorail episode. From what I read it actually reduces overall public transport usage as no one likes changing transport and waiting in sub zero temperatures as well as increasing overall prices for other buses etc.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8832673/Tunnel-vision-pushes-flawed-study-off-the-rails

This article identifies several flaws in the report about the cost of transport options for Wellington that you refer to in your comment.

dungfungus dungfungus 4:01 pm 24 Jul 13

rosscoact said :

Diggety said :

[qc.

Saint Etienne in France?
http://www.urbanrail.net/eu/fr/saint-etienne/saint-etienne-tram.htm

Saint Etienne having a higher population density than Canberra by a factor of at least 5 though.

Low pop density seems to be the main problem with the proposal. And I see no real solution of which would compliment the light rail making it viable.

Canberra has a population density of about 1100 per km2 in the urban/suburban areas so about half that of St Etienne. Plenty of other reasons why it’s not a directly valid comparison but 5 x density isn’t one of them

That was the whole point of nominating St-Etienne. It is all about population density. Car parking space in St-Etienne is also very limited so everyone is obliged to use public transport.
It is also a folly for the Capital Metro project to be modelled on the Gold Coast’s GoldLinQ 13km, 16 station route with a 536,480 population (2011) plus tourists (with surfboards).

Henry82 Henry82 3:44 pm 24 Jul 13

Imo the whole thing doesn’t need implementing, but it would be nice to have it planned so if we do need one in the future we just drop it in like a hot wheels track

rosscoact rosscoact 3:18 pm 24 Jul 13

Diggety said :

[qc.

Saint Etienne in France?
http://www.urbanrail.net/eu/fr/saint-etienne/saint-etienne-tram.htm

Saint Etienne having a higher population density than Canberra by a factor of at least 5 though.

Low pop density seems to be the main problem with the proposal. And I see no real solution of which would compliment the light rail making it viable.

Canberra has a population density of about 1100 per km2 in the urban/suburban areas so about half that of St Etienne. Plenty of other reasons why it’s not a directly valid comparison but 5 x density isn’t one of them

switch switch 3:04 pm 24 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

Gee, a bus running on the existing railway line from Kingston to Queanbeyan? That is visionary.
As the need for additional mass transit grows commensurate with demand we either have to provide more buses and this in turn will need more infrastructure unless you think we can tolerate more congestion on our roads (or we can consider a modal shift to light rail).

http://www.nswrailheritage.com.au/orhprojects/cashontrack/secondfleet.htm

Note that FP13 ran Cooma-Bombala, so it certainly passed through Queanbeyan at times.

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