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Does anyone aside from Simon Corbell want a busway?

By johnboy - 8 June 2012 23

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is pointing out that almost no-one has any enthusiasm for “Bus rapid transit”:

“The Canberra community agrees with the Greens. Questions we asked the Government about the community consultation on the Gungahlin to Civic transport project revealed that:
— 171 people favoured light rail, and 33 favoured bus rapid transit; and
— Of the 524 responses to the online survey, 414 people preferred light rail, and 71 preferred bus rapid transit.

“In recent days, there have been more questions raised about the Government’s approach to light rail.

“Firstly, in the cost projections presented to the community, the Government did not make a ‘like for like’ comparison between bus rapid transit and light rail, because it excluded the capital costs for buses and bus depots.

“This year’s Budget sheds light on the real capital expenses by allocating over $60m to the purchase of new buses and a new Northside bus depot.

“In addition, NSW has just costed an extension to its light rail network at a per-kilometre cost that is less than half the ACT Government’s per-kilometre estimate for light rail in Canberra.

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Does anyone aside from Simon Corbell want a busway?
BicycleCanberra 2:02 pm 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

The biggest problem with busways it seems is that we can only have buses at hours convenient to the social plans of bus drivers.

Maybe we could get a Gina Reinhart deal with overseas workers, but the TWU’s wouldn’t be happy with that

Mark of Sydney 2:00 pm 08 Jun 12

Amanda Bresnan’s comment that ‘NSW has just costed an extension to its light rail network at a per-kilometre cost that is less than half the ACT Government’s per-kilometre estimate for light rail in Canberra’ ignores the fact that the Sydney light rail extension (from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill) will be over an existing rail freight line.

As was done with the existing section from Darling Harbour, all that is needed is to lay new track over the existing rail bed, which comes complete with tunnels and bridges, and build an overhead power supply and some new tram stops.

Without the existing rail infrastructure no one in their right mind would build a public transport right of way along this corridor – it has no significant employment centres and little by way of higher density housing (except at the CBD end). I use the current service and it’s a very relaxing way of getting into the city – you can always get a seat as few people use it apart from gamblers riding between Haymarket and the Casino.

If the state Labor Government hadn’t already put the extension in train in respond to demands by inner west progressives (like me), there is no way the O’Farrell Government would have gone ahead.

The current obsession with trams has been described by a pro-public transport expert as ‘modal fetishism’. Sydney had a bad case of it under the previous government, prompted IMHO by a growing inferiority complex in relation to Melbourne.

Instead of gunzel-like obsessing about the technology, public transport activists in Canberra would be better off focusing on setting the routes and levels of service expected of a rapid transport system and letting the experts work out the most cost-effective solution.

This shouldn’t be about a rolls-royce solution for the Gungahlin-to-city route, but about the best solution for the entire city for the available money.

On the face of it, I’d go for bus rapid transport:
– you get more bang for your buck
– the vehicles can be used on public roads as well as the right of way so local services can use the right of way and there is less need for passengers to change
– buses can use a range of power sources, including overhead power, batteries, and hybrid power
– if a bus breaks down it doesn’t block the line until it’s removed

But then again I’m no expert, unlike the Greens and light rail gunzels.

BicycleCanberra 2:00 pm 08 Jun 12

mcwingstar said :

johnboy said :

The biggest problem with busways it seems is that we can only have buses at hours convenient to the social plans of bus drivers.

I don’t believe rail “drivers” are any less socially inclined.
I have nothing to back this up, but wouldn’t the need for double-up of support staff (maintenance etc) make it even more business-hours focused?

In Copenhagen they have driver-less trains with there metro system, but a metro costs $$$$ than light rail and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ than BRT!

mcwingstar 1:36 pm 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

The biggest problem with busways it seems is that we can only have buses at hours convenient to the social plans of bus drivers.

I don’t believe rail “drivers” are any less socially inclined.
I have nothing to back this up, but wouldn’t the need for double-up of support staff (maintenance etc) make it even more business-hours focused?

johnboy 1:08 pm 08 Jun 12

The biggest problem with busways it seems is that we can only have buses at hours convenient to the social plans of bus drivers.

bitzermaloney 1:08 pm 08 Jun 12

shirty_bear said :

[hands down]

Yeah, rail is more exxy. It will be worth it. It’s time this mob started doing what’s right, not what’s cheap.

And on top of that, there’s just something about a railway that makes a city feel more grown up.

Since we did our belevolant dictators do what was right?

Anyway, the key words should be “Private Venture Capital,” but that sort of anti-socialist thinking won’t get you anywhere.

thehutch 1:04 pm 08 Jun 12

bikhet said :

I don’t want either of them as neither will do squat for me other than raise my taxes, but of the two I’ll have a busway please. No other reason than to annoy DamienH.

Yes, I don’t want the Government to do anything unless it directly helps me! Selfish much?

Even though I’d probably never use it, the longer term needs of Canberra, suggests the Government needs to start building some sort of rail mass-transit system, with well placed free park & ride locations.

mcwingstar 12:56 pm 08 Jun 12

Sign me up to BRT.

The cost/benefit of BRT over light rail makes it seem clear that this is the sensible, if less exciting, option. Is it worth doubling the price to shave 2 minutes off the total journey?
Surely a breakdown on Light Rail would stop half of the system. A breakdown on BRT would be negligible delay. This is pretty central to reliability.

Sexy is for the private sector. Public sector needs to be functional and at the right price.

Deref 12:40 pm 08 Jun 12

As long as it stops the baying for light rail, I’m all for it.

Mysteryman 12:28 pm 08 Jun 12

bikhet said :

I don’t want either of them as neither will do squat for me other than raise my taxes, but of the two I’ll have a busway please. No other reason than to annoy DamienH.

Your taxes are going up anyway. You may as well get something good for it!

Mysteryman 12:27 pm 08 Jun 12

shirty_bear said :

[hands down]

Yeah, rail is more exxy. It will be worth it. It’s time this mob started doing what’s right, not what’s cheap.

And on top of that, there’s just something about a railway that makes a city feel more grown up.

Interestingly enough doing what’s cheap never occurred to them when they proposed their new government headquarters, complete with anti-pleb glass walkway for the Chief Minister.

Mav 12:06 pm 08 Jun 12

You know the thought occurs to me that as a lot of the ACT road systems currently have a reasonable medium strip surely it would be worthwhile to bring in a tram system such as Adelaide has. The tram system there is being extended to make it more useful and it runs from Glenelg in the South west to the Adelaide CBD. The tram system there is heavily utilised by the public and is widely accpted as a convenient public transport system.

If this is what is envisaged as a light rail system then I would definitely use it if it were combined with a park and ride like the Adelaide tram system has.

I was recently in Denver, Colorado, USA and they have a light rail system there but it is more like a train system than a tram system.

bikhet 11:58 am 08 Jun 12

I don’t want either of them as neither will do squat for me other than raise my taxes, but of the two I’ll have a busway please. No other reason than to annoy DamienH.

BicycleCanberra 11:55 am 08 Jun 12

I also support Bus Rapid Transit because it is cheaper, efficient and can provide the same level of service as Light Rail. I hear that nobody has also questioned the cost of BRT from Gungahlin to the City . The Institute of Transport Development Policy recommends a cost of $10million per kilometre and many systems have been built for far less.
The Price Waterhouse Coopers submission to infrastructure Australia costed a light rail network for Canberra at $2billion and yet a BRT system for Canberra would be a quarter or less that amount using exiting roads.
Can we afford to have a light rail network, cycle network that rivals the Netherlands, Sporting facility upgrades for the local community( like pools, athletic tracks, well maintained sporting ovals) and also maintain the Education and Health system as they are. I don’t think we can, unless the Federal Government comes in. Even if they pay for Half the network we still have to find the other $1 billion
I guess Canberra being an affluent city It considers Buses as 2nd grade or only used by the lower income. I support Light rail but am also a realist. Once people find out that Light rail isn’t any faster that BRT and you do have to stand up as well during peak times then the novelty may where off quite quickly. We will also need some austerity on the ever expanding road network and parking spaces issues that is important to make LRT or BRT successful, that’s politically difficult in a car loving city if you want to be reelected.

shirty_bear 11:21 am 08 Jun 12

[hands down]

Yeah, rail is more exxy. It will be worth it. It’s time this mob started doing what’s right, not what’s cheap.

And on top of that, there’s just something about a railway that makes a city feel more grown up.

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