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Federale Greens start light rail push for Canberra

By johnboy - 28 January 2011 15

Green Senator Bob Brown is again taking an interest in Canberra (earlier in the month he unveiled a vision to link Parliament and Civic with a walkway) and proposing a light rail system for our fair city:

With Greens’ transport spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam and leader Bob Brown, the Greens Senate candidate for the ACT Lin Hatfield-Dodds unveiled a three-stage implementation plan ultimately linking Civic and Capital Hill with Gungahlin and Belconnen to the north, Tuggeranong to the south, the airport and Queanbeyan to the east.

“In a city where the average cost of owning a car is a whopping $147 per week, light rail affords fast, cheap, clean and comfortable transport for the future,” said Senator Brown.

It would be nice to have.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Federale Greens start light rail push for Canberra
Hosinator 6:28 pm 29 Jan 11

Thoroughly Smashed said :

Over what area? That’s what density means.

TS I compared the density of those cities I had in mind compared to Canberra and the density figures in those European cities are slightly higher, whilst in some cases double and triple.
The cities cover roughly the same area as Canberra and I thing some of this in part is that they have more industrial areas than we do.

I also agree with Sepi’s quote, the time to install a light rail network is now or at least some sort of alternative, because if we take note of and follow the 2030 ACT government discussions and we end up with greater density, then the time to build an alternative transport network will be long gone.

sepi said :

The time to do this is now. By the time Canberra is big enough for some people to believe in light rail, there will be nowhere to put it.

sepi 5:05 pm 29 Jan 11

The time to do this is now. By the time Canberra is big enough for some people to believe in light rail, there will be nowhere to put it.

Thoroughly Smashed 4:10 pm 29 Jan 11

Hosinator said :

The current population density in Canberra is actually approaching the about right mark for a light rail system. I’ve been to cities in Europe where the population density is between 250,000 and 420,000 and they have light rail systems running between major town, shopping, industrial, business centres, much like Woden, Civic, Tuggeranong etc and their outlying suburbs.

Over what area? That’s what density means.

farnarkler 3:59 pm 29 Jan 11

Damien I’m sure you’re aware of the Gold Coast light rail which is 13km long and cost $1 billion. Google maps tells me that the distance from Gungahlin Town Centre to the Tuggeranong Hyperdome going via Northbourne Ave, Adelaide Ave and Athlon Drive (the best route for stopping in Civic and Woden) is approximately 36km. The cost, using the Gold Coast figures would be close to $2.8 billion which works out to approx $8k for each resident of the ACT.

Please tell us all where that sort of money is going to come from???

Hosinator 7:24 am 29 Jan 11

Deref said :

Bloody stupid idea.

Canberra was designed for cars – low density, lots of green space. You don’t have to like it, but you have no choice but to accept the reality. No public transport system can be effective without population densities much higher than Canberra’s.
.

What a load of crap. Under the WBG design Canberra was actually designed for walking and light rail hence the town centres. Live close to where you work.
Then cars happened and the light rail system was never put in place as it should have been.

The current population density in Canberra is actually approaching the about right mark for a light rail system. I’ve been to cities in Europe where the population density is between 250,000 and 420,000 and they have light rail systems running between major town, shopping, industrial, business centres, much like Woden, Civic, Tuggeranong etc and their outlying suburbs.

The system is setup in such a way that when you arrive at the end of a light rail line and your are still travelling deeper into the suburbs then you catch a bus.
The bus system compliments the light rail system and this occurs with buses turning up to pick up passengers at the tram stops at the same time as the trams are dropping people off.
Buses are used for only the last leg of the journey and they have a frequent running schedule, not like our system of running a bus once every hour.

westonresident 6:44 am 29 Jan 11

Hosinator said :

After having spent many vacations in Europe, I see the benefit of light rail in Canberra. As long as it is fast, efficient and has a frequent schedule of trams going past the same stops, it will be well worth using.

How good is public transport in Europe! Sydney and Melbourne have nothing compared to the London Underground or Paris Metro.
I am no engineer and I know the Underground started in the mid 1800’s, but how good would it be to have Canberra transport underground.
Like Deref, I am skeptical that it would work or even be worth it in the end… can’t see it being cheap either.

watto23 11:15 pm 28 Jan 11

I can’t see why we can’t have more high density housing in and around the town centres with light rail linking them and buses, walking, cycling etc to the town centre.

While I agree Canberra is built for cars, its not the most environmentally friendly option and I’d rather commute for 30 minutes on public transport than drive. But the buses are ridiculous here and everytime I use them, i get turned off again as they haven’t got better.

The big advantage of light rail is avoiding traffic. Actually even dedicated busways would be fine and not the on road bus lanes, which traffic lights give priority too. It doesn’t work.

arescarti42 10:37 pm 28 Jan 11

Deref said :

Bloody stupid idea.

Canberra was designed for cars – low density, lots of green space. You don’t have to like it, but you have no choice but to accept the reality.

None of the major cities in Europe were designed for cars, but that didn’t mean that the addition of cars into the transport mix didn’t make them far better places to live.

Deref said :

No public transport system can be effective without population densities much higher than Canberra’s.

And “cheap”? IIRC the most recent study put the cost at somewhere near $1B. If that’s cheap, clearly I’m in the wrong game.

Not true, no transport system can be run profitably without population densities much higher than Canberra’s, but how effective the system is doesn’t have much to do with population density. Before you balk at the idea of running a public transport system unprofitably, know that private transport requires hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from government and businesses.

What is a reality is that Canberra is a growing city, and if we don’t try and make public transport an integral part of the transport network, we’ll end up like every other big car dependent city, stuck for hours a day in a traffic nightmare.

WonderfulWorld 10:15 pm 28 Jan 11

Wow is Dale Budd still on this project – been at least 10 years in the making? I think it would be fantastic, have seen previous draft iterations. How do we get this through RIOTACT supporters?

Chief Ten Beers 8:50 pm 28 Jan 11

Canberra has a pretty big suburban sprawl, It is 2011 and it still takes me 20-30 minutes to walk to the closest bus stop and I live in the *middle* of Canberra. Can’t see how light rail would benefit until we get higher density living in the main town centres which is how it generally works in Europe.

What’s with all these Canberra plans anyway, doesn’t Brown have more important things to do like stopping those big bad coal miners?

Deref 6:56 pm 28 Jan 11

Bloody stupid idea.

Canberra was designed for cars – low density, lots of green space. You don’t have to like it, but you have no choice but to accept the reality. No public transport system can be effective without population densities much higher than Canberra’s.

And “cheap”? IIRC the most recent study put the cost at somewhere near $1B. If that’s cheap, clearly I’m in the wrong game.

H1NG0 5:53 pm 28 Jan 11

Two good ideas by Bob Brown!? Yes, I am scared too!

damien haas 4:48 pm 28 Jan 11

Hmmmm this appears to be a repost or re-reporting of an event from last year.

We did follow up with the ACT Greens on this policy announcement, and they seem genuinely keen to advance it. I will followup and see how they have progressed.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

eh_steve 3:25 pm 28 Jan 11

So the Government announces cuts to major, non-contentious infrastructure projects, and the Greens throw their weight behind an expensive contentious project?

Hosinator 2:38 pm 28 Jan 11

It will be interesting to see if they follow the plan that Walter Burley Griffin laid out for light rail in Canberra.
Apparently the reason for the wide green strips on Northbourne avenue and other main roads is due to the original plan having light rail travel down the centre of that green strip.

After having spent many vacations in Europe, I see the benefit of light rail in Canberra. As long as it is fast, efficient and has a frequent schedule of trams going past the same stops, it will be well worth using.

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