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Fresh meat for the light rail nerds

By johnboy - 9 April 2009 70

Chief Minister John Stanhope has announced that he’s releasing the PricewaterhouseCoopers produced business case for light rail in the ACT.

Apparently the findings included:

    — Light rail could potentially decrease Canberra’s traffic congestion and commuting time and as a result reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution;
    — The project would cost approximately $2 billion; and
    — The project has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 1.62.

Enthusiasts can check out the whole thing on the TAMS website.

What’s Your opinion?

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70 Responses to
Fresh meat for the light rail nerds
aa 2:59 pm 09 Apr 09

I agree with it. But in the mean time, make buses cheaper and put some proper routes on it. eg if you live in Tuggeranong and work in Belconnen, there’s no direct bus. You have to go to Woden, then Civic then Belco. 90 minutes later, you’ll be there (if you’re lucky that is). Plus it’s way too expensive. It’s cheaper to drive to work and back than it is to catch the bus. If you’re driving say 10km to work (a lot of people drive that far to work), you’ll spend less on petrol than the bus fare.

PM 1:43 pm 09 Apr 09

Oh look, I was right:

The CM did use a $3.5 billion figure, yet the report states $2 billion.

They can’t even get the numbers right!

Thumper 12:31 pm 09 Apr 09

I’d hate to point it out, but this government couldn’t even get the GDE right.

nexus6 12:27 pm 09 Apr 09

if you had a light rail system that just serviced the town centers and didnt stop every 50m like the buses do, i think it would be great. it could even eliminate the need for any buses to run the direct routs between interchanges and free them up to service the actual suburbs more? sounds like a good idea.

i would like them to spend a bit more on the bike paths though. riding to an interchange, getting on the train with your bike would be great!

sepi 11:45 am 09 Apr 09

I’m in favour of it.

As Canberra grows we are going to desperately need something more than Action busses.

And in the meantime – put on more busses, and make them a bit cheaper.

PM 11:44 am 09 Apr 09

About bloody time.

Although didn’t the CM originally suggest the figure was $3.5 billion, or am I imagining things?

Skidbladnir 11:42 am 09 Apr 09

The original VHST from Sydney to Canberra idea from the 90s had a BCR of 1.5, and DoTARS never went ahead with it, eventually scrapping the scope back in 2002.

So what kind of discounting was this calculated on?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:34 am 09 Apr 09

I’d think that the money would be much better spent on numerous other things, before even entertaining the idea of spending $2B on a train set for Canberra.

Agreed. We’d be better to widen some roads and put on more buses. And subsidise ticket prices further.

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:21 am 09 Apr 09

It means that for every unit of cost you put into it, you’ll get 1.62 times as much back as a benefit. For example, if you give me $1 and I give you $1.62 back, that’s good.

Well, it is until you give me a dollar and I hold on to it for a year, then two years, then five, then hand you back 5c and mutter something about ‘project management issues’ and ‘budget slippage’ and ‘unforseen delays and expenses’.

Ian 11:20 am 09 Apr 09

Just from a quick look – some of the benefits are highly subjective/fanciful, and I know from doing BCAs at work we use much higher discount rates than this analysis has used. Assuming a discount rate of say 15-20% would quickly reduce the BCR below 1.

The fundamental problem for Canberra is that no matter what we do here, it is completely insignificant compared to spending similar money in a major city. eg if we reduced greenhouse gas emissions here by 100% it would be insignificant compared to what could be gained spending the money in say Sydney.

I’d think that the money would be much better spent on numerous other things, before even entertaining the idea of spending $2B on a train set for Canberra.

deye 11:01 am 09 Apr 09

it’s better than .8 or 1. It means you are getting more than you put into it.

Thumper 11:00 am 09 Apr 09

Nothing like a benefit to cost ratio of 1.62.

Back in the good old days we never saw anything like that. No siree, never once…

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:55 am 09 Apr 09

No. The higher the number the greater benefit per cost unit.

Whether 1.62 is good or not, who the hell knows?

Holden Caulfield 10:50 am 09 Apr 09

1.62 is that good? Is it better than 42, for example?

hax 10:48 am 09 Apr 09

Less congestion.. I’ll be cruising around freely in my electric sports car by then 🙂

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