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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
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Pandy 8:48 am 20 Apr 09

As the PWC report says:

“Infrastructure investment for the development of a bus rapid transit system,
with exclusive right of way arrangements for buses, is considered a viable
alternative given the lower capital expenditure costs than light rail.
Consequently, bus rapid transit would warrant a comparative cost benefit
analysis study with light rail to determine the most effective use of economic
resources. Due to the time constraints on this project, such a comparison has
not been included in this analysis.”

However, while ACT light rail has repeatedly called for a cost benefit analysis for light rail, they don’t want one for bus rapid transit.

Light rail route #1 to Belconnen has been already planned for.

At PM:
Is that a government bridge bound to blow out in price or a ACTLightrail one that is way under costed? 😉

damien haas 3:54 pm 18 Apr 09

VYB – I want better public transport in the ACT and capital region. As the PWC report shows, buses are not meeting that need and costing the economy.

The reason that buses alone will not satisfy ACT public transport requirements, is that buses are being directed to a task they are not best suited to meet once certain capacity/distance figures are exceeded. The solution is to use a mass transit backbone to link the major population and employment centres in the ACT (and QBN) and retask buses to deliver passengers to hubs.

This uses lightrail capacity and speed to move higher volumes of passengers from one part of canberra to another, and then the bus takes you to your part of the town (or you walk, ride or collect your car from the park and ride).

Sadly, the CM thinks that the light rail business case is an indication he needs to spend more on buses. Im not sure exactly what that means, but im cynical. By all means spend more money on buses, but begin planning how to implement light rail route no 1.

Buses and light rail will deliver integrated public transport. buses alone will leave the ACT in exactly the same situation it is in today.

PM 12:16 pm 17 Apr 09

Pandy said :

#41 does not answer why ACTlight rail likes to use a lower cost figure from the PWC report to indicate capital costs while everyone else use 2 billion. Plus the CBA seems rubbery.

Bridge. Build one.

Pandy 6:28 pm 16 Apr 09

#41 does not answer why ACTlight rail likes to use a lower cost figure from the PWC report to indicate capital costs while everyone else use 2 billion. Plus the CBA seems rubbery.

Damien – is it that you want better ACT transport, or light rail in particular? Any particular reason?

damien haas 3:15 pm 16 Apr 09

Many components (maps, costings, other figures) of the PWC report come straight from the 2004 KBR report. I was wondering why the airport/BBP and Molonglo were not included, and this appears to be the reason.

I am preparing a long form response to the PWC business case, but briefly, i’m pleased that the report has been released. It supports the case for light rail and integrated transport in the ACT.

PM 1:15 pm 16 Apr 09

Pandy said :

At PM. The PWC report specifically indicates that time was short and the CBA for bus transit like the O-Bahn was not done. This should be done before money is handed over.

Pity Molonglo was not included in the network.

I would have studied all the options years ago. Speak to the government if you’re that interested, or get involved some other way. I’d have thought it would be nice for those future residents of Molonglo to have somewhere to go on their light rail 🙂 But, yes, I take the point that the govt should have directed the consultants to look at the proposed development of Molonglo. Too much work of the bureaucracy is short-term and piecemeal.

As for your quotes re cost, please look at comment #41.

If someone has a crummy wood heater, and you want them to have instant gas, you don’t keep on improving and improving the wood heater til it is nearly as good as the gas, and then give them the gas heater.

Lets continue with idea a bit. The reality is that the wood heater does the job ok, but you could see some improvements. Would you personally be willing to spend several thousand dollars our of your own pocket to buy the new gas heater, knowing it would be only a little more effective, and you would still have to keep the wood heater going anyway?

It’s easy when you don’t think about it as your money. People also forget about the opportunity cost – what else could the money be spent on to benefit us? (Education, health, etc)

Digga 8:05 am 16 Apr 09

Ah yes, another $2bn project – this time to reduce greenhouse gases, to off-set the bucket-load of emissions to come from that other “$2bn” project the gas-fired power station & data centre.

Good to see they’re aiming to get back to square-1.

For the obvious responses that will result in cries of NIMBY – wake up and smell the coffee. Greenhouse gases = backyard, city, territory, country and world-wide.

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