Hallejuah! Hargreaves comes down for the car!

johnboy 24 April 2007 64

The Canberra Times reports that Simon Corbell’s efforts to force us onto crappy busses have been shelved!

“Mr Hargreaves said he would use his new-found power to restructure the troubled bus network, instead of backing initiatives that were too expensive for a city which was “designed for the car”…

Mr Hargreaves said last week the busway would not be built “in the foreseeable future”. He said he had not asked for funding for it in this budget round and would not have supported the bid. He had concerns about spending $115million “to save 10 minutes on the journey”. Mr Hargreaves said people in cars might not look kindly on a new road just for buses, and the money would be better spent on the Majura Parkway.”

We’re seeing a lot more sensible policy since Simon got sidelined. Anyone want to bet the Liberals will even hold the seats they’ve got at this rate?

UPDATED: Busnews is very upset.

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64 Responses to Hallejuah! Hargreaves comes down for the car!
Pandy Pandy 11:48 pm 24 Apr 07

Nemo: Nail on the head.
But you don’t pay the same rates: every suburb pays different.
I suggest you compare land prices in your suburb and an equivalent boondocks ‘burb for your rates review this year. If you are getting a lesser Action service than demand to have your rates reviewed.

Nemo Nemo 11:07 pm 24 Apr 07

It’s all very well to make the bus free, however for many people who are moving to new suburbs, there is no bus to catch.

The infrustructure is just not there – and it isn’t something that can be fixed in the future because the roads are too narrow.

If they used Dunlop’s bus service as the model for the ACT, we could move to three bus routes servicing Belconnen, one down each of Ginninderra dr, Southern Cross Dr and Belconnen way – everyone would have to walk to the main road.

The Govt is creating pockets within Canberra. The have’s, and the have nots.

Why should every house in Forde have a bus stop within 400m, whereas other new suburbs have none.

I pay the same rates, I expect the same service.

VicePope VicePope 8:38 pm 24 Apr 07

Ignoring the environmental issues for the moment, how much would it cost to buy a car for each of the tiny minority of us who catch a bus?

Alternatively, would we be better off increasing the price signal between car and bus by making buses free rather than making cars more expensive?

Pandy Pandy 6:43 pm 24 Apr 07

Bonfire, at the top of the page you said it would cost $115 million to
build light rail from Civic to Gungahlin. You took those figures from the
CC verbatim (thus mantra) right? Later to justify your figure you said it
would cost a mere $15 million for the 8 or 9 tram units.

You poo-pooed the figure I quoted of $200 million that the consultants
quoted in 2004. I have provided you with ample evidence from recent
projects around Australia that your figures are unrealistic and yet you
still cling to your figures. Why pray tell?

No wonder I get frustrated with your pig-headed attitude.

The figure of $1 billion quoted by Hargraeves was for a WHOLE of Canberra

I see that the reports in todays paper shows support from developers to
dropping the busway and light rail. Well gee that is a complete turn

When you admit that you are wrong and are willing to back-down on your
figures then I’ll stop calling you a raving foamer. If you however can
give a credible backing-up of your costings then I’ll shut-up.

Furthermore, buses are at a peak because the coffers are bare and the
government has cut back on services. If on the other hand funding for the
buses had been increased by 10% then we would not be having this
conversation right now.

And yes think BIG: it comes at a cost to society too. At present I think
that water security is a FAR more important issue to spend my taxes on
than to support the whims of trainspotters.

bigred bigred 5:55 pm 24 Apr 07

those of you saying we cannot afford to fix public transport should be saying we can’t afford not to. Not fixing it is actually a big cost shift from government to households. Why? Because if a government doesn’t provide adequate transport everyone goes and buys a car instead. In Canberra there is close to 2 cars for each household, on average. If the average second car cost $10,000 and there was say 50,000 of them we could do away with the cost shift and would need the $$$ to fund decent public transport.

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 5:43 pm 24 Apr 07

Is this a whole new Bonfire??
Next thing you’ll be putting your cigarette butts in the bin and riding a recumbent!

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 4:41 pm 24 Apr 07

1072/73… Must have been for all those fleeing Britian after the Battle of Hastings.

bonfire bonfire 3:21 pm 24 Apr 07

i meant 1972-73.

bonfire bonfire 3:21 pm 24 Apr 07

there was a serious report for the ncdc in 1072-73 on monorail like vehicles which came on demand to ‘stations’ around canberra.

its a fascinating read.

at the time of the report belco had just started, tugg was a dream, gungahlin not even a proposal.

its interesting reading through these old proposals.

almost everyone of them says public transport ie lightrail etc is a good idea ‘for the future’.

i think the future is now.

Snahons_scv6_berlina Snahons_scv6_berlina 3:08 pm 24 Apr 07

The ACT Govt should invest in human sized vaccuum tubes for transport like in futurama.

seepi seepi 1:41 pm 24 Apr 07

More park and ride spots would be good too.

seepi seepi 1:40 pm 24 Apr 07

The afternoon peak is quite long,with school getting out from 3ish, and people leaving work between 4.30-6.30.

The morning peak is extended with pensioners using their cheap tix after 9.00.

I like the idea of smaller busses running thru the day to save on petrol.

random random 11:18 am 24 Apr 07

The problem for public transport is the lack of capacity at peak hours vs. the wasted capacity the rest of the time, but they can’t pay drivers to work for an hour a day.

I’d like to see peak-hour capacity increased in other ways — incentives for carpooling, things like that. Maybe big businesses / govt. departments could give out a few people-movers as company cars in exchange for running a private shuttle route.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 11:14 am 24 Apr 07

On a recent week in Perth for work, I discovered that they have a FREE inner city bus network that runs every 15 or so minutes during the day (the CATs Central Area Transit). On 3 seperate routes, it covered an area that would essentially compare to running busses in loops through Fishwyck, Kingston, Civic, Ainlsie Turner, Lyneham, Russel and out to the Airport with stops every 400m. All Outer suburb busses and trains feed into this network via interchanges at key locations. It keeps a lot of traffic out of the city and is very convenient for perambulating tourists.

A similar system here could link all the major national monuments/attractions and service the CBD/ANU/Airport.

avidmxreader avidmxreader 11:11 am 24 Apr 07

If you want to see how Northborne would work with trams & cars, I’d suggest a trip to Melbourne and take a look at St. Georges road (north of the city, 112 tram route between North Fitzroy & Preston.) Cars, bikes, pedestrians in the mix and the trams scream along! No boom gates required because Victorians are actually better drivers!

bonfire bonfire 10:20 am 24 Apr 07

i stole it from somewhere – cant take credit.

Al Al 9:59 am 24 Apr 07

“More roads to reduce traffic is like putting another hole in a fat mans belt.” – bonfire

Now there’s a quote for the top of the page!
Bonfire I am lock-step with you on this issue, and you nailed it with that comment.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 9:58 am 24 Apr 07

Golly VY – going into bat for bus services! Okay – I’m being facetious. I guess you’d be more likely to use them if they were any good…

Unbeliever – that was very well articulated. I agree that we need to look at public transport as a social investment, rather than a financial one. I know it’s terribly “softhead” to look at social capital; but I reckon sometimes you’ve gotta spend money ‘cause it makes things better for people.

Al Al 9:55 am 24 Apr 07

The thing with this debate that really gets me wound up is when people talk of the cost of public transport as a burden on the government budget.

The public transport budget and the roads construction budget must be combined so that the proper cost-benefit relationship is recognised.

And that is the simple reality – money spent on buses or whatever PT you choose off-sets road construction costs. It also off-sets medical costs (very tangible) and environmental costs (more difficult to quantify).

The ACT transport strategy shows this very clearly, with a calculated 2 to 3 times return on investment in public transport: http://apps.actpla.act.gov.au/transportplan/5_Benefits/index.htm

I had hoped that when Hargreaves took over the planning end of the transport portfolio to add to the delivery end he already had, that there might be opportunity for him to take a wholistic view on the issue.

But instead we have him diving right into this bullshit mantra that “Canberra was designed for the car and you can’t make public transport work.”

What a load of crap.

Brisbane was designed for the bloody horse and cart. Hasn’t stopped them building an outstanding network of dedicated busways. Hasn’t stopped them integrating the Council buses and the State rail (which runs amazingly on time – most unlike NSW rail) into a brilliant service, albeit with room for more improvement.

The problem is that too many people in Canberra THINK SMALL. It is evident in the position taken this week by Hargreaves. It is evident in a disturbingly large chunk of the discussion in this thread.

Take a step back and really think about the big picture people.
We criticise politicians for being unable to see beyond the next electoral cycle.
Well how about trying to look beyond 5-10-15 years? How do you really want Canberra to look and function in 30-50 years when your kids are going to work here? Do you really think that 95% of that solution will be/should be cars with one person in them????
Get a grip people.

bonfire bonfire 9:54 am 24 Apr 07

and pandy – YOU ASKED ME – to ‘prove’ how i would install and run light rail.

dont ask me to provide an answer then accuse me of ‘mantras’, ‘foaming’ and ‘would be engineers’.

you softhead.

if you cant argue the merits, attacking the man is a very poor way to bolster your case.

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