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How should we select a modern transport system for Canberra?

By Arthur Davies 23 June 2015 61

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 5.02.14 pm

The ACT Government has opted for light rail for the next generation of public transport. This decision was driven by the desire to redevelop Northbourne Avenue, change the lease purposes and increase land values along either side of this “entry” road. A lot of Canberrans do not believe that trams are the best transport solution. So what are the criteria for a good transport system?

The rise and fall of trams

It is often instructive to look to the past to see how we got to where we are now, and whether this can give us some guidance to our current and future needs.

The first tram in Australia was in Hobart in 1893 (pictured above). In 1900 the city density was double what it was in 2000 and all transport was horse drawn; there was no option but to walk or use a horse to get about. It’s easy to see why people were so quick to take to the cutting edge, risky technology of electric trams.

In the early 20th century 25 Australian towns and cities had (this was the period when the Griffins designed Canberra). But things changed and only two systems survived: Melbourne and Adelaide. There are a few vintage tourist short lines in use but these are not mass transport systems. A couple of short “modern” lines have been added recently but these have proved to be quite expensive

So why did trams fail? New alternative transport systems (mostly cars but also buses) which were faster, cheaper, and more convenient challenged the tram’s dominance. However, road transport is now threatened by its own success. Traffic density is making car travel slower, traffic jams are aggravating and stressful as well as reducing efficiency and causing pollution.

Scheduled versus on-demand transport systems 

Most public transport systems run to a timetable. You need to have a timetable and have to be at the stop at the right time. This contrasts with on-demand systems where you can go when you want, such as a car or taxi.

At present public transport systems use large vehicles following fixed routes and picking up passengers at fixed locations at specific times. In addition passengers have to get themselves from home, work etc. to the scheduled stop, i.e. it is not door to door. A minor inconvenience for the young and fit but progressively more of a problem for the aged and incapacitated. This is becoming more and more important with an ageing population.

Traditional transport systems evolved when control systems had to be simple. All you needed was a vehicle, a driver, a route, bus/train stop signs and a timetable. Scheduled systems like these can work well for peak time commuting as the large vehicles can move a lot of people, they have a good load factor and the cost per passenger is low. Fortunately Canberra adopted flexible start and stop times quite early.

Off peak is another matter. Passenger numbers per hour are much lower. If the system offers a good frequent service, passengers are reasonably satisfied but the large vehicles have few passengers per vehicle, efficiency is low and cost per passenger is high. The operator/accountants solution is to reduce the frequency of service in an attempt to increase the number of passengers in each vehicle and hence reduce costs. The result is cranky passengers who find other transport means, and the only passengers left are those who with no alternative.

But technology has not stood still. Sophisticated controls are readily available and cheap so that “on-demand” can be extended to other vehicle types. Other vehicle types have been developed and other propulsion technologies too e.g. linear electric motors. The time is right for a major change in transport modes.

Current and future transport solutions

Our goal should be to get the optimum mix of transport modes to most efficiently meet Canberrans’  transport needs now and into the future.

So what transport options are available to serve Canberra in 2015? Except in large cities where underground trains are justified, public transport moves on the ground. Apart from trains, all ground-based transport moves at about the same speed in order to negotiate intersections etc. To increase speed and reduce trip times, it is necessary to exploit the third dimension: height. While underground is far too expensive for a place like Canberra, riding above the traffic is feasible. By moving above the traffic, interaction with intersections is avoided, speed is significantly higher and trip times are reduced. As the majority of road accidents occur at intersections, safety would also be improved.

Elevated railways have been around for many years, generally with large carriages which need large, heavy, and visually dominant tracks (who can forget the Sydney Monorail?). They are also slowed down by passengers alighting (a similar problem to that faced by ground based systems such as trams and buses). These older elevated systems were limited by the technology available in the past

Personal rapid transit systems are now entering the field. These use small vehicles suspended below a rail mounted on poles above the traffic (thus not interacting with road users). Because the vehicles (often referred to as pods) are small and light, the rail or track can be kept small and light, which makes it visually less obtrusive when compared to the older systems with large vehicles. The smaller track is much cheaper than tram tracks and has a much lower carbon dioxide burden.

The pods can be automatically guided to your destination, no driver is needed and the pods do not stop at intermediate stops or interchanges, just tell it where you want to go, just like in an elevator. Because they operate “on-demand”, as does a lift, there is no need for timetables. Just turn up and take the next pod to where you want to go.

Even though individual pods are small, they are relatively cheap mass-produced items,  so the numbers can increase as demand rises on the system.  Peak passenger numbers are about 7,000 passengers per hour for each track, much greater than those predicted by Capital Metro for  the first stage of Canberra’s light rail.

In Canberra the intention is to take trams down the main transport corridors. The problem is that the city was designed to keep dwellings away from the danger, noise and pollution along these routes, and this has worked very well.

This means the tram lines will be quite a distance from the population (e.g. down Adelaide Avenue) for most of the route. Even if fully developed, Capital Metro says most Canberrans will be too far from a tram line to use it with any regularity. Suburban streets are generally too narrow to take tram lines into suburban centres. Overhead rapid transit lines, however, could be easily installed above the narrower suburban streets, serving a much larger proportion of Canberra’s population.

As we have seen, trams are limited by their interaction with other traffic and by the need to stop to let passengers enter or alight. Capital Metro estimates around 25 minutes Gungahlin to Civic and around an hour and a half from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong. This is really too slow to attract passengers out of their cars. Even buses are faster.

On the other hand, personal pods which do not make intermediate stops and ride above the traffic would get more people out of their cars and ease congestion for remaining road users. Trip times from one end of Canberra to the other could be as short as ten minutes, depending on the system.

Another technology which is likely to be commercial in a few years time is autonomous cars, again due to the availability of sophisticated cheap control systems. Fewer autonomous cars would be needed to do the same job as ordinary cars for most local trips. Given the low cost of electronic controls the autonomous cars would reduce in price to little above the price of conventional cars. There would also be reduced need for parking, potentially freeing up space for better community needs (once the autonomous car drops you off, it moves on to the next passenger needing transport. It does not need to park and wait for you). Accident rates should go down too, as autonomous cars do not text, put on lipstick or shave in the mirror. Add your own horror story.

Autonomous cars would park out of the way when not needed, take the time to recharge their electric batteries, be serviced etc.  Very much more economical and efficient. What autonomous cars can not do however is to carry people on commuter trips, especially at peak times. Replacing private cars with autonomous cars will not help with traffic jams; essentially the same number of vehicles would be on the road.

To me, close to an ideal solution would be a high speed overhead rapid transit system in conjunction with autonomous cars to get you to and from the pod stations.

We will of course always have people walking, riding bikes and shopping.  But these are not suitable for longer distances in most cases, and are not at all suitable when carrying bulky shopping or when disabled.  Beware, we all get older eventually!


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61 Responses to
How should we select a modern transport system for Canberra?
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rommeldog56 8:32 pm 22 Aug 15

damien haas said :

You are being dishonest Arthur.

That would be the pot calling the kettle black – big time.

rubaiyat 10:52 am 19 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

rubaiyat said :

“clean, safe, electric, reliable transport.”
That is almost exactly the same as what we already have through ACTION buses…

Do you even hear the woosh as it all goes right over your head?

..and off you go again with the same old same as if any of it even remotely made sense.

Got to give you marks for coming up with ever more unbelievable rationalisations for your irrational prejudices, you just keep piling them on.

Just saw some more of your “facts” being demonstrated. An Action bus beatling down Adelaide Ave at 80 km/hr with standing passengers. Who would have thought?

dungfungus 9:50 am 19 Aug 15

rubaiyat said :

rommeldog56 said :

…those who think the population of Canberra is near that of the Gold Coast…

It is indeed.*

As with Canberra the first stage (13km) of the Gold Coast does not cover the entire population either but has usefully removed a large number of cars from the roads where it counts. To the point where the greatest critic of the project, Councillor Lex Bell, who was as well informed and far sighted as yourself, has conceded it is working and popular.

The LNP even pledged to extend the Light Rail to Helensvale in last January’s election.

Surprise, surprise, no other city is exactly Canberra, many that have trams or light rail are smaller, larger, less populous, more populous, hotter, colder, more prosperous, less prosperous, steeper, flatter, higher or lower altitude. What they all have in common is despite an enormous variety of factors and probably just as many fools and ignoramuses, is they have clean, safe, electric, reliable transport.

* Gold Coast pop 591,500 density 970/km2, Canberra pop 381,500 density 815/km2

“clean, safe, electric, reliable transport.”
That is almost exactly the same as what we already have through ACTION buses so, why change the mode and spend $1 billion that we don’t have?
And the light rail passengers will come mainly from existing ACTION services so where is the sense in that?
As to your reference to “electric”, don’t try to sanitize the ugliness of the infrastructure that light rail requires – it’s not just the old technology stanchions and wires, there is also the necessity to construct mains and sub-stations all along the route.
You don’t see this in the artists’ impressions that tour Capital Metro Agency publishes, do you?

rubaiyat 9:33 am 19 Aug 15

Any major project should be subject to serious examination and debate. That is part of a healthy democracy. Unfortunately certain projects seem to attract their unfair share of the loopy, biggotted and underhanded manipulators with another undeclared agenda.

The drive to trams or any other clean, comprehensive public transport system is one such project.

Those for trams want reduced traffic, better safety, a healthier population living in tighter less sprawling and more livable cities not divided up by walled freeways, but above all they want reduced pollution of all sorts, noise, particulates, global warming and a cut back in the reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels.

That makes a whole lot of enemies who want either the status quo or even more of the same. Particularly, because of Global Warming, light rail has been caught up in the dirty political games of mostly American arch-conservatives and the oil and coal industries with their extremely well funded misinformation campaigns that reach around the world.

The enemies of change play on fear and ignorance. In the absence of actual facts they make up endless objections, most ludicrous and totally irrelevant and certainly never comparative. ie Where do they subject the alternatives to exactly the same criteria and “essential” requirements?

It helps their argument when they never compare like with like, particularly total costs. Public transport, particularly rail is comprehensively costed, accounting for all the planning, design, engineering, construction, capital and running costs. It is a total cost.

The alternative is cars and roads where the supporters never do the same comprehensive costing. Definitely ignoring the capital and running costs of the vehicles that actually make it work. To hear them all you’d think they required was the roads, possibly the fuel, never even those two added up. The costs are divided and ignored as convenient.

There is also the ancillary costs of land lost from either agriculture, commercial or residential use. The health and safety of the community, the deaths, hospital admissions, compensation, insurance and crime directly resulting from the transport choice, the pollution, the reliance on dubious sources of foreign fuel. Most of all, the cost to how we live our lives.

The irrational and sometimes hysterical arguments against the project have their antecedents in history.

It would be interesting to read about the Kalgoorlie Water Pipeline, an amazing technological feat in its day and how it was played out by those for it and those against it for their own political agenda. The conservatives actually drove the engineer in charge to suicide with false charges of the impossiblity of the project, corruption and mismanagement and then without batting an eye grabbed the limelight at the cutting of the ribbon on completion. Jørn Utzon was similarly railroaded out of the country by the conservatives.

There are many other examples of this same phenomena down through history. The dullards shouting down anyone who dares change anything.

Most interesting is how they apply their test of what should or should not be done. There is no attempt at objective, well researched, comparative and equitable facts, it is always one sided and emotive, appealing to base ignorance, fears and resentment. What’s in it for me? Hang everybody else.

As with witchcraft trials the test has to be bizarre and designed to meet the objective of denying the project, not assessing the real merit.

Like the White Australia Policy you demand the victim passes an irrelevant language test. If they disappointingly succeed against all odds, just make them pass another, and another until they fail as intended. The purpose is denial to meet ingrained prejudices not to really meet the stated standards.

The other is to hold the project to standards that are never demanded of the alternative. eg safety, health, monetary, engineering etc. In fact it helps if the stacked game is as hypocritical as possible as the sheer affrontery seems to be passed over by a public that has trouble comparing baked beans in the supermarket.

So by all means debate the subject but put it in its context and put all the alternatives to the same tests. I for one just want a better, cleaner, more livable city that stops eating up the countryside and doesn’t kill its citizens in an out of control consumerist death march.

rubaiyat 11:47 pm 18 Aug 15

rommeldog56 said :

…those who think the population of Canberra is near that of the Gold Coast…

It is indeed.*

As with Canberra the first stage (13km) of the Gold Coast does not cover the entire population either but has usefully removed a large number of cars from the roads where it counts. To the point where the greatest critic of the project, Councillor Lex Bell, who was as well informed and far sighted as yourself, has conceded it is working and popular.

The LNP even pledged to extend the Light Rail to Helensvale in last January’s election.

Surprise, surprise, no other city is exactly Canberra, many that have trams or light rail are smaller, larger, less populous, more populous, hotter, colder, more prosperous, less prosperous, steeper, flatter, higher or lower altitude. What they all have in common is despite an enormous variety of factors and probably just as many fools and ignoramuses, is they have clean, safe, electric, reliable transport.

* Gold Coast pop 591,500 density 970/km2, Canberra pop 381,500 density 815/km2

rubaiyat 11:18 pm 18 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

drfelonious said :

Mark Ellis – you have not argued the merits of the commuter rail approach, instead just sticking a label on the rail technology. You have offered an alternative something that is theoretical and uncosted and your idea would INCREASE traffic congestion on the same road network. Part of the point of public transport is to take cars OFF the road, not to put more cars on the road. Get back to us when you have done some more research or found a city, any city, that has successfully implemented your idea.

Visit just about any US city over 1 million people without rail (ie most of the shiny new 20th century cities) if you want to see the result of doing nothing. Relying solely upon road infrastructure not pretty. Traffic congestion is endemic and is effectively a tax on road users who spend wasted hours stuck in purgatory – not productive at work, and not productive at home.

Then go visit a city with the ’18th century’ technology infrastructure in place and the difference to the amenity of commuters is immediately apparent. Commuters in Copenhagen, for example go where they want, when they want.

I think those who oppose the light rail have an obligation to point to cities not serviced by rail that have transitioned from 500k to 1 mil without significant traffic congestion. I’m not aware of any city in this category, but most every 1 mil + city in the US is a traffic jam disaster movie because they relied solely upon the car – even though their roads and freeways are usually more extensive and better quality than comparable cities in Australia.

“commuter rail approach”?
You are not talking about light rail if you refer to commuter rail.
The former is where two thirds of the passengers stand with at least one hand on a grab strap hoping the tram will not go any faster than 60kmh (between stops) as it will become unstable.
The latter is where everyone sits down securely and there are few stops with the train reaching speeds in excess of 150kmh with comfort.
The best example is trams in Melbourne vs Victorian regional rail services into Melbourne.

You always leave us tantalisingly in doubt as to whether you have ever seen a tram let alone ridden in one or any other form of public transport.

You seem uncertain as to their size, opacity, sound, ability to climb gradients, ability to operate in the cold, their ability to slaughter the occupants or anyone who comes near them, their operators, electrical safety, noise generated by the transformers, appearance of their power supplies, pollution free status, whether they kill or injury innocent wildlife, the list goes on and on and on and…

Now it is their speed and ability of people to stand up in them.

Is this the man walking in front with the red flag of your childhood?

Ordinary trams can reach speeds of over 80, Light Rail over 100. Passengers in both buses (in Canberra even) and commuter trains around the world and in Sydney frequently stand up in both at high speeds.

Light Rail does not get unstable at high speeds. It offers an extremely stable, smooth and quiet ride. I have travelled in high speed Light Rail in L.A. and in Melbourne (the St Kilda line) and can assure you that what you are once again talking, is through your hat.

dungfungus 6:38 pm 18 Aug 15

drfelonious said :

Mark Ellis – you have not argued the merits of the commuter rail approach, instead just sticking a label on the rail technology. You have offered an alternative something that is theoretical and uncosted and your idea would INCREASE traffic congestion on the same road network. Part of the point of public transport is to take cars OFF the road, not to put more cars on the road. Get back to us when you have done some more research or found a city, any city, that has successfully implemented your idea.

Visit just about any US city over 1 million people without rail (ie most of the shiny new 20th century cities) if you want to see the result of doing nothing. Relying solely upon road infrastructure not pretty. Traffic congestion is endemic and is effectively a tax on road users who spend wasted hours stuck in purgatory – not productive at work, and not productive at home.

Then go visit a city with the ’18th century’ technology infrastructure in place and the difference to the amenity of commuters is immediately apparent. Commuters in Copenhagen, for example go where they want, when they want.

I think those who oppose the light rail have an obligation to point to cities not serviced by rail that have transitioned from 500k to 1 mil without significant traffic congestion. I’m not aware of any city in this category, but most every 1 mil + city in the US is a traffic jam disaster movie because they relied solely upon the car – even though their roads and freeways are usually more extensive and better quality than comparable cities in Australia.

“commuter rail approach”?
You are not talking about light rail if you refer to commuter rail.
The former is where two thirds of the passengers stand with at least one hand on a grab strap hoping the tram will not go any faster than 60kmh (between stops) as it will become unstable.
The latter is where everyone sits down securely and there are few stops with the train reaching speeds in excess of 150kmh with comfort.
The best example is trams in Melbourne vs Victorian regional rail services into Melbourne.

rommeldog56 6:02 pm 18 Aug 15

drfelonious said :

Mark Ellis – ……Commuters in Copenhagen, for example go where they want, when they want.

Hmmm…….I’ll take a wild stab at this one.

Having a look at stage 1 Gunners-Civic route and the put together hastily plan to extend the tram across the rest of Canberra, I can not see that, despite what you claim in Copenhagen, the Canberra Tram will take commuters “where they want, when they want”.

rommeldog56 5:56 pm 18 Aug 15

drfelonious said :

Mark Ellis – …….. Traffic congestion is endemic and is effectively a tax on road users who spend wasted hours stuck in purgatory – not productive at work, and not productive at home.

Im sure those who choose to use a car (for what ever reason) are appreciative of that fact being pointed out. Who would have guessed. And yet, they still choose to use a car, despite that obvious “tax”.

rommeldog56 5:52 pm 18 Aug 15

drfelonious said :

Mark Ellis – …… and your idea would INCREASE traffic congestion on the same road network. Part of the point of public transport is to take cars OFF the road, not to put more cars on the road.

I hate to shatter the dream, but the ACT Government’s own draft Environmental Impact Statement on the tram says that, because of the infill, the tram will actually increase road congestion along the route (particularly on Northbourne Ave).

drfelonious 5:18 pm 16 Aug 15

Mark Ellis – you have not argued the merits of the commuter rail approach, instead just sticking a label on the rail technology. You have offered an alternative something that is theoretical and uncosted and your idea would INCREASE traffic congestion on the same road network. Part of the point of public transport is to take cars OFF the road, not to put more cars on the road. Get back to us when you have done some more research or found a city, any city, that has successfully implemented your idea.

Visit just about any US city over 1 million people without rail (ie most of the shiny new 20th century cities) if you want to see the result of doing nothing. Relying solely upon road infrastructure not pretty. Traffic congestion is endemic and is effectively a tax on road users who spend wasted hours stuck in purgatory – not productive at work, and not productive at home.

Then go visit a city with the ’18th century’ technology infrastructure in place and the difference to the amenity of commuters is immediately apparent. Commuters in Copenhagen, for example go where they want, when they want.

I think those who oppose the light rail have an obligation to point to cities not serviced by rail that have transitioned from 500k to 1 mil without significant traffic congestion. I’m not aware of any city in this category, but most every 1 mil + city in the US is a traffic jam disaster movie because they relied solely upon the car – even though their roads and freeways are usually more extensive and better quality than comparable cities in Australia.

rommeldog56 11:08 am 16 Aug 15

MarkE said :

The Canberra Trams proposal is a 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. This Canberra tram project will be obsolete before it is complete.

There are new technologies that we know are on the cusp of being commercialised that the ACT Government is ignoring. We have driver-less cars technology almost ready for market. There have been major advances in battery technology and almost everyone has a smart phone. Put the three of them together and people can use a smart phone application to summons an electric driverless car to take them to their destination quickly, cheaply, safely and without parking or drink driving problems. Once this fleet is large enough there will be little incentive for anyone to own a car.

Mum won’t need to spend hours a day driving around town as a taxi service when there is a fleet of driver-less cars doing it. There will be a reduction on traffic volumes as half mum’s trips are with a car empty of children. There won’t be Canberra’s constant fleet of empty buses. There will probably be a case for a fleet of articulated buses to run the major trunk roots between town centers but not much more.

The electric driver-less cars could even act as storage for the electricity grid at night to smooth out the irregular power production of renewables like solar and wind.

Our Labor/Green ACT Government is so ideologically driven and economically illiterate that they won’t even head their own reports on how marginal this trams project is against current technology let alone emerging technology.

Regards,

Mark Ellis

🙂
Phone: 0412 252588
President
ACT Liberal Democrats

There is obviously an election coming up !

Queue right : Tram lovers, those who think the Tram as mystical transforational powers to make Canberra “grow up”, those who hate cars/car parking spaces & roads, those who can afford the avg.10%pa increase in Annual Rates forever to help pay for the tram, those who believe ACT Gov’t pro tram spin, those who think the population of Canberra is near that of the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide so we actually need & can afford the tram, those who seriously believe that the tram project will “create” 3,500 jobs, etc. Did I miss anyone ????

trudi 5:54 pm 15 Aug 15

“MarkE said : The Canberra Trams proposal is a 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. This Canberra tram…”

Amazing! Those people that lived in the period from 1700 to 1799 were far advanced in technology that they invented the tram?

And there I was believing, that as it is with trains and cars, trams were invented in the latter years of the 19th century.

Apart from that, I am looking forward to the tram being built.

MarkE 4:24 pm 15 Aug 15

The Canberra Trams proposal is a 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. This Canberra tram project will be obsolete before it is complete.

There are new technologies that we know are on the cusp of being commercialised that the ACT Government is ignoring. We have driver-less cars technology almost ready for market. There have been major advances in battery technology and almost everyone has a smart phone. Put the three of them together and people can use a smart phone application to summons an electric driverless car to take them to their destination quickly, cheaply, safely and without parking or drink driving problems. Once this fleet is large enough there will be little incentive for anyone to own a car.

Mum won’t need to spend hours a day driving around town as a taxi service when there is a fleet of driver-less cars doing it. There will be a reduction on traffic volumes as half mum’s trips are with a car empty of children. There won’t be Canberra’s constant fleet of empty buses. There will probably be a case for a fleet of articulated buses to run the major trunk roots between town centers but not much more.

The electric driver-less cars could even act as storage for the electricity grid at night to smooth out the irregular power production of renewables like solar and wind.

Our Labor/Green ACT Government is so ideologically driven and economically illiterate that they won’t even head their own reports on how marginal this trams project is against current technology let alone emerging technology.

Regards,

Mark Ellis 🙂
Phone: 0412 252588
President
ACT Liberal Democrats

Masquara 5:47 pm 08 Jul 15

Interesting new lens applied to this on 666 by Simon Corbell this morning. Turns out, folks, the light rail isn’t for us after all! It is, says Corbell, for the ACT population in 2061, when we will apparently hit 750,000 people. Howzabout building that multibillion dollar infrastructure once they’ve started to show up in our city, Simon? Oh, and I just passed that Futsal slab with the million-dollar “popup” packing crate construction. Still pretty much nothing happening there by the look of it, nine months on from the proposed launch date …

Arthur Davies 4:43 pm 08 Jul 15

damien haas said :

Arthur Davies said:
“The ACT Government has opted for light rail for the next generation of public transport. This decision was driven by the desire to redevelop Northbourne Avenue, change the lease purposes and increase land values along either side of this “entry” road.”

You are being dishonest Arthur.

There were a range of reasons that supported the Gungahlin to Civic route. You can actually read a range of those reports on this page:

http://www.actlightrail.info/p/act-transport-studies.html

The first Gungahlin specific study dates from 1991.

I know it will amaze you, but the requirement for better public transport was – predictable traffic congestion and the need to move people.

It has taken me a while to get back to this comment as I wanted to double check my facts. The Commonwealth program is intended to stimulate the recycling of infrastructure assets. To that end it encourages state & territory govts to sell off assets & reinvest in new infrastructure. The guidelines state that if the funds are reinvested in infrastructure the Commonwealth will add 15% to the territory/state’s investment.

It is NOT a grant specifically for the ACT’s trams, it is a general grant for a capital project of the, in this case, ACT Govt’s choosing, it could equally have been spent on several other capital projects. THEY chose to use it for trams & the Commonwealth approved that as an appropriate investment within the guidelines. I understand that approaches have been made in the past to the Commonwealth for direct funding for the trams but it was rejected on the basis it lacked sufficient financial viability.

I believe that all comments should all be factually based so that readers get a true picture of the issues, you have put in comments before which have had to be corrected. Of course no one is perfect & errors can occur, but we should all strive for accuracy.

Arthur

rubaiyat 5:17 pm 01 Jul 15

What is the development timetable for your preferred option?

Where is it up to now? Have they resolved any of the major concerns raised in their 3D animations?

If they can’t even work out their faked up videos what progress could they have made on actually building a working transport system?

Why did it become essential to examine ALL options ONLY when it involves light rail, when eg Majura Parkway or Gungahlin Drive did not examine ALL options?

Nor did the redevelopment of Canberra Airport include all options of, for example, a spaceport/rocket launching facility or tethering masts for Airships.

Did your ANU employment contract examine ALL the options of for instance replacing you with a much cheaper and more convenient subscription to the Teaching Company?

http://www.thegreatcourses.com.au/index.php?ai=82873&_AU

or Lynda.com

http://www.lynda.com/default.aspx

or Udemy

https://www.udemy.com/

The point being that if everything gets held up to “examine all options”, including those not off the drawing board, it becomes just an excuse to stall every project forever. Especially as the requirement is only applied selectively, as in the language test in the White Australia policy.

Arthur Davies 4:27 pm 01 Jul 15

The arguments about transport modes reinforces my statement that there is no transport solution for Canberra, there are a number of solutions & the task is to utilise the best combination of them to serve you & the community. Buses meet some needs well, especially if you are travelling within one area & do not need to change buses. Cars are ideal for bulky shopping & when visiting
“out of town” (although if not used often a combination of taxis & hire cars may well be more economical). Trades people need vehicles for tools etc. But cars are far from ideal for commuting.

I do not see trams as an economical or fast part of the mix, better express buses are much cheaper according to the Govt’s own figures.

My ideal solution is a combination of overhead rapid transit (I know it is new technology with all that entails) along with autonomous electric cars for short trips, but we will have see how these options pan out in the next few years. A major advantage of these is that they are “on demand”, no time table, available 24 hours per day.

My major criticism is that no proper investigation of all options was done along with all of the costings before a decision was made, & yes I have read all the reports & none of them looked at all options.

Arthur

rubaiyat 12:20 pm 28 Jun 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

When isn’t a shopping trip at least 3 or 4 bags full?

Always for us, but we rarely get processed food.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Yeah, I’ll rather drive my car for at least a quarter of the cost or less.

Only for that one trip. Your car is costing you every single day, sitting in your driveway or not, PLUS $0.72/km when you are driving it. Worse if it is a SUV or 4WD. Contrary to popular belief it isn’t just the petrol.

Driving to the shops, for the cheaper prices, isn’t cheap in itself.

rubaiyat 11:43 am 28 Jun 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Either that or they live close to the town center.

I thought we had covered that more than adequately. Multiple times.

The central idea is, DON’T live in Googong and shop in Belconnen Mall.

There are a lot of these in Melbourne:

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODAxWDY5NA==/z/x2MAAOSwDNdVgiLd/$_57.JPG

You don’t have to fill the Costco Dumpster Trolley every time you shop, not unless you want to look like their customers.

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