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Light Rail aims to make money

By Barcham 5 July 2013 39

Just in case you haven’t already been bored completely to death by hearing about light rail, here’s some more talk about it.

The ACT Government’s Capital Metro light rail project delivers a benefit cost outcome similar to, or better than, other light rail projects that are going ahead around Australia, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell said today.

“According to Infrastructure Australia’s own costings methodology, the benefit cost ratio for Capital Metro at our medium growth scenario was 2.34; this is similar to, or better than, the benefit cost ratio for other light rail projects going ahead in QLD and NSW,” Mr Corbell said.

“The Gold Coast light rail project, for example, has a benefit cost ratio of 1.63, and Sydney’s InnerWest light rail project between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill is understood to have a benefit cost ratio of 1.0.

“Benefit cost ratio is a key indicator of a project’s viability. A ratio greater than 1 demonstrates that economically, for every dollar spent there is a positive economic return.

“A ratio of 2.34 shows that for every dollar spent, there is a return of just over two dollars.

“It’s also important to note that the Infrastructure Australia report, that Opposition Transport spokesman Alistair Coe keeps referring to, has not ruled out light rail, rather it has named a ‘Canberra Transit Corridor’ as an early stage infrastructure priority (page 100).

“Transforming and integrating the city’s public transport system is a big investment that will deliver benefits to Canberrans, and to the economy, for decades to come,” Mr Corbell said.

Cool, profit, yes, whatever! Just build the thing already.

What’s Your opinion?


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Light Rail aims to make money
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dungfungus 12:06 pm 09 Jul 13

davo101 said :

dungfungus said :

What was the BCR for the Futsal Slab?

LOL, I’d never heard of the Futsal Slab–plus ça change. Maybe sometime later in the year we should get them to fly the Skywhale from the Futsal Slab? As to the BCR, I don’t know what the ACT rules are but in NSW you only have to do formal economic appraisals on capital projects over a million dollars, so in this case I doubt they did one.

Oh, the synergy of the Skywhale using the Futsal Slab as its home base.
It’s a smorgasbord of follies; no need for a BCR here.

davo101 11:28 am 09 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

What was the BCR for the Futsal Slab?

LOL, I’d never heard of the Futsal Slab–plus ça change. Maybe sometime later in the year we should get them to fly the Skywhale from the Futsal Slab? As to the BCR, I don’t know what the ACT rules are but in NSW you only have to do formal economic appraisals on capital projects over a million dollars, so in this case I doubt they did one.

dungfungus 10:48 am 09 Jul 13

davo101 said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Well seeing as you appear to have missed it, yes – the benefit:cost ratio of 2.34:1. As determined by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Well it would appear that Mr Corbell suffers from the same problem as Mr Coe; both being unable to finish a quote from documents they claim support their arguments. Yes the tram option has a BCR of 2.34 but the rapid bus option has a BCR of 4.78! No wonder the IA report talks about the bus option given that it has a BCR more than twice as high as the tram option.

damien haas said :

Where is the cost benefit analysis for Majura Parkway?

Here with a BCR of 3.32.

What was the BCR for the Futsal Slab?

davo101 10:12 am 09 Jul 13

Gungahlin Al said :

Well seeing as you appear to have missed it, yes – the benefit:cost ratio of 2.34:1. As determined by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Well it would appear that Mr Corbell suffers from the same problem as Mr Coe; both being unable to finish a quote from documents they claim support their arguments. Yes the tram option has a BCR of 2.34 but the rapid bus option has a BCR of 4.78! No wonder the IA report talks about the bus option given that it has a BCR more than twice as high as the tram option.

damien haas said :

Where is the cost benefit analysis for Majura Parkway?

Here with a BCR of 3.32.

dungfungus 3:21 pm 08 Jul 13

PantsMan said :

I suspect that it will be 150% over budget (time and money) on construction and subsidised by 90%, leading to more money being spent to improve patronage/services by closing carparks and roads.

We may never know.

PantsMan 2:38 pm 08 Jul 13

I suspect that it will be 150% over budget (time and money) on construction and subsidised by 90%, leading to more money being spent to improve patronage/services by closing carparks and roads.

dungfungus 1:38 pm 08 Jul 13

“The cost of the electricity transmission system and maintenance are really high”

Only if the trams are powered by electricty.

“Self-driving buses would cut the cost of public transport massively. About half of ACTION’s costs are staff”.

Good luck in convincing the TWU this would be a good idea.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 1:21 pm 08 Jul 13

When did I ever say you cannot have a opinion? I said its not your money anymore and therefore the only say you have about how a tiny bit of it may get spent is election time.

AndrewB 12:31 pm 08 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

It’s incredibly lol that some self entitled assholes think that their taxed pay still somehow belongs to them.

How Canberran. Betrays an incredible sense of naiivety about how things get paid for.

Government doesn’t have any money. The only money Government has is the money that actual productive taxpayers give it. So yes, thank you, since I give them plenty, I continue to assert the right to an opinion about how effectively it is getting spent.

As many have pointed out over the years, there are varying categories of spend – spending your own money on yourself is the best way to ensure value for it. On the other hand, Government spends other people’s money on other people – socially necessary but a recipe for poor control and wastefulness. I fear this project is heading down that route from Day 1.

sien 12:20 pm 08 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

As far as i can see, light rail or “trams” for what they really are, are just like buses except they are restricted to follow tracks. Why not just make a corridor exclusively for buses to travel along and you’d not have to install half the expensive infrastructure but achieve the same result? Why have a vehicle capable of carrying 150 people only filling up to say 30% capacity and stopping every 100m, when individual carriages designed for particular stops would take the customers faster to their destination? Like off-road cycleways, take the buses off our roads and you’d have a win-win for buses and cars as well.

Trams have less rolling resistance than buses and don’t have to have tyres replaced at great expense every 2 years. They cost a lot less to operate than buses and have a life up to 3 times as long. They are safer as well. I could go on.
I understood “cycleways” in Canberra were shared with pedestrians. Are there actually “exclusive” cycleways now and if so, where are they?

Trams are inflexible and cost more overall to run than buses. The cost of the electricity transmission system and maintenance are really high.

The Victorian government had an internal report on the cost of their trams written about 5-10 years ago. I have friends who had read it. The conclusion was that the most cost effective way to provide public transport on streets in Melbourne would have been to dismantle the system. Providing access for the disabled was posited as being a reason that could be used to cut back on trams. However it was realised that it would have been political suicide. Instead super-stops were brought in.

Canberra is very spread out. The farebox recovery ratio on ACTION buses is about 20%. A tram is unlikely to be better and could well be worse. The most promising thing for Canberra’s transport is that over the next 10-15 years self-driving vehicles are likely to appear. Self-driving buses would cut the cost of public transport massively. About half of ACTION’s costs are staff. Ultimately cars that can take multiple people to work and park out of major areas are likely to change Canberra’s transport substantially.

For ACTION budget figures have a look at p113 of the ACT budget:

http://www.treasury.act.gov.au/budget/budget_2011/files/paper4/06action.pdf

dungfungus 11:35 am 08 Jul 13

thebrownstreak69 said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

As far as i can see, light rail or “trams” for what they really are, are just like buses except they are restricted to follow tracks. Why not just make a corridor exclusively for buses to travel along and you’d not have to install half the expensive infrastructure but achieve the same result? Why have a vehicle capable of carrying 150 people only filling up to say 30% capacity and stopping every 100m, when individual carriages designed for particular stops would take the customers faster to their destination? Like off-road cycleways, take the buses off our roads and you’d have a win-win for buses and cars as well.

Trams have less rolling resistance than buses and don’t have to have tyres replaced at great expense every 2 years. They cost a lot less to operate than buses and have a life up to 3 times as long. They are safer as well. I could go on.
I understood “cycleways” in Canberra were shared with pedestrians. Are there actually “exclusive” cycleways now and if so, where are they?

They also cost a shedload more to buy, and need much more expensive infrastructure to run on.

There are lighter, self propelled trams now available that don’t need catenaries, transformers and roads to be torn up to relocate services. These are very appropriate for Canberra unlike the heavy Euro Tram network that has just been built on the Gold Coast.

goggles13 11:33 am 08 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

goggles13 said :

its 40 years too late to build light rail in this city, time for the ACT Govt to stop wasting my money on this project. there is simply not enough people living in the ACT to justify the service, and I cannot see the population growing much in the future either.

unlike building a shopping centre which may have a wide catchment area, it is unlikely that many people would have a need to travel from Gungahlin to the City just for the sake of it.

oh and I won’t mention the fact that there is no obvious plans to build the light rail on the southside, so how would I benefit from it?

For the present, you will have to content that Mr Barr has spent your southside millions on Manuka oval (or whatever its commercial name is now) and he has committed over $20 million to sponsor the winless GWS team. Didn’t appear to be many at the match over the weekend either. Trams won’t be needed at Manuka for a long time.

sounds like the ACT Govt likes investing in pointless things

thebrownstreak69 10:40 am 08 Jul 13

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

As far as i can see, light rail or “trams” for what they really are, are just like buses except they are restricted to follow tracks. Why not just make a corridor exclusively for buses to travel along and you’d not have to install half the expensive infrastructure but achieve the same result? Why have a vehicle capable of carrying 150 people only filling up to say 30% capacity and stopping every 100m, when individual carriages designed for particular stops would take the customers faster to their destination? Like off-road cycleways, take the buses off our roads and you’d have a win-win for buses and cars as well.

Trams have less rolling resistance than buses and don’t have to have tyres replaced at great expense every 2 years. They cost a lot less to operate than buses and have a life up to 3 times as long. They are safer as well. I could go on.
I understood “cycleways” in Canberra were shared with pedestrians. Are there actually “exclusive” cycleways now and if so, where are they?

They also cost a shedload more to buy, and need much more expensive infrastructure to run on.

goggles13 9:59 am 08 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

It’s incredibly lol that some self entitled assholes think that their taxed pay still somehow belongs to them.

do you mean that we as taxpayers are not allowed to express an opinion on how our money is spent, unless it happens to be when we vote every four years?

get real, we live in a democracy with free speech and I don’t like the Light Rail proposal. I’m allowed to express my opinion and say why.

dungfungus 9:41 am 08 Jul 13

goggles13 said :

its 40 years too late to build light rail in this city, time for the ACT Govt to stop wasting my money on this project. there is simply not enough people living in the ACT to justify the service, and I cannot see the population growing much in the future either.

unlike building a shopping centre which may have a wide catchment area, it is unlikely that many people would have a need to travel from Gungahlin to the City just for the sake of it.

oh and I won’t mention the fact that there is no obvious plans to build the light rail on the southside, so how would I benefit from it?

For the present, you will have to content that Mr Barr has spent your southside millions on Manuka oval (or whatever its commercial name is now) and he has committed over $20 million to sponsor the winless GWS team. Didn’t appear to be many at the match over the weekend either. Trams won’t be needed at Manuka for a long time.

dungfungus 9:28 am 08 Jul 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

As far as i can see, light rail or “trams” for what they really are, are just like buses except they are restricted to follow tracks. Why not just make a corridor exclusively for buses to travel along and you’d not have to install half the expensive infrastructure but achieve the same result? Why have a vehicle capable of carrying 150 people only filling up to say 30% capacity and stopping every 100m, when individual carriages designed for particular stops would take the customers faster to their destination? Like off-road cycleways, take the buses off our roads and you’d have a win-win for buses and cars as well.

Trams have less rolling resistance than buses and don’t have to have tyres replaced at great expense every 2 years. They cost a lot less to operate than buses and have a life up to 3 times as long. They are safer as well. I could go on.
I understood “cycleways” in Canberra were shared with pedestrians. Are there actually “exclusive” cycleways now and if so, where are they?

wildturkeycanoe 8:08 am 08 Jul 13

As far as i can see, light rail or “trams” for what they really are, are just like buses except they are restricted to follow tracks. Why not just make a corridor exclusively for buses to travel along and you’d not have to install half the expensive infrastructure but achieve the same result? Why have a vehicle capable of carrying 150 people only filling up to say 30% capacity and stopping every 100m, when individual carriages designed for particular stops would take the customers faster to their destination? Like off-road cycleways, take the buses off our roads and you’d have a win-win for buses and cars as well.

Usermane 5:08 pm 07 Jul 13

Public transport patronage and the way the government develops the ACT would seem to go hand in hand. The solution to the problem of “but the light rail is useless because I won’t be able to go here or there on it” is to ensure that the city is planned so that “here or there” will be built within reach of public transport facilities.

Instead, there is an ad-hoc approach to development in which the government persists in forever expanding Canberra’s urban boundary by building over the ACT’s open space with Tuggeranong-esque low-density sprawl (wasteland) far away from all current and future amenities, where it is obvious that public transport will never become viable in the future (see: Molonglo and West MacGregor).

This continued poor planning works against the development of light rail in the whole city, because it not only forces on those areas permanent dependence on private cars but also syphons population growth and commercial development away from parts of the city where light rail could become viable if they were developed correctly.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 4:14 pm 07 Jul 13

It’s incredibly lol that some self entitled assholes think that their taxed pay still somehow belongs to them.

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