Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Excellence in Public Sector consulting

Light rail enthusiasts responsible for public transport woes?

By johnboy 7 November 2011 64

The Canberra Times has a piece blaming light rail fans in Canberra for the ever more expensive and less useful bus service.

Dr Mees revealed his submission to Environment Minister Simon Corbell yesterday, saying the Government’s plan ”is fundamentally flawed, because it perpetuates the policy mistakes that have seen public transport in Canberra decline at record rates over the last 20 years”.

Dr Mees says the ACT disproved the ”myth of density” – that public transport fails if the population is spread out – in the 1970s and 1980s, when it developed one of the nation’s most successful bus networks. His paper explains how Canberra went from being Australia’s most car-dominated city in 1961 to having the second-most used public transport system in the country.

Dr Mees also said public transport advocates’ obsession with light rail had been ”an enormous distraction and has held Canberra back”.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
64 Responses to
Light rail enthusiasts responsible for public transport woes?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Bramina 7:16 pm 10 Nov 11

Jethro said :

shadow boxer said :

In what universe will closing a lane ease traffic congestion ?

This pic has been doing the rounds.
http://paulmaiorana.com/notes/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/car-bus-bike.jpg

If a dedicated bus lane leads to an extra 6 or 7 full buses on the road and an extra few hundred cars off the road, then traffic congestion should be reduced. This means that those who need to use cars (such as us parents doing the school runs before work) should have an easier trip.

(Of course, adding a bus lane and doing nothing else isn’t going to change anything. People don’t catch buses in Canberra because they are infrequent and don’t run direct routes. Nonetheless, as part of a more comprehensive scheme to move people from cars to public transport, dedicated bus lanes would work wonders).

That picture is deceptive. The performance of buses isn’t just a sole function of the amount of road they take up per passenger. They still block as much road as a car, and they unload and load very slowly.

On a busy road like Northbourne, every bus might stop at a given stop. Given that a bus takes a minute or two to load you are limited to a bus every one or two minutes. That’s about 25-50 people per minute at most. You could probably get a similar number of people down the lane in cars. Also reducing the number of lanes slows the cars in the remaining lanes. Thus, there is very little benefit.

But compare this to a tram, which can also carry 300 people. A single tram can load and unload people faster than busses carrying the equivalent number of people. You could have a 300 person tram every two minutes instead of a 50 person bus every two minutes. Then you would achieve higher rates than cars.

Incidentally they kinda did this on the main road in Adelaide which is similar to Northbourne (3 lanes each way although the divide is negligible). They closed one lane to put trams down the road and banned right hand turns. That is good according to what I just said, but the problem was that the frequency of the trams was limited to about one every 10 minutes by level crossings on the route*.

Thus there was no benefit. They added no capacity to the tram network at the cost of slowing cars down and a few hundred of million dollars. It was a failure.

*The level crossings blocked arterial roads. If they had increased the frequency of trams, the level crossings would have been permanently closed blocking the roads.

shadow boxer 8:56 am 10 Nov 11

Jethro said :

shadow boxer said :

In what universe will closing a lane ease traffic congestion ?

This pic has been doing the rounds.
http://paulmaiorana.com/notes/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/car-bus-bike.jpg

If a dedicated bus lane leads to an extra 6 or 7 full buses on the road and an extra few hundred cars off the road, then traffic congestion should be reduced. This means that those who need to use cars (such as us parents doing the school runs before work) should have an easier trip.

(Of course, adding a bus lane and doing nothing else isn’t going to change anything. People don’t catch buses in Canberra because they are infrequent and don’t run direct routes. Nonetheless, as part of a more comprehensive scheme to move people from cars to public transport, dedicated bus lanes would work wonders).

Yeh see you guys live in a fantasy world exhibited by that picture,

Northbourne avenue has 13 sets of traffic lights numerous cross roads, people wanting to turn across the proposed bus lanes, an on road cycle lane, a footpath, pedestrian traffic crossings, numerous office and hotel driveways. and worst of all commuter bus runs that stop at every stop.

It simply wouldn’t achieve anything to dedicate a lane to buses (posts picture of a conga line of buses waiting behind a commuter bus at Dickson) and would cause traffic chaos, that said all those issues are adressable in the interest of getting Northbourne flowing, only thing is if you did address them the requirement for a bus lane would disappear.

Alternitevely for not much cost remove the buses from N’bourne and send them through Dickson to Braddon.

Bramina 9:37 pm 09 Nov 11

teej7 no worries. I didn’t take offence 🙂

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site