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Light rail extension routes identified

By Michael Reid 21 July 2016 50

light rail artist impression

Canberrans have identified four key routes for the next stage of the light rail network, according to the ACT government.

These were contained in Keeping Canberra Moving: What you have told us, a report from new transport agency Transport Canberra that took feedback from 6,000 residents on the future public transport needs in the ACT.

Planning and land management minister Mick Gentleman, who released the report with Transport and city services minister Meegan Fitzharris on Thursday, said the government had identified the four most popular extension routes based on community consultations:

  • City to the airport along Constitution Avenue then Parkes Way
  • City to the Belconnen town centre along Barry Drive and past Calvary Hospital and the University of Canberra
  • City to the Parliamentary Triangle along either Commonwealth Avenue or Kings Avenue bride
  • City to Mawson via Woden

Labor is aiming to start construction on stage two as soon as work on stage one is finished. The first stage, the 12km line from Gungahlin to the city, is scheduled to be finished by early 2019.

“All four routes would take advantage of key landmarks, cultural institutions, education and health services and increased tourism from international flights, which start in September,” Gentleman said.

“The Woden corridor provides the opportunity to create a north-south ‘spine’ for the city’s transport, and plans released today will look at extending this corridor to the Mawson Group Centre.

“While community consultation examined the corridor to Woden, a short extension to Mawson would provide a great link for the Tuggeranong community to utilise the popular Mawson Park and Ride facility on their daily commute.

“Community consultation also looked at a potential network extension from the city to Kippax. At present the government is investigating the city to the Belconnen town centre section of that corridor, in response to strong support for a route linking two universities, CIT and two hospitals.

“There is an opportunity to extend light rail to Kippax over the longer term, especially when demand in the area grows through developments in West Belconnen.

The minster said the ACT government would undertake a more detailed analysis of all four preferred routes, before making an announcement later this year on the next steps in “developing a city-wide light rail network, with the community’s chosen routes at its core”.

Fitzharris said the message from Canberrans was that they wanted a quicker, more frequent public transport system, and that an expanded light rail network, integrated with more frequent buses and the capital’s walking and cycling network, would make public transport a genuine alternative to driving.

“Whether they’re taking the bus, riding their bike or hopping on the light rail network, every Canberran on public transport takes one more car off the road. This eases congestion and means we don’t become gridlocked like Sydney.

“By the end of this year there will be 400,000 living in Canberra, and in the next 20 years our population is set to increase by a third, with almost 500,000 people to call Canberra home by 2035. We need to start planning now for that future growth, which is why now is the right time to start our light rail network, and look to where it can go next.

“Transport Canberra has now been established to integrate our public transport system. The agency will consider the findings from this report and work with the community to ensure our public transport system meets the needs of our growing city.”

For more information visit: www.transport.act.gov.au


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Light rail extension routes identified
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dungfungus 12:27 pm 25 Aug 16

The Canberra Times reports today that a lot of “local” tenders will be released for the project.
One tender will be for “asbestos removal”.
I wonder where on the route the evil stuff is?
JC will know.

gooterz 8:22 pm 02 Aug 16

Would be very interesting to see the contract terms in light of the new rate cut.
1.5pc drop again.

HiddenDragon 5:24 pm 28 Jul 16

Masquara said :

“Did you catch the tram today?”
“Nah! With all the rain, 70km/h wind gusts and temps hovering around zero an umbrella was useless so I drove.”
Would this response be typical from the Queen’s birthday weekend through to the Labor Day holiday?
For most public servants it is possible because apart from motor vehicles there aren’t any modes of transport that don’t require standing in exposed blizzard conditions, getting cold and wet before showing up at the office. Sure one can rug up in an overcoat but Civic streets are renowned for producing ankle deep watetways in heavy downpours. You can’t take gumboots to work along with all the rest of the gear required to endure our climate,plus the usual dress code for the office. Without stripping down you then have to endure the 27 degree climate controlled tram and arrive at work sweating and smelly.
For sheer comfort a lot of people will continue to driv instead of taking light rail. In summer they will likely ditch it in favor of cycling or walking, especially those within close proximity such as Dickson. I predict that the number of passengers expected will not be reached and trams will run nearly empty. If I am wrong though, I expect not to see my rates triple again to subsidize this ridiculous venture.

Very well put – which is why (PR stunts aside) – the masterminds responsible for this monstrosity will continue to drive from home, to their reserved, and very handy, parking spots at the office, and back again, while preaching to the rest of us about the evils of cars.

bj_ACT 1:00 pm 28 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

According to last Census 27% of people in Gunghalin were studying at a university or technical institute ( quick stats Gungahalin Statistical area level 3)
However only 7% (1700 people) of employed people used public transport to get to work (doesn’t have it for students) from Gungahalin
From the last Census.

I believe you might have misread the ABS Quickstats. I think your 27% will be the proportion of ‘Students’ in Gunghalin, not the proportion of overall people in Gunghalin.

7% of Workers did travel to work via public transport and the percentage of Students who travel by public transport would be higher again.

pink little birdie 11:40 am 28 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

According to last Census 27% of people in Gunghalin were studying at a university or technical institute ( quick stats Gungahalin Statistical area level 3)
However only 7% (1700 people) of employed people used public transport to get to work (doesn’t have it for students) from Gungahalin
From the last Census.

There is also 160 dwellings in the same area with no motor vehicles.

pink little birdie 11:37 am 28 Jul 16

According to last Census 27% of people in Gunghalin were studying at a university or technical institute ( quick stats Gungahalin Statistical area level 3)
However only 7% (1700 people) of employed people used public transport to get to work (doesn’t have it for students) from Gungahalin
From the last Census.

rommeldog56 10:57 am 28 Jul 16

devils_advocate said :

Education you know the higher education sector that makes up a full 1/3 of Canberra economies. The light rail will make it easier for students to live in cheaper rentals further from the unis.

And the current bus/bus rapid system – or a full bus rapid system across all of Canberra for 1/2 the cost of Light Rail, wont of course.

Even the Govt’s own business case said that for Gunners-City stage 1, Light Rail was only 3 minutes faster than a bus. If that holds true for the expansion of Light Rail across all of Canberra, then I can not see Uni students moving far outside of where they attend Uni just to save 3 minutes.

To make that spin in for Light Rail must be getting to near desperation levels to come up with justifications.

wildturkeycanoe 7:44 am 28 Jul 16

“Did you catch the tram today?”
“Nah! With all the rain, 70km/h wind gusts and temps hovering around zero an umbrella was useless so I drove.”
Would this response be typical from the Queen’s birthday weekend through to the Labor Day holiday?
For most public servants it is possible because apart from motor vehicles there aren’t any modes of transport that don’t require standing in exposed blizzard conditions, getting cold and wet before showing up at the office. Sure one can rug up in an overcoat but Civic streets are renowned for producing ankle deep watetways in heavy downpours. You can’t take gumboots to work along with all the rest of the gear required to endure our climate,plus the usual dress code for the office. Without stripping down you then have to endure the 27 degree climate controlled tram and arrive at work sweating and smelly.
For sheer comfort a lot of people will continue to driv instead of taking light rail. In summer they will likely ditch it in favor of cycling or walking, especially those within close proximity such as Dickson. I predict that the number of passengers expected will not be reached and trams will run nearly empty. If I am wrong though, I expect not to see my rates triple again to subsidize this ridiculous venture.

gooterz 12:00 am 28 Jul 16

devils_advocate said :

Kim Huynh said :

note that there is nothing from Woden to Tuggeranong although Athllon Drive has ample space and a slight gradient. Wonder why Tuggeranites are unhappy with the Govt?

Probably because Woden to Tuggeranong is still single lane for at least half of it.
Light rail could be used as a tool to turn useless land along that corridor into very profitable land.
Instead we increase the price of land developers own at a cost to the rest of us?

Perhaps a decent bus service will make the south side happy, however they wont get anything unless things change.

I have a question:
“By the end of this year there will be 400,000 living in Canberra, and in the next 20 years our population is set to increase by a third, with almost 500,000 people”

If we have to plan for transport for this 100,000 people, why aren’t we also investing in jobs for these people? What does Canberra actually export?

Education you know the higher education sector that makes up a full 1/3 of Canberra economies.
The light rail will make it easier for students to live in cheaper rentals further from the unis.

Why bother when there is soo much room close to the uni they can all cram into little boxes.
I’m not sure a Uni student would like a 30 minute trip into uni and 30 minutes home, when they could live on campus. Most of the Uni’s are adopting a live on campus theme and they already have an express bus that goes to and from the external residences.

I’d be keen to see a poll done of exactly how many of the readers to riotact would use light rail stage 1.

There is nothing that light rail can do that buses can’t do. There are many things that buses can do that light rail can’t. If you want to solve congestion along the route why not offer free buses as a start to see how many people switch from car to bus. Then and only then if the buses reach capacity that they can no longer cope then improve that service with light rail.

At the moment its clear that light rail is being used as a tactic to get people to move from car to train, because they wont go from car to bus. However light rail would only service a very limited market.

Often talked about is the tram is a better experience than a bus. Could this issue be solved by just getting better suspension on the bus?

What magic is there in a vehicle that runs from an overhead power line that isn’t given by an internal combustion engine? Could it be that an electic bus would applause these hard to reach people?

If you went and stood in the middle of Northborne and stopped traffic and asked them why didn’t you catch a bus today, I’m sure they’ll probably call you an idiot but they wont say it was because the bus was too bumpy.

We have a plastic bag policy in Canberra, we sell bags to make people avoid using them.
We have a bus service in Canberra, we sell tickets which avoids people using them.

When bags were free everyone was happy and used as many as they wanted.
When a bus is free people will leave their cars at home.

The tram might take 3000 people an hour but it can’t carry logic!

pink little birdie 3:27 pm 27 Jul 16

Kim Huynh said :

note that there is nothing from Woden to Tuggeranong although Athllon Drive has ample space and a slight gradient. Wonder why Tuggeranites are unhappy with the Govt?

Probably because Woden to Tuggeranong is still single lane for at least half of it.
Light rail could be used as a tool to turn useless land along that corridor into very profitable land.
Instead we increase the price of land developers own at a cost to the rest of us?

Perhaps a decent bus service will make the south side happy, however they wont get anything unless things change.

I have a question:
“By the end of this year there will be 400,000 living in Canberra, and in the next 20 years our population is set to increase by a third, with almost 500,000 people”

If we have to plan for transport for this 100,000 people, why aren’t we also investing in jobs for these people? What does Canberra actually export?

Education you know the higher education sector that makes up a full 1/3 of Canberra economies.
The light rail will make it easier for students to live in cheaper rentals further from the unis.

Mordd 11:54 am 27 Jul 16

note that there is nothing from Woden to Tuggeranong although Athllon Drive has ample space and a slight gradient. Wonder why Tuggeranites are unhappy with the Govt?

Viable as a stage 4 John? Sure, and I support that. But you can’t argue this would be the best use of money for the Stage 2, the Woden to Tuggers link will come eventually, but it objectively its not high enough priority for Stage 2 when there are other possible stage 2 routes that would service more people and deserve to be built first.

gooterz 8:36 pm 26 Jul 16

note that there is nothing from Woden to Tuggeranong although Athllon Drive has ample space and a slight gradient. Wonder why Tuggeranites are unhappy with the Govt?

Probably because Woden to Tuggeranong is still single lane for at least half of it.
Light rail could be used as a tool to turn useless land along that corridor into very profitable land.
Instead we increase the price of land developers own at a cost to the rest of us?

Perhaps a decent bus service will make the south side happy, however they wont get anything unless things change.

I have a question:
“By the end of this year there will be 400,000 living in Canberra, and in the next 20 years our population is set to increase by a third, with almost 500,000 people”

If we have to plan for transport for this 100,000 people, why aren’t we also investing in jobs for these people? What does Canberra actually export?

John Hargreaves 5:46 pm 26 Jul 16

note that there is nothing from Woden to Tuggeranong although Athllon Drive has ample space and a slight gradient. Wonder why Tuggeranites are unhappy with the Govt?

Mordd 12:37 am 26 Jul 16

“This was never about public transport it was and still is about revenue raising by selling land and putting ticky tacky boxes all over it.”

Ok so can you then please deduct that revenue from the build cost of the light rail estimate thank you !

Whilst your at it please deduct all ongoing rates gained from all of the current and estimated development along the route against the ongoing running cost of the project. For the same period of time that the “Nominal Cost Value” has been estimated over to get to that cost figure please.

Then you need to deduct asset recycling funding and any government asset sale revenue generated that we have been forced to sell (That is no longer federally mandated) to receive that 67 million in Federal government funding. Remember to further deduct any estimated ticket revenue over that time frame. Then deduct the entire “Nominal Value Cost” estimate over that entire period for the ACT liberal complete transport project. (If you can find it good luck with that one)

What ever is left then ok lets argue about the cost of this to the ACT budget over the length of the Public Private agreement. Then and only then would this Nominal Value crap be even close to a fair comparison of the “Actual” out of pocket expenses that would be having to be sourced from rate payers.

They you will have to deduct the rates payed by everyone in the North who pays rates that are directed towards the light rail project. Because we need to remember that the only rates payed in dispute here are South siders who may or may not ever use the light rail service.

It is important to remember that the Liberal transport plan figure has to start at negative 200 million dollars so every cost is in excess of that figure. If they can work out a figure (I would be surprised if anyone could work it out) but anyway that is at least the official initial figure it would cost in Light rail cancellation costs.

I know that the only costings put forward are based on the Labor party’s original comparison estimate way back when they applied to the Federal government infrastructure body. A separated bus lane from Gungahlin to civic from memory was to cost around $300 million.

I should clarify Mr Coe has not yet identified if he would spend a dime on any upgrades to Flemmington road and that is pretty laughable because there in no hope in hell that road will hold the projected traffic capacity to allow his express buses to operate as he has indicated. That is why I call them flying buses because that is the only logical way they could be called an express bus service.

Quote from the Minister Assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform, Shane Rattenbury : “The short-sighted Liberal scheme does not consider the realities of our growing city. If their ‘express’ buses are really to avoid traffic and be express, they need priority or separation, which the scheme does not fund”

Sydney Morning Herald on the subject of the viability of the Liberal claims to the ability to create a Gungahlin to Civic express bus service.
“But there is no apparent analysis behind the claim of “Travel from Gungahlin to the City … up to 10 minutes faster than light rail.” This claim would be barely credible for a pre-dawn express service that is unlikely to attract a handful of passengers. It is completely implausible for any peak-hour bus service”

So your already at $500 million right there !

Correction you also stand to lose the $67 million in asset recycling so actually that figure would be closer to $567 Million dollars.

And I know Shane Rattenbury laughed at the transport shadow Minister Coe’s lack of basic transport plan costings. Mainly for one because he had neglected to even consider the fact that the current bus depots are at max capacity so if he wanted to implement his alternate plan they would first need to factor in building another bus depot somewhere ?

Correction Shane is quoted as saying the new bus depot just the depot would cost around $25 million dollars alone. (Quote on this from a city news article on the subject from Mr Rattenbury)

“Buses need somewhere to park and be maintained: a new depot costs $25m, which they haven’t even considered, let alone funded. No wonder they have already had to admit they don’t know when they will actually do any of this.”

And you need to add the cost of the new fleet of super express buses and costs associated with introducing six new rapid bus routes and free friday travel for the entire capital bus network and the associated expenses that go with this. I don’t know what you could place that figure at another 50 – 100 million who knows ?

So I mean you add this together with the above and well you get my point about the reality of the situation.

rommeldog56 9:01 pm 25 Jul 16

Masquara said :

The m$700 (which was originally m$614 that ACT Labor took to the 2014 ACT LA election as I recall (?)…….

That should be 2012 ACT LA election, not 2014.

gooterz 6:59 pm 25 Jul 16

gooterz said :

Southerly_views said :

Maybe use the existing bus lane around the hill and down to Woden.

And where will the buses go ??? Into car lanes so further increasing congestion ??

Oh, that’s right, I forgot that the express buses will be abolished when/if the tram takes over.

Hahaha, you gotta laugh at this solution based spin.

For the same price per KM we could have had a bullet train.

Arthur Davies 3:57 pm 25 Jul 16

I note from the article that they have surveyed 6,000 people, but that survey was hardly from a statistically random section of the community, the survey was seriously lacking in academic rigour. As a result the results are of very doubtful validity. From my observation/involvement, there were no options to state that trams were not the correct solution to Canberra’s needs. There is no discussion within that report regarding objections to the tram option that I could find. To claim that this is “consultation” is frankly disingenuous, however so is a lot of other “consultations” as those who have tried in the past to participate have found out.

For a bit of light relief look up the “yes minister” segment on survey design. Google “you tube yes prime minister leading question”. It is very clever, funny & very informative all at the same time, I wish I could write that well! It is even used in at least one university course for survey design students, enjoy.

rommeldog56 2:28 pm 25 Jul 16

Southerly_views said :

Maybe use the existing bus lane around the hill and down to Woden.

And where will the buses go ??? Into car lanes so further increasing congestion ?? Oh, that’s right, I forgot that the express buses will be abolished when/if the tram takes over.

Hahaha, you gotta laugh at this solution based spin.

rommeldog56 2:21 pm 25 Jul 16

crackerpants said :

Point 1 $700m was the construction cost which is still very much about right. The headline figure low quoted includes the 20 year operating cost but does not factor in fare box revenue.

Point 4 yes bridges cost money but so what? The Majura parkway has two substantial bridges, a massive viaduct and many minor bridges for a cost of $288m. So maybe not prohibit let expensive.

The m$700 (which was originally m$614 that ACT Labor took to the 2014 ACT LA election as I recall (?), was just a ruse by the ACT Labor/Greens Govt to suck in voters. They could have and should have factored in the estimated running costs and published that (much higher) figure instead. There is plenty of overseas and Ox experience with trams that would have enabled such a est. running costs figure to have been included along with construction costs. But ACT voters/Ratepayers could not see that amoungst all the spin and obfuscation by ACT Labor/Greens and their rusted on supporters and will now pay the price.

And to compare the bridges on the Majura Parkway to what would be necessary to carry trams across lake Burley Griffin, is a nonsense.

rommeldog56 2:11 pm 25 Jul 16

dungfungus said :

1. There is no 1.8 billion dollars. It’s 64m a year for 20 years. Dont buy into their wacky economics.
2. Of course
3. Both bridges are able to carry a light rail line with no structural modifications

Re (1) : So, you are right @ m$64pa for 20 yrs (= b$1.280) but the ACT Auditor Generals b$1.8 is “wacky economics” ???? Bizarre. That’s just more ACT Greens/Labor obfuscation of the true cost of the tram to Ratepayers. The b$1.8 is what Ratepayers will be forking out.

Re (2) : As I understand it, that is correct. However, it takes away one lane of traffic in each direction. That will be congestion madness. Better to build a new tram bridge next to Commonwealth/Kings Ave bridges, which will be at tremendous cost.

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