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Light Rail marches on…

By johnboy - 19 December 2008 36

The light rail nerds are celebrating the ACT Government including their pet project in the wishlist for infrastructure funding.

    ““In these troubled economic times, there is no doubt that a significant project to implement Light Rail will help keep the ACT economy buoyant. It will provide ongoing economic stimuli through related development, urban design and investment, as well as addressing the longer term public transport infrastructure and environmental issues”, stated Mr. Reynolds.

    The project is listed in the Infrastructure Australia report as a single line item at $2.95billion, however very little is actually known about what was contained in the bid from the ACT Government to Infrastructure Australia as the final document has not been released to the public. “

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36 Responses to
Light Rail marches on…
PM 8:34 pm 20 Dec 08

NickD,

1. Many buses are crowded.

2. That’s despite many people choosing to drive because they don’t like crowded buses.

3. We need to think ahead – this thing won’t be built overnight and our population is growing. The demands on our infrastructure are naturally increasing.

4. Light rail doesn’t often get stuck in traffic jams, which are slowly becoming more regular in certain areas therefore, assuming it’s a good design, in my view light rail will be faster than buses between the town centres.

5. For both environmental and productivity reasons the Conservation Council and the Business Council (or whatever its called) are in favour of it, along with the Planning Association.

Light rail shouldn’t just be laid along the current road network; there needs to be a coordinated approach (ie transport, planning, etc) to make sure our city’s future is able to withstand the approaching pressures on cost of living, maintenance of infrastructure, physical space, environment and quality of life. I think at the last election this was more or less agreed between ALP, Liberals and Greens, although they had different approaches.

ChrisinTurner 4:23 pm 20 Dec 08

We should take the $3 billion, invest it at 4% and use the $120 million a year to make the existing bus system fare-free. In fact, it should only take about $20 million a year to do this. See http://www.chrisemery.net/images/Documents/the%20fare-free%20alternative.pdf

sepi 3:47 pm 20 Dec 08

Actually many are overcrowded.

NickD 2:47 pm 20 Dec 08

PM said :

Soft infrastructure like buses – which don’t hold as many people as light rail – won’t cut it.

Given that the buses are empty outside of the peak hours and aren’t normally over-crowded during the peak hours I don’t think that light rail makes any kind of sense, especially as it would probably be impossible for a light rail train to travel between the town centres any faster than a bus can.

PM 1:17 pm 20 Dec 08

climbingbeetle said :

ACT Light Rail have never answered the question, “Does Canberra need a fixed rail service.” …

Instead, a lobby group of boys who like playing with toys has somehow pulled the wool over the eyes of the government to get this proposal up.

Um… yes they have considered whether Canberra needs a fixed rail service and the answer is, in their opinion, yes.

Light rail is very important in planning for Canberra’s future growth. Soft infrastructure like buses – which don’t hold as many people as light rail – won’t cut it.

monomania 12:20 pm 20 Dec 08

Unlike light rail and fast train, I thought that the Bigger Cotter dam and the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline were certainties. They certainly featured very prominently in the ‘election adds’ Actew was running in support of Stanhope before the last election. I believe we have already started to pay for these projects and that was one reason for our increased water bills. Now they’re in an infrastructure WISH list!!

sepi 11:00 am 20 Dec 08

I think it is a great idea.
Running centre to centre (Civic, woden, tuggers, belco, gunners).

I think it would get heaps of use – far more than the awful busses currently get.
And Canberra is aiming to get bigger, so it would be part of planning ahead.

Canberra is so spread out, busses just can’t get from A to B fast enough.

And in the meantime they should bring back the 333 and just run it every 2 minutes all day long.

monomania 10:51 am 20 Dec 08

There must be cheaper alternatives, for instance a tram running on wheels with a guide track or electronic tracking, battery operated or hybrid, operating just like those running in Melbourne with their ugly overhead wires. Similar road rules.

Ian 9:30 am 20 Dec 08

Who would ever spend nearly $3b for a toy train to benefit a population of 300k people, of who at best something like 60k might ever be regular users? Its just not going to happen. I’d love to see the business case put forward in the submission. Just the cost of capital (or the opportunity cost if its funded free of charge by govt) comes to something like $6-7 per trip.

I’d imagine the committee evaluating these infrastructure proposals won’t be wasting too much time with this one. Its never going to get up vs things like ports, rail servicing those ports, etc. (Never mind the lack of political imperative to spend money in Canberra – not like we’re going to vote Liberal is it?)

climbingbeetle 8:19 am 20 Dec 08

ACT Light Rail have never answered the question, “Does Canberra need a fixed rail service.” Instead, they have jumped the gun and gone straight for the technology.

It would be good to see a study of fixed rail requirements, looking at grade-separated rail and non-grade separate rail, and monorail. If a decision has been made that we need fixed rail, get the vendors of these technologies, such as Hitachi, Bombardier, Mitsubishi, Siemens, etc., come and tell us what they reckon would be the most efficient and effective mode of fixed rail locomotion in Canberra.

Instead, a lobby group of boys who like playing with toys has somehow pulled the wool over the eyes of the government to get this proposal up.

farnarkler 7:32 am 20 Dec 08

They’ll be snowboarding down the main street of Darwin before a light rail system is ever built in Canberra.

bigred 11:06 pm 19 Dec 08

won’t happen with the price tag they put on it. Very clever politics that. toot toot!

harvyk1 9:25 pm 19 Dec 08

I personally believe Canberra would benefit with a light rail system in place. It would then also benefit with some real thought into getting Canberran’s to actually use it beyond the 6 month novelty factor.

And no, putting on a few ad’s on TV explaining the pluses of buses (whoops I mean light rail), doesn’t cut it, neither does closing down all the car parks in the city and turning them into office space.

Canberra could have a very good public transport system. We already have 4 major hubs. The majority of people traveling on public transport will usually do so to get to one of the 4 hubs.

Problem is that thanks to the scenic route that just about every bus takes unless you only need to go 5 minutes up the road, using the buses (and any potential light rail) is a long process which you have to pray that you don’t have to transfer between buses at any stage, otherwise your probably going to have to wait somewhere, potentially for quite some time. (worst wait I’ve had to do was 55 minutes).

JC 6:23 pm 19 Dec 08

iamspam said :

Not only that, but the dream of the Supertrain is also kept alive…

Well that one would do a lot more good than light rail around Canberra, and frankly the only way the country could afford it is if the government funded most of it through a spending spree such as this one.

iamspam 4:44 pm 19 Dec 08

Not only that, but the dream of the Supertrain is also kept alive…

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