Light rail Stage 2A to be wire-free as approvals process moves to next phase

Ian Bushnell 18 February 2020 185
Stage 2A light rail

A render shows the wire-free Stage 2A light rail leg at the intersection of the raised London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue. Images: Supplied.

The 1.7 kilometre extension of light rail from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park via London Circuit will be wire-free, in part to preserve the heritage vistas to the Parliamentary Zone.

The ACT Government has revealed more details about the project as it moves to the next approvals phase, with the Commonwealth deciding that both Stage 2A and Stage 2B across Lake Burley Griffin and on to Woden are controlled actions, as expected.

The confirmation that Stage2A will be wire-free means that new and existing light rail vehicles will need to be fitted with onboard energy storage with regenerative braking capability.

According to the EPBC documents lodged with the Commonwealth last July, a traction power substation, connected to the system at Commonwealth Avenue, will also need to be built in Commonwealth Park.

The ACT Government says grassed tracks are also proposed on the Commonwealth Avenue median.

London Circuit near Edinburgh Avenue

This image shows the tracks in the middle of London Circuit near Edinburgh Avenue.

While there will be extra costs in going wire-free, Transport Minister Chris Steel says an advantage will be that Stage 2A will take up less space as the tracks will be narrower and built in the middle of the road.

“As Light Rail Stage 2A turns on to Commonwealth Avenue, wire-free running will also ensure that the heritage vistas along Commonwealth Avenue are maintained,” he said.

As previously announced, London Circuit will be raised to be level with Commonwealth Avenue.

Mr Steel said the project was progressing as expected to the next stage of the Commonwealth environmental approval process.

To gain approval, the ACT Government will need to provide further information to the Commonwealth, which has determined that Stage 2A can be assessed by “Preliminary Documentation”, an assessment pathway usually reserved for projects where the impacts are localised and easily predicted.

The more complex Stage 2B through the Parliamentary Zone near areas of national and heritage significance will require a full EIS, as expected. It will need to be wire-free through the Parliamentary Zone, which means there will be wire-free running from the city across the lake to Parkes.

“This decision from the Federal Government reinforces our choice to deliver light rail to Woden in two stages. The process of assessment for Stage 2A means we can get on with the job of extending light rail to Woden sooner,” Mr Steel said.

“We always expected that an extensive EIS process would be required for the more complex stage 2B extension through the Parliamentary Triangle under the Commonwealth environmental approval process,” Mr Steel said.

The City South Station

The City South Station, and the beginning of the grassed tracks on Commonwealth Avenue.

He said the Government was investing in infrastructure now to ensure Canberra did not end up congested like Sydney.

“We are getting on with the job of taking light rail to Woden,” he said.

“We want to build on the success of the first stage of light rail, and this is the next step in the process to take those benefits to Woden.”

Last September, Cabinet approved the business case for Stage 2A and started one-on-one negotiations with the operator of Stage 1, Canberra Metro, for it to design and build the project.

The cost of Stage 2A is subject to those negotiations but the overall cost of Stage 2 has been put at $1.6 billion.

Last week, $31.4 million was allocated in the Mid Year Budget Review for Stage 2A design work, and Chief Minister Andrew Barr said contracts would be signed this year, with construction expected to start in 2021 and the first passengers boarding in 2024.

Stage 2A is seen as a springboard for the more challenging Stage 2B across the lake to Woden, and will include three new stations and add an estimated 2500 to 3000 passengers to the system.

City West, on the corner of Edinburgh Avenue and London Circuit near the ANU, is expected to be the most popular station, with City South servicing the new residential areas of West Basin, and the southern terminus important for major events in Commonwealth Park and by the lake.

It will require extra rolling stock and the Government is in talks to acquire four more light rail vehicles.

The Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) has welcomed progress on the approvals processes, as well as Federal Government support for the development of advanced battery technologies for light rail vehicles.

PTCBR Chair Ryan Hemsley said the Federal Department of the Environment has mapped a clear path forward for Light Rail Stage 2 by identifying the assessment processes.

“Following the success of Stage 1, we call on the ACT Opposition to outline their plans for bringing light rail to Woden ahead of the Territory Election later this year,” he said

Mr Hemsley also said a recent Commonwealth grant had been awarded to a consortium developing fast charging batteries for light rail vehicles.”

The Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science recently announced a grant of $1.6 million to a consortium proposing to develop an ‘Advanced Nano-engineered Battery for Fast Charging Catenary-free Trams’. Total project expenditure is expected to be $5 million and consortium members include the CSIRO.

“This project has the potential to benefit light rail systems across Australia as well as in the ACT by reducing charging times at stops and lowering the lifetime costs of wire-free running,” he said.


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77 Responses to Light rail Stage 2A to be wire-free as approvals process moves to next phase
Capital Retro Capital Retro 2:11 pm 19 Feb 20

The light rail was only about “urban renewal”; specifically redevelopment to create only medium/high density residential developments along the main thoroughfares it uses. It had nothing to do with improving public transport and in fact all it has done replaced what was already being used (buses) and these could have increased running frequency to cater for the commuters that are now living in these new redevelopments.

The other outcome will be greatly increased revenue through rates and land taxes which does not necessarily give a commensurate increase in living standards for the unfortunate people who have to live in these boxes but hey, they have the vibe of a sexy red tram too.

The fact that numerous developers have prospered and Canberra’s street-scape has been destroyed are only coincidental.

    astro2 astro2 8:31 pm 19 Feb 20

    Looks like it’s been successful at both urban renewal and improved pubic transport as both the increase in medium density development providing more homes for Canberrans and a frequent transit system between Gungahlin and the City shows. The boardings show people like it. Like all other capital cities (except for Hobart and Darwin) Canberra needs more than just buses to satisfy our public transport needs.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:55 am 20 Feb 20

    Looks like it’s been successful?

    On what metrics?

    And no, usage is not meaningful here. Of course people use it, there’s no other choice. But that doesn make it viable from a cost benefit perspective, the government’s own figures showed that the cost benefit ratio for the public transport component was 0.3. Which is why it didn’t receive federal funding because it was assessed by the independent body and found it wasnt worthy because the benefits didnt stack up.

    And why is urban renewal by itself a “good” thing?

    Particularly when the majority of the benefit goes to private land holders along the route who have taken a massive private windfall paid for by public finds?

    Why do you believe this is a desirable outcome?

    You know you could just admit the truth? That your support is not based on any sound logic or evidence but just blind faith.

    astro2 astro2 7:26 am 20 Feb 20

    Ahh I think the number of people using the light rail service is a strong measure of success in the real world. I haven’t seen bands of federal police rounding up the poor citizens of Gungahlin at gunpoint and forcing them on to the light rail. “Usage is not meaningful here”…..that’s pretty funny as it seems to be pretty meaningful everywhere else. However the rump of boomer naysayers won’t countenance their opposition to light rail could have been misplaced. So pre-light rail commencement it was : “white elephant – no one will use it” post the rollout and high levels of usage: “Oh bbbbbbut they’re forced to use it.”
    The urban renewal accompanying the successful roll out is a “good” thing if it provides you with a home. Public funds pay for roads and streetscapes in Canberra however why that appears to cause so much angst in the corridors of medium density buildings but not in other suburbs isn’t rational. So, on all counts, it appears logic has flown out the window with the anti-light rail folk and it won’t be returning any time soon. Perhaps an examination of the cost-benefit ratio of roads as well as rail could give them a project to think about.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:15 pm 20 Feb 20

    Astro,
    Its been obvious for a while that you have no idea how infrastructure projects are assessed and ranked.

    “Usage is not meaningful here”…..that’s pretty funny as it seems to be pretty meaningful everywhere else.”

    Actually, no, it’s not meaningful by itself in assessing a project’s viability anywhere, it just provides a likely assessment of demand. It’s not even half the equation.

    “So pre-light rail commencement it was : “white elephant – no one will use it” post the rollout and high levels of usage: “Oh bbbbbbut they’re forced to use it.””

    This seems to be the new argument being presented by supporters. But in reality there was almost no one pre light rail saying that it wouldn’t be used, almost all criticism was of the cost that didn’t stack up to the supposed benefits.

    Particularly the public transport benefits as a titular public transport project. Remember that 0.3 cost benefit ratio, which once again you haven’t even attempted to address?

    “The urban renewal accompanying the successful roll out is a “good” thing if it provides you with a home.”

    This is a strawman. You don’t need urban renewal to provide people with a “home”.

    “Public funds pay for roads and streetscapes in Canberra”

    Almost always funded by land sales or the rates of the people who use those things.

    This project is wildly different in that it is using a massive amount of public funds to benefit a tiny proportion of the population, almost all objectively wealthy land holders.

    “Perhaps an examination of the cost-benefit ratio of roads”

    What, like the last major road project in the ACT, the Majura Parkway, which had a cost benefit ratio of more than 2.5 and thus received federal funding as a priority infrastructure project?

    Honestly, you make this too easy.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:04 am 20 Feb 20

    I don’t think you read what I wrote and I can’t see why you mention Hobart and Darwin.

    astro2 astro2 6:16 pm 20 Feb 20

    Yes, I read what you wrote. The mention of Hobart and Darwin is because, as far as I know, these two capital cities are the only ones in Australia that rely solely on buses for their public transport and their populations are much smaller than Canberra. You were trying to make the point that Canberra could just increase the number of buses in line with the growing population but it doesn’t work like that.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:05 am 21 Feb 20

    It worked like that until some political idealist decided to replace them with a totally not-needed incredibly expensive tram line.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 12:42 pm 20 Feb 20

    Based on the fact that inner city land sales not on the Tram line are selling for more per square meter than those on the Line, I think it’s more a case about natural growth in inner city property development than due to light rail.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:30 pm 20 Feb 20

    Could that be because the majority of the units selling on the Tram Line are cheaper because they have none or at best only one car park and because of lack of planning it will be impossible to even get the car onto to the congested streets? Have you tried to get a car park in Braddon, Turner of Dickson lately, after you get through the traffic that is.

    chewy14 chewy14 8:46 am 21 Feb 20

    BJ,
    Where have you pulled that stat from?

    Land around the light rail route saw gains of over 50% (some areas far more) in only a couple of years after the light rail was formally announed.

    These gains gave been far in excess of other areas of Canberra and the majority of those gains can only be attributed to the light rail project.

    Anyone that thinks we haven’t gifted those land holders hundreds of thousands of dollars each isn’t paying attention.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:14 pm 22 Feb 20

    You have just confirmed what I said.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 5:08 pm 23 Feb 20

    Data is Publicly available land sales data. Inner city land sales of former government housing and other properties of land not reasonably near light rail, has sold for more per square meter than Northbourne ave sites on the rail line (and obviously more than property on the rail line from Mitchell to Gungahlin).

    There was a property report from a real estate spruiker highlighting this and encouraging investors and developers to buy right in the city (or the old Stuart flats Griffith was another highlighted).

    I was just demonstrating that property growth percentages can’t all be attributed to the Light Rail.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:17 pm 23 Feb 20

    Recent sales of home units on Northbourne Avenue have come substantial discounting. I get my information from someone I know who was buying one and was offered a discount when he walked in the door for an inspection and another one when he walked out.

    At the same time a home unit sold at auction in O’Connor (well away from the tram catchment area) for well over the reserve price and there were plenty of registered bidders.

    There were no sales at all by auction reported along the tram route in today’s Allhomes Saturday auction results in the Sunday Canberra Times.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:47 pm 23 Feb 20

    BJ,
    Sorry I’m going to need more than just a claim, links please.

    And a couple of individual sites won’t do either, it would need to be a wider trend to back up what your claiming.

    Also, simple land sale value per square metre is a bit meaningless, its the growth in recent years that’s far more relevant to the effect of light rail on property prices.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 10:54 am 24 Feb 20

    Chewy. I’ve provided heaps of data to you in the past with house sale price details about Stamp Duty and then you just ignore it. You can’t keep coming back with the same response wanting more information when you don’t agree with my claims and then ignore the data when I provide it. The Data is publicly available and you can google some of the land sales stories and values from the Canberra Times.

    But to once again dig out information for you to highlight what I’m saying, here’s the first few relevant sales I could find.

    -On light rail corridor.
    Lyneham on Northbourne $45 million 25,000sqm. Dickson on Northbourne $40 million. Gungahlin next to Light Rail two 3,000sqm sales sold for $3.8 million.

    -Not on Light Rail corridor.
    Stuart flats Griffith $40 million 12,080sqm
    Bega flats in Reid $38.5 million 11,712 sqm. Allawah and Currong $47 million

    As for property information from the spruiker on this exact issue that’s not publicly available, but it is reflected in the data above.

    Inner city Canberra price Land growth is happening whether it’s on Light Rail line or not.

    As an aside, Look at some of the Crazy Molonglo development land sales and you can see it’s not just inner city. Those sales blow me away.

    To be fair to you (I think everyone including you will like this one), I didn’t include the ACT Government’s free land swap deal for the Tradies club near the Dickson Light Rail;-)

    chewy14 chewy14 4:37 pm 24 Feb 20

    BJ,
    No you haven’t provided heaps of data, you’ve attempted to use single anecdotes as evidence of trends and I’ve repeatedly shown why what you’re attempting to do is not logical and can’t be used in the way you’re claiming.

    Anecdotes are not data, i specifically said individual sites are meaningless because then you would need to look at exactly where they are, what is the land use they sit on and other local factors, etc. etc.

    I also said that to assess the impact of light rail, the important thing is clearly growth in prices in recent years, overall values are almost irrelevant to assessing its effects.

    You cannot honestly think that trying to compare a site in Dickson or Gungahlin with one in Civic is a like for like comparison?

    To point out how silly this is, the Allawah and Currong site is 25,000sqm, which is similar size and price to the Dickson site, yet the Bega flats site is only half the size right next to the Allawah site and sold to Geocon for 3/4 of the price. Surely you think they got ripped off right? Or is it simply that the Bega flats site and what is being proposed made it worth that amount to the developer.

    To sustain your argument, anecdotes aren’t enough, I was expecting you would provide a report showing suburb and city wide trends around and away from the light rail route. That is the kind of evidence you would need to back up your claim.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 3:22 pm 25 Feb 20

    Again you are trying to twist out of the way. You can’t have Suburb and city level data when only parts of Suburbs are near the train line or not. There also haven’t been a huge amount of development land sales in the area in the last few years, I have just given you quite a large proportion of the sales which support my dollars per square meter claim. As for trying to compare blocks and areas and how difficult that is. Thanks Sherlock, no one involved in the property industry would have known that. I know neither of us are fools.

    I simply said in the comment that you originally jumped on was “inner city land not on rail line has sold for more per square meter than land on the rail line” I have given you quite a number of examples of that being true.

    If you can’t admit that inner city land prices have risen in Canberra whether they are on the Light Rail or not, then there is no hope convincing you further.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:33 pm 26 Feb 20

    BJ,
    You’ve made a claim that clearly isn’t sustained by the data and you’ve tried to use anecdotes to try and make your point.

    “You can’t have Suburb and city level data when only parts of Suburbs are near the train line or not”

    When I say Suburb level, I’m talking about aggregated totals of sales and their distance from the light rail and stops at a Suburb level minimum.

    In other words, that individual sites are meaningless and you need to consider all sales.

    “There also haven’t been a huge amount of development land sales in the area in the last few years”

    Light rail was announced 8 years ago and fully began implementation 4 years ago. There have been hundreds of sales along the route and the capital gains in properties close to the route far exceed other areas of Canberra. Massive redevelopment blocks aren’t the only game in town you know.

    “Ihave just given you quite a large proportion of the sales which support my dollars per square meter claim.”

    Except you haven’t, you’re trying to claim that a Civic site is somehow equal to a Dickson or Gungahlin one and even then, one of the examples you used of the Allawah and Currong site didn’t support your argument.

    “If you can’t admit that inner city land prices have risen in Canberra whether they are on the Light Rail or not, then there is no hope convincing you “

    This wasn’t your claim. Your original claim was that inner city blocks near the tram line were selling for more per sqm of land than blocks on the light rail.

    To back this up, you’ve attempted to use less than a handful of site in vastly different areas, including ones that clearly are not “inner city”.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:42 pm 26 Feb 20

    https://news.griffith.edu.au/2017/05/30/research-finds-gold-coast-light-rail-property-value-sweet-spot/

    Here’s a link to an article showing the effect on property values in the Gold Coast due to light rail and there’s numerous studies looking at the same issue in cities around the world.

    Almost universally, these types of projects deliver higher property price growth to owners close to them.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 2:30 pm 27 Feb 20

    Chewy. There hasn’t been hundreds of land sales in the area, here’s a list of all Government Land Sales (and as I always stated the average price of inner Canberra land not on Light Rail sales per square meter ‘is above’ those on the Light Rail) raw data available at: https://suburbanland.act.gov.au/uploads/ckfinder/files/pdf/3_Commercial/Commercial_Industrial_Sales_Results/SLA%20Sales%20results%20list_Last%20update%2020200115.pdf

    Location
    Average SQm
    Off Rail
    $10,682.57
    On Rail
    $10,210.80

    DATE
    TYPE
    SQm
    Price
    Buyer
    $ Per Sqm
    Light Rail
    31/08/2016
    Mixed UseDickson1, 5 &
    29000
    $40,000,000
    Art Projects Nominees Pty Ltd
    $1,379
    On Rail
    20/03/2019
    Multi Unit Auction Griffith
    4614
    $12,005,000
    BMJ Canberra Investment Corporation Pty Ltd
    $2,602
    Off Rail
    27/02/2019
    Mixed Use Auction Gungahlin Town Centre
    3093
    $3,800,000
    Camilleri (ACT) Pty Ltd
    $1,229
    On Rail
    27/02/2019
    Mixed Use Auction Gungahlin Town Centre
    2705
    $3,750,000
    R & R Medical Australia PtyLtd
    $1,386
    On Rail
    20/03/2019
    Multi Unit Auction Narrabundah
    13952
    $20,355,000
    Braddon D Pty Ltd & Braddon G Pty Ltd
    $1,459
    Off Rail
    20/03/2019
    Multi Unit Auction Griffith
    2195
    $3,615,000
    BMJ Canberra Investment Corporation Pty Ltd
    $1,647
    Off Rail
    20/12/2017
    Mixed Use Tender Dickson
    7381
    $14,000,000
    Doma Dickson (Residential) Pty Ltd
    $1,897
    On Rail
    10/02/2016
    Mixed Use Braddon
    26530
    $53,000,000
    SHL
    $1,998
    Off Rail
    20/03/2019
    Multi Unit Auction Griffith
    3695
    $8,250,000
    Bisa Inner South Projects Pty Ltd
    $2,233
    Off Rail
    20/12/2017
    Mixed Use Tender Dickson
    8875
    $21,250,000
    Doma Dickson (Residential) Pty Ltd
    $2,394
    On Rail
    9/08/2017
    Mixed Use Auction Reid
    11712
    $38,500,000
    NG Landholdings No15 Pty Ltd
    $3,287
    Off Rail
    20/03/2019
    Multi Unit Auction Griffith
    12080
    $40,000,000
    Yeend Pty Limited
    $3,311
    Off Rail

    chewy14 chewy14 7:35 pm 27 Feb 20

    BJ,
    What on earth does “government sites” have to do with it?

    The vast majority of land is not owned by the government and there have been hundreds of sales within close proximity to the light rail. Every private sale counts also. And

    And are you claiming that Dickson is ” inner city” and is directly comparable to Civic?

    Also, what exactly do you think is “on the light rail” route?

    I would at least include a couple of hundred metres either side of the track and from other research, around 400m still feels the effects of the increase.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 4:05 pm 28 Feb 20

    Of course I was talking about Government Land because that’s the data used for the benefits measurement for Light Rail. And that data I provide DID use a 400m straight line calculation from a light rail stop.

    I give you the data which supports my claim and you still won’t accept it and you still try and twist things. You’re a hard man to please. Where’s the point where you will admit I was correct AND the real estate investment specialists and the Canberra property sales experts I work with are also correct.

    I might try and do inner city property sales compared to sales within 400m of a Light Rail stop to satisfy you. Big task. However UAV near light rail is rising similar to UAV away from Light Rail in inner Canberra.

    Campbell well outside the light rail corridor, UAV is about to jump much higher. Watch this space.

    JC JC 12:02 pm 21 Feb 20

    Correct it was about urban renewal for the most part. And measured against that criteria it Is a success as indicated by your prediction of what will happen.

    And this may come as a shock lots of people are more than happy to live in what you describe as dog boxes. Not everyone wants a McMansion on a small block or a small cold in winter, boiling hot in summer older house on a massive block where they would spend every waking hour clearing weeds, or creating eyesores by not doing anything at all (which many older blocks do).

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:16 pm 22 Feb 20

    So, why did you move to a house in Ngunnawal?

alisond alisond 12:25 pm 19 Feb 20

Can we agree that buses can do everything that trams can, and more?
“Wire-less tram with internal power storage” sounds like a bus to me, without digging grooves in roads, felling trees or destroying landscape.
However, I am getting annoyed that “Transport Canberra” is not revealing the cost for Stage 1+, nor any business case for replacing buses.

    JC JC 7:02 am 22 Feb 20

    Stage 1 cost is very much in public record.

    And buses may well be able to do more except one thing. Carry a shed load of people at once. To carry the same number of people as one tram can carry you need 4 standard size buses or 2.75 articulated buses. In all cases I am assuming crush load, which I wouldn’t want to be on, bus or tram.

    So to put that into perspective currently there are 10 reasonably full trams an hour going into the city in the peak that would require 40 buses.

    And therein lie the problem that is far too much traffic even on a dedicated bus way as many suggest.

    Oh and guided buses don’t need groves on the road but after a while they do drive on groves on the road as they make them themselves by driving over the same bit of road constantly. The solution is to make a dedicated roadway with a heavy base of concrete, as cost many of the guided bus supporters always ignore in their arguments by saying they simply run on existing roads. Likewise they don’t factor in existing congestion on those existing roads either.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:56 pm 22 Feb 20

    JC,
    Stated capacity for the light rail is 238.
    The new articulated buses carry 109. So for them, it’s only around 2 to 1, so not really an issue from a traffic management perspective.

    And dedicated busways were costed at a fraction of the cost of light rail for the same benefit.

    A rail option might have been justified in 20 years, but there’s nothing it could do that couldn’t have been replicated by buses in the short to medium term.

    JC JC 5:31 pm 23 Feb 20

    Stated capacity of the Canberra light rail vehicles according to CAF who make them is 276. I’ve rounded up to the nearest 10 to get 280.

    Source.

    https://www.caf.net/en/productos-servicios/proyectos/proyecto-detalle.php?p=282

    Likewise the capacity of a standard size bus is 68. Again I have rounded up to get 70 which is 1/4 the capacity of the light tail vehicle. Source TC’s website, look for the VST model as that is what is currently being delivered.

    https://www.transport.act.gov.au/about-us/public-transport-options/bus/about-the-fleet

    But if you want to use an articulated bus to suit your argument Then yes capacity is 105 and that goes into 280 2.6 times not twice. So that still means if you want the same capacity as 12 trams an hour you would need 32 articulated buses.

    Hence I stand firmly by my comment that is far too many and would still cause traffic issues unless every intersection was fully grade separated. That of course I am sure you would agree would significantly add to the cost of a dedicated busway.

    Likewise with a frequency on light rail greater than one every 4 minutes I would also say the exiting line would cause traffic issues and would require grade separating. But luckily the lightrail stops were designed to be extended to 45m easily and the trams can by extended to 7 modules to match the platform. That would increase capacity of each vehicle by at least another 110 people, probably slightly more. So going to frequencies greater than 15 an hour (1 every 4 minutes) would not be required in a hurry.

    And ironic your words about light rail being justified in 20 years is what Kate Carnell said when Bob Winnel was talking light rail in the 90’s!

    chewy14 chewy14 6:59 pm 23 Feb 20

    JC,
    Our light rail vehicles are not fitted out that way, although I was actually wrong, under our configuration, their capacity is only 207. To get 280, you’d have to remove some of the accessibility options that have been allowed for. Not to mention it would be truly packing people in, something that is possible but definitely would reduce the amenity of those stuck on them during peaks.

    https://www.transport.act.gov.au/about-us/public-transport-options/light-rail/using-light-rail

    “But if you want to use an articulated bus to suit your argument”

    Um no, I want to make a like for like comparison with the types of buses that would be used on this route if a bus option was chosen. There are BRT systems using buses that can carry 200, but I don’t think they’d be realistic here. We have 109 capacity buses already used regularly.

    “Hence I stand firmly by my comment that is far too many”

    Except your figures are wrong as ive shown and anyone who sees the light rail vehicles in off peak periods or going against the peak direction knows how empty they are at those times.

    Another advantage of buses being that they are easily reallocated to different routes in off peak times.

    “And ironic your words about light rail being justified in 20 years is what Kate Carnell said when Bob Winnel was talking light rail in the 90’s!”

    Not really ironic that they were both wrong and the timing was much longer.

    If you were correct, the business case wouldn’t have had a 0.3 cost benefit ratio for the public transport component.

    JC JC 6:03 pm 24 Feb 20

    CAF made them and the page was specifically for the Canberra vehicles. I am sure they know how many people they can carry.

    As per your TC link do note the words “ carry at least”. At least includes all wheelchair and bike bays full, maximum capacity is just that. And sure capacity will be lower with those amenities used, just like buses have reduced capacity if wheelchair bays are used too. So my point still remains light rail carries 2.6 the number of passengers that an articulated bus carries.

    As for the return journeys and off peak yeah not as full that is for sure, but the same applies to buses too or they dead run which of course is a major bug bear of the ACT opposition.

    As for how many stand, the answer is a high proportion of course. But so what? It is about carrying the maximum number of people as efficiently as possible. Light rail beats buses hands down in that regard.

    chewy14 chewy14 12:06 pm 25 Feb 20

    JC,
    No, your point doesn’t remain, it’s clearly contradicted by the government’s figures and the way that our light rail vehicles have been configured. Manufacturers regularly overstate capacity for these vehicles (and buses) because it’s advertising for them, it sells more systems.

    The standing passenger density standard in Australia is 4 people/sqm , the figure you’re quoting uses 6 people/sqm and it’s obvious why they would use the inflated figure but it isn’t realistic for our use. This isn’t the Tokyo subway.

    The same thing actually applies to buses too (ie. I don’t think we are actually getting 107 or 109 on our articulated buses but is far less of an impact considering they have the exact same number of seated passengers as light rail.

    And as above, I could simply choose a higher capacity bus system if I wanted to, but a ratio of 2:1 is a far more realistic assessment of easily achievable capacity.

    So for the stage 1 route, you might need 25-30 articulated buses per hour (being generous) for peak periods that you could then reassign some of the spare capacity to other routes outside peak periods. You could easily run multiple buses together at 5 minute schedules.

    Light rail obviously has increased capacity abilities but we don’t currently need it and that’s the reason why the cost benefit ratio for the public transport component of the project was so woeful.

    JC JC 4:45 pm 25 Feb 20

    My figures don’t contradict the government figures. I explained it clearly enough that the figures on the TC website say a minimum of. It’s not maximum capacity. CAF is maximum capacity.

    As for standards care to provide a link to the Australian standard that says 4 people/m2?

    chewy14 chewy14 10:06 pm 26 Feb 20

    JC,
    What you’re not understanding is that there is a difference between the maximum amount of people you could theoretically fit on a public transport vehicle versus the actual usability of that space from both a functional system and passenger amenity perspective.

    The more people you fit onto a vehicle, the longer the dwell times that are required at stations for people loading and unloading as well increasing the difficulty of people to move around on the vehicle itself, positioning themselves for stops.

    Not only that, passenger experience of those crowding and crush loads affects the perception of the system itself, significantly reducing amenity as you increase those loads.

    Here’s a good short paper explaining it and discussing the typical standing passenger density standards used. There’s also plenty of other global and local research in the area if you really want to read it, it isn’t hard to find.

    https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/handle/2123/15285/Final%20Accepted%20Crowding%20Measures%20_%205%20Sept%202012.pdf;jsessionid=C8F3CA041192442113E5F21E04D8CB43?sequence=2

    So, whilst you “could” fit many more people onto the Light rail, you wouldn’t design the system that way because it negatively affects the functioning of that system as well as passenger perceptions of it. It’s poor design.

    And as above, I could just as easily fiddle with the figures for the buses by reconfiguring them to suit my argument. I can readily find bus options with over 40sqm of useable floor space, How about I just remove some more seats and pack passengers in standing at 6people/sqm.

    But that wouldn’t be realistic because it would be a very poorly designed system that breached multiple standards and benchmarks as well as negatively affecting the overall system performance.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:47 am 24 Feb 20

    I don’t dispute your data on the carrying capacity of the trams JC but could yo please remind us all again how many sit and how many stand?

Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:17 pm 18 Feb 20

“How much will it cost cost for 1.7 klms? “

Unlike Bill Shorten’s claim that the cost of not actioning climate change would be greater than actioning it, the cost of any future tram extensions will cost heaps more than doing nothing.

Jorge Garcia Jorge Garcia 8:49 am 18 Feb 20

Oh! will the neigh sayers give it up??? The tram has been a great success so much so that they are having to put extra services at peak times. ACTION could habe done much better with public transport in the South but that is no reason for not pushing ahead with putting a light rail spine right through the middle of Canberra… (and it needs to go ALL the way South and the Airport too)…. with bus loops criss crossing the line all the way along. I think that the solutions being adopted to overcome the impediments being thrown at this project are ingenious… Well done to the engineers and the visionaries!

    chewy14 chewy14 12:37 pm 18 Feb 20

    For the millionth time, usage figures doesn’t make a public transport or infrastructure project a “success”.

    Particularly when a large proportion of those users have been forced into making that choice by removing alternatives.

    If the government offered a cheap limousine service door to door, I’m sure the usage figures would be astronomical.

    There are far cheaper alternatives than light rail that will give the same public transport outcome and even the existing buses are quicker from Woden to Civic. So why would you pay billions of dollars for little to no benefit?

    Particularly when the budget is in such a parlous state.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 1:30 pm 18 Feb 20

    All modes of mass transit have to provide extra services/resources at peak times. Success is based on the aggregate 24 hour cycle which I think you will find with the trams will be about the same as what the previous commute methods were (busses and private cars) and this pet/idealistic project will end up costing us billions for exactly the same outcome.

    Canberra simply doesn’t have the population density for trams. How many times do you need to hear that said?

    JC JC 6:00 am 19 Feb 20

    What drivel. Who says success is measured on a 24 hour cycle?

    Even the beloved roads are all designed around peak demand. For 20 hours a day many of our roads would work fine with single lanes!

    Though I will agree with one thing Canberra, overall doesn’t have the population to have trams, but there are corridors that sure the hell do. The Northborne Ave to Gungahlin corridor being one of them and the far better than expected usage reflects that in spades.

    And don’t give me the nonsense that people are forced into it by removal of the buses. The amount of people using the tram in peak hour would have required 20+ buses an hour. I can assure you there were not that many buses plying Flemmington Road or Northborne Ave every hour. The people have spoken with their feet.

    chewy14 chewy14 8:38 pm 19 Feb 20

    JC,
    Your claim about people not being forced onto light rail is erroneous because you aren’t comparing apples with apples.

    There used to be suburban buses from these areas that didn’t go along the light rail route but they are now all funneled through the Gungahlin town centre and light rail.

    Of course it’s popular because it’s the only choice.

    Although, as above, that doesn’t make it a success and as the government’s own figures showed, a BRT system could have provided the same public transport benefits for a fraction of the cost.

    JC JC 9:50 am 21 Feb 20

    Not true. The suburban buses that serviced the eastern suburbs of Gungahlin did follow the light rail route. And those that came from the western suburbs also followed the route.

    The key difference now is the change of mode. For those in the eastern suburbs (Harrison and Franklin) they can either walk to a stop or bus and change at a stop along the route, the benifit being even with a change faster travel times in peak and similar off peak.

    And you are still ignoring two facts. One fact more people are using light rail compared to buses along the same trunk route and that people still have choice of using their car, riding a bike but fact remains many are choosing light rail over alternatives.

    I know this doesn’t suit your narrative but thems are the facts.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:20 pm 21 Feb 20

    JC,
    I’m not saying that more people aren’t travelling on this route, there’s thousands of extra people living there now. It was obvious.

    So your two facts are irrelevant to my point that the bus routes are now designed to funnel people to the light rail whereas previously they had more choice. Particularly as parking rates in the city have been significantly increased compounding this factor.

    And even then, none of this actually means that light rail was the correct choice now for this route. There were far cheaper options available that delivered the same benefit.

    I know this doesn’t suit your narrative but those are the facts.

    JC JC 8:17 pm 23 Feb 20

    Public transport isn’t about choice. But let’s say it was before the choice was a bus from the suburbs to Gungahlin and then in peak hour a 45 minute trip along Flemmington Road and Northborne Ave.

    Or now the same (or similar) bus trip to Gungahlin, a change to light rail with, in peak hour a maximum of 6, soon to be 5 minute wait and then 24 minutes to the city. Even with the change light rail is the winner time wise by a country mile.

    But let’s talk about choice and now in the past I didn’t really have much choice but to drive to the city because a choice I made because my time is more valuable than the cost of parking.

    Now I drive half way, park for free (and luckily I avoided the hail storm) and then get the tram the last stretch to town all with zero time penalty. If I had of done that before with the 200 bus it would have taken at least 20 minutes more in morning peak and about the same afternoon peak.

    My choice reduced road congestion in the more central area, reduced demand for carparking in the city, is cheaper and takes about the same. And where I park and ride there is an increasing number of people doing exactly that.

    Now talk to me about choice again?

    chewy14 chewy14 2:42 pm 24 Feb 20

    “Or now the same (or similar) bus trip to Gungahlin, a change to light rail with, in peak hour a maximum of 6, soon to be 5 minute wait and then 24 minutes to the city. Even with the change light rail is the winner time wise by a country mile.”

    Once again, you aren’t comparing like for like.

    Nowhere have I suggested that nothing should have been done to increase public transport on this route. I specifically said there were other options available that would meet this demand at a fraction of the cost, delivering identical public transport benefits. The government’s own business case said this.

    You could have then planned for transition to a higher capacity system such as light rail, when or if it was necessary. Which is clearly not today.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:33 pm 20 Feb 20

    “The people have spoken with their feet.”

    The same feet they stand on in the trams?

chewy14 chewy14 7:43 am 18 Feb 20

This is where people need to understand the concept of opportunity cost.

With all the talk of the “success” of stage 1 because people are using it, have a think about what else the enormous amount of money being directed to this project could be used for and what actual public transport benefit it will provide.

Considering that current buses on this route are significantly faster than the future light rail will be, what other services are you prepared to give up because we’ve spent all our money on this.

    JC JC 10:15 pm 24 Feb 20

    Opportunity cost works both ways. Think of the enormous costs that have otherwise been saved by not having to add extra road lanes from Gungahlin to the city, or to the cost of congestion, health of people yadda yadda yadda.

    chewy14 chewy14 12:17 pm 25 Feb 20

    JC,
    Who has suggested extra roads being built?

    Certainly not me.

    Once again I’m supportive of additional public transport, that doesn’t mean I’m supportive of all public transport options. Light Rail was clearly not the best option as the government’s figures show and it’s also why they haven’t released any business case for stage 2 and beyond.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:52 pm 17 Feb 20

“While there will be extra costs in going wire-free….”

So even more bus services will be cut – in addition to those which were going to be cut as part of the South-side line plan.

bj_ACT bj_ACT 8:28 pm 17 Feb 20

The loss of the cloverleaf from commonwealth bridge into London circuit will have a massive impact on city traffic and buses as well. Heavily used piece of road that links key access areas, not many cities remove these type of key roads, they usually pay a fortune installing fly throughs to achieve this result. .

    Rob Rob 8:45 am 18 Feb 20

    That’s a very good point….

    chewy14 chewy14 9:23 am 18 Feb 20

    It’s being replaced by an intersection so the connection won’t be lost. The value of the land is far in excess of what the road upgrade work will cost.

    It’s one of the better parts of this project, although it doesn’t have to be completed as part of the light rail, it should be done anyway.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 5:28 pm 18 Feb 20

    If we’re gonna start using land values as the benefit measurement for removing roads in city centres, then we should sell every street and footpath off to developers. We could become the richest city in the world.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:35 pm 18 Feb 20

    BJ,
    did you miss the bit where i explained that the road isn’t being removed?

    Just replaced with an intersection instead of the massively wasteful cloverleaf.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 2:39 pm 20 Feb 20

    I do actually get what you mean and I understand where you are coming from. I’m just concerned an intersection at that point will have a major impact on surrounding roads, buses and delivery trucks.

    The other huge buildings now going into those zones that used to be car parks will require adequate road access, not direct flow into a major thoroughfare. The ACT Government has very recently sold off several large prime inner city blocks here for development in a very short space of time. Property developers care about their bottom line not about adjacent traffic flow impacts.

maxblues maxblues 4:20 pm 17 Feb 20

Instead of just being wire-free, why not go one step further and be track-free. This technology has already been invented. It is called a BUS.

Leon Arundell Leon Arundell 2:59 pm 17 Feb 20

What should the government be trying to achieve?
* We have a record proportion of people driving cars to work, mainly because the government is failing to provide reasons (such as transit lanes) to travel as car passengers.
* A quarter of our streets have no footpaths to support the 22% of our trips that we walk or cycle.
* The government plans to spend another billion dollars to convert 10 km of the public transport network (which services only 3% of our trips) from diesel and gas fuel and rubber tyres to electrical power and steel tyres.

    astro2 astro2 9:19 pm 17 Feb 20

    “What should the government be trying to achieve?” A mass transit public transport system between the city and major population centres via a light rail system that links these centres via major transport routes. A system that allows for the growth of the national capital of an emerging middle ranking power, not a 1970’s provincial backwater.

    chewy14 chewy14 9:31 am 18 Feb 20

    Astro,
    except that the light rail will be far slower than the existing public transport on the stage 2 route.

    So why on earth would you pay billions of dollars to actually reduce the current level of service, when it isn’t needed?

    And there’s no evidence that Canberra actually needs a mass transit public transport system yet, the same level of service could be provided for a fraction of the cost, the exact same as with stage 1. There’s a reason why the stage 1 business case was so woeful and didn’t receive any funding from Infrastructure Australia and it’s the same reason why no business case for stage 2 has been released. Because it doesn’t stack up.

    Proper planning and infrastructure delivery would have been to allow for upgrades to a higher capacity system when (and if) it is needed in a few decades time.

    But that wouldn’t allow the government to announce shiny new things for the easily bought to fawn over along with keeping the Greens happy.

    astro2 astro2 5:57 pm 18 Feb 20

    Unlikely that light rail stage 2 would be “far slower” than a bus stuck n peak-hour traffic. It certainly hasn’t been the experience with stage 1. The evidence that Canberra needs a mass transit system is pretty clear from the growth of the city and projections over the next decade or so. Best to leave town planning up to the town planners. If you’re wondering why Canberra didn’t get a guernsey in Commonwealth funding there are a number of reasons not related to the feasibility of the the project (with 1.3 million boardings so far people are obviously voting with their feet.) There’ll still be a few naysaying nellies right into Stage 4, 5 etc – raging in their nursing homes, shaking their feeble fists and rattling their wheelie walkers…the rest of us will have long moved on. Wonder how long the Sydney Harbour Bridge critics carried on for….oh and those awful trains going over the Bridge….always something to rant about I guess.

    chewy14 chewy14 11:00 pm 18 Feb 20

    “Unlikely that light rail stage 2 would be “far slower” than a bus stuck n peak-hour traffic”

    Unlikely hey?

    And you base this off what?

    Hopes? Dreams?

    The light rail vehicles have a top speed of 70km/hr.
    The R4 bus currently takes 18 minutes on this route. Mooted time for the light rail on this route is around 25mins or similar to the Stage 1 route and will necessarily have to include additional stops where currently the bus is an express.

    And if the light rail vehicle isn’t “stuck in traffic”, a bus doesn’t have to be either. You just provide it with its own lane.

    “The evidence that Canberra needs a mass transit system is pretty clear from the growth of the city and projections over the next decade or so.”

    Sorry, that isn’t evidence. It’s a baseless claim backed up by not a shred of data, showing such a need. And laughably, you’ve even agreed with me that it isn’t needed yet. As above, opportunity costs matter.

    The public transport cost -benefit for stage 1 of light rail was 0.3. And that’s on the highest density transport route in the ACT. All actual evidence says your claim about the ACT needing light rail is wrong.

    “If you’re wondering why Canberra didn’t get a guernsey in Commonwealth funding there are a number of reasons not related to the feasibility of the the project”

    Like?

    This is hilarious, now you’re claiming an independent infrastructure assessment body is somehow corrupt for not assessing this project as worthy.

    Evidence? Zero.

    “Wonder how long the Sydney Harbour Bridge critics carried on for”

    LOL, 1/3 of which was paid for by value capture land taxes and had a far more defined need.

    Honestly, this is fish in a barrel stuff. Try harder.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:59 am 20 Feb 20

    “Unlikely that light rail stage 2 would be “far slower” than a bus stuck n peak-hour traffic”

    Unlikely hey?

    And you base this off what?

    The light rail vehicles have a top speed of 70km/hr.
    The R4 bus currently takes 18 minutes on this route. Mooted time for the light rail on this route is around 25mins or similar to the Stage 1 route and will necessarily have to include additional stops where currently the bus is an express.

    And if the light rail vehicle isn’t “stuck in traffic”, a bus doesn’t have to be either. You just provide it with its own lane.

    “The evidence that Canberra needs a mass transit system is pretty clear from the growth of the city and projections over the next decade or so.”

    Sorry, that isn’t evidence. It’s a baseless claim backed up by not a shred of data, showing such a need. And laughably, you’ve even agreed with me that it isn’t needed yet. As above, opportunity costs matter.

    The public transport cost -benefit for stage 1 of light rail was 0.3. And that’s on the highest density transport route in the ACT. All actual evidence says your claim about the ACT needing light rail is wrong.

    “If you’re wondering why Canberra didn’t get a guernsey in Commonwealth funding there are a number of reasons not related to the feasibility of the the project”

    Like?

    You are now claiming that an independent infrastructure assessment body is corrupt for not assessing this project as worthy.

    Evidence? Zero.

    “… the Sydney Harbour Bridge critics carried on for”

    1/3 of which was paid for by value capture land taxes and had a far more defined need because the only alternative at the time was a ferry.

    No rants, evidence based logic.

    You should try it.

    astro2 astro2 7:39 am 20 Feb 20

    Oh dear, it’s pretty obvious you haven’t caught a bus from Woden in the City in peak hour for a while, your estimated time frames would need a little updating. The reason why Stage 2 is the next stage of light rail roll out is because of the increasing traffic along the route. Comparing buses with a “dedicated” laneway to a fast smooth right rail on a real dedicated laneway (i.e. one that cars can’t use) doesn’t really work (and it’s quite funny to see a number of people who wouldn’t use a bus if their life depended on it suddenly becoming bus-worshippers. If you’re wondering why not all projects get funding under Infrastructure Aust, one of the reasons is that the project can be funded in other ways, obviously ACT could afford light rail and its success by any measure without federal funding supports this. Notwithstanding the ALP, if elected in the next federal election, would financially support future light rail stages. As to the number of stops in Stage 2B it’s not inconceivable to have some services running a limited stops route and others an all stops. Light rail in the inner west of Sydney does this very successfully. And, as for, “no rants, evidence-based logic” yep, you should really try it sometime.

    chewy14 chewy14 6:26 pm 20 Feb 20

    “Oh dear, it’s pretty obvious you haven’t caught a bus from Woden in the City in peak hour for a while,”

    Is today a while? I catch the bus on this route every day.

    Try again.

    It used to be 16 minutes but under the new timetable (Which is worse), it’s now 18 minutes.

    These aren’t estimates, it’s the Action timetable and my lived daily experience.

    “The reason why Stage 2 is the next stage of light rail roll out is because of the increasing traffic along the route.”

    Evidence? Haha, oh wait, that’s right, no business case has been released, so you can’t provide anything.

    “Comparing buses with a “dedicated” laneway to a fast smooth right rail on a real dedicated laneway (i.e. one that cars can’t use) doesn’t really work”

    You keep making wild claims but never provide a shred of evidence. Hmmm.

    ” If you’re wondering why not all projects get funding under Infrastructure Aust, one of the reasons is that the project can be funded in other ways, obviously ACT could afford light rail and its success by any measure without federal funding supports this.”

    This is the funniest thing you’ve written to date. Your argument is now that the ACT is too rich and this is why we didn’t receive federal funding on this project?

    Did you miss the recent announcements that our budget deficit has blown out and critical services are being underfunded?

    “As to the number of stops in Stage 2B it’s not inconceivable to have some services running a limited stops route and others an all stops.”

    Actually, it is inconceivable because there are only going to be two tracks and a large amount of potential benefit of the project relies on it stopping regularly.

    astro2 astro2 4:42 pm 21 Feb 20

    The Woden to City route often gets caught in traffic going over the bridge which extends the time it takes. i’m not particularly against the R4s, they;re a good service, however they’ll need a very large number as time goes on and Canberra grows, to service demand. Transport Canberra is planing this route around those statistics. I’m also not making any suggestions about Infrastructure Australia in relation to the basis of funding streams for projects; however not every single worthy infrastructure project gets a grant and if Australia relied upon this particular funding stream for all of it’s infrastructure, we’d get very little done. It’s not he Hold Grail of funding. in regards to budget deficits, pretty much every state and territory, and probably the feds too, are facing deficits which are not related to light rail projects. Bushfires, floods, Coronovirus, are all taking their toll. It’s not a relevant argument to opposing the light rail. Finally, in regards to the conceivability of having some services running to all stops and others to limited stops, as I previously mentioned this is already done on the inner west light rail so it certainly isn’t inconceivable. The original article was actually in relation to the 2A/2B split which seems to make sense for the next stage. As both major parties support the continuation of light rail for Canberra, maybe it’s a better idea to turn your mind to considering other aspects such as the best routes for it to travel and where stops should go. Just criticising light rail per se, seems to be not very worthwhile.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:45 am 22 Feb 20

    “The Woden to City route often gets caught in traffic going over the bridge which extends the time it takes.”

    No, it really doesn’t. The traffic is already factored into the scheduled times, you’re just trying to make stuff up. I catch this bus daily, sometimes it’s a few minutes quicker, sometimes a few minutes slower, but very rarely is it delayed significantly.

    And as I’ve already said, theres no reason that a bus can’t be given a right of way in the same fashion as light rail.

    “however they’ll need a very large number as time goes on and Canberra grows, to service demand.”

    Yes, as I’ve said, we might need a mass transit system when this happens in 20 years or so, time is money and making large infrastructure investments before they are needed is extraordinarily wasteful. We should be planning for the future by allowing for the implementation of a system when it’s needed.

    But unfortunately, that doesn’t allow politicians to make big announcements and deliver shiny new things to a gullible and ignorant electorate.

    “however not every single worthy infrastructure project gets a grant and if Australia relied upon this particular funding stream for all of it’s infrastructure, we’d get very little done.”

    Almost all investment grade transport projects get funded, whether through government or private investment.

    The facts are, our light rail was assessed and due to its woeful business case, was rejected for federal funding. Private industry wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

    The issue with stage 2 is that it is going to be run on batteries which are range limited to a few km’s and are charged at each station (also taking time).

    They can’t run an express route, they don’t have the range, leading to a necessarily slower trip.

    astro2 astro2 8:14 pm 22 Feb 20

    You appear to be contradicting yourself by saying that the R4 doesn’t get caught in traffic, affecting travel times and then saying it does actually get impacted by this. Then, that a bus can be given a right of way but not saying how this would happen along the entire route that R4 travels. How is it given right of way on the Bridge, for example? As to just waiting until the problem becomes worse, then trying to do something about it, that’s not how building infrastructure works. Planners have to anticipate future travel conditions and allow enough lead times to build for infrastructure for those conditions. This has been very successful with the Gungahlin to City route and there is no evidence to suggest it would not be the same for City to Woden. And, no “almost all investment grade projects” don’t get funded by Investment Australia. (Nor, for that matter, do all worthy sports projects get funded by Sports Australia.) Perhaps the best direction from here is to wait until Stage 2 is completed and then give it a go. You may just be pleasantly surprised at how improved your trip is. Certainly the City to Gungahlin trip is much better.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:59 pm 23 Feb 20

    “You appear to be contradicting yourself by saying that the R4 doesn’t get caught in traffic,”

    Ah no, I’m saying the effect is minor. You are saying “stuck in traffic” as a pejorative claim when depending on daily traffic and other factors such as the weather, it is slightly faster or slightly slower than timetables.

    The same actually happens to the light rail as well, although not to as great a degree due to the right of way given to it, which as I’ve said could just as easily be given to a busway.

    “Then, that a bus can be given a right of way but not saying how this would happen along the entire route that R4 travels. How is it given right of way on the Bridge, for example?”

    Um, I specifically said the bus could be given it’s own lane. How exactly do you think light rail is being given its own corridor? Magic?

    “As to just waiting until the problem becomes worse, then trying to do something about it, that’s not how building infrastructure works”

    But that’s the point, there is no “problem” that justifies the cost of light rail as the government’s own figures showed for stage 1.

    “Planners have to anticipate future travel conditions and allow enough lead times to build for infrastructure for those conditions.”

    On current demands, the additional capacity needed from light rail isn’t needed for 20 years, far in excess of infrastructure delivery lead times. You’ve actually made my point.

    “And, no “almost all investment grade projects” don’t get funded by Investment Australia”

    You’re just plain wrong, it truly shows how bad the return on this project is that it didn’t get funded. And stage 1 will have the best return, it only gets worse from here.

    astro2 astro2 9:58 pm 25 Feb 20

    it’s very clear from the usage of R1 that the demand is there and the growth statistics of Gungahlin area require more than just a few extra buses. Nothing against buses, just that all other capital cities (except Darwin and Hobart) need more than just buses to get people around. It certainly isn’t “plain wrong” to say that not all infrastructure projects built in Australia require Infrastructure Australia funding to be built. Not sure why you appear to be so obsessed with Infrastructure Australia, it’s just one source of funding. And it’s not relevant to the current discussion on Stage 2A and 2B of the Light Rail project. It’s quite strange how some people just get so incensed with a project such as light rail. It seems that there’s more to their strident opposition than just a technical or economic arguments.

    chewy14 chewy14 10:19 am 26 Feb 20

    “it’s very clear from the usage of R1 that the demand is there and the growth statistics of Gungahlin area require more than just a few extra buses.”

    If it’s very clear, present the research showing it to be the case.

    The government’s own business case showed that a bus system could provide the same capacity at a fraction of the cost.

    Elsewhere in this article, I’ve shown how you could run around 25 articulated buses per hour on this route during peak periods to provide the same capacity. They would run in lots of 2 at 5 minute intervals and then you could reallocate the spare bus capacity to other routes outside of peak periods. Something that isn’t possible for light rail.

    “Nothing against buses, just that all other capital cities (except Darwin and Hobart) need more than just buses to get people around”

    This is meaningless, Adelaide is the smallest of the major capital cities with 1.2 million people, nearly 3 times the population of Canberra. Along with that, Canberra is not as dense as the other cities due to the satellite town centre design.

    Bigger cities naturally require greater and higher capacity public transport options. Which actually makes my point, we don’t need light rail now, but in 20 years or so we might.

    “It seems that there’s more to their strident opposition than just a technical or economic arguments.”

    Except those are my sole arguments to which you haven’t come close to addressing.

    Infrastructure Australia is critical because they independently assess projects and determine viability outside of political interference.

    Our light rail project didn’t stack up. No private investors would go near it.

    So it seems those who support light rail are the ones doing so despite all technical/economic arguments showing that it isn’t viable.

    astro2 astro2 10:50 pm 27 Feb 20

    You’re still trying to frame this as a bus versus light rail argument. It isn’t. The argument has moved on from whether or not Canberra needs light rail to where it should operate, whether certain sections should be wire-free (in order to appease the aesthetic sensibilities of delicate NCA snowflakes) and where the stops should go. Trying to put off the planning, design and construction of the next stages of the network for another 20 years and expecting them to materialise somehow when we suddenly realise that a better transport system is required wouldn’t be sensible. Again, that’s what city planning does and they do this based on population growth forecasts.

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 8:46 am 17 Feb 20

Thanks for update! This being (Australia) + (infrastructure), I’d expect a complete city network about 2050. Better 50 years late than never. If only NCDC back then had looked forward to rail, not backwards to roads.

At very best, Morrison and his bullied APS won’t sabotage the Woden link. He’d have us all riding horses and donkeys if he could.

    Kent Street Kent Street 12:15 pm 17 Feb 20

    Here we go again. Let’s use it as a chance to stick it in to Morrison, or Abbott, or Seselja.
    Try to stay relevant while making your case.

    michael quirk michael quirk 1:43 pm 17 Feb 20

    Unlike the Barr government the NCDC made its decisions on evidence. Where is the business case justifing light rail and demonstrating it is superior to alternatves?The lack of transparency and accountability on the project shows the Barr government’s contempt of good governance. There are so many unmet needs in the city that will not be addressed because of the resources devoted to this populist, evidence free project

    JC JC 11:58 am 21 Feb 20

    NCDC evidence based decision making? I am sure if they disagreed with your very strong feelings on the matter your view would be entirely different.

    Jorge Garcia Jorge Garcia 8:51 am 18 Feb 20

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