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Only one real option for City to Woden light rail route

By Charlotte Harper 2 May 2017 35

Proposals for Stage 2 of light rail.

The ACT Government has released two options for the planned light rail link between Civic and Woden for consultation, but only one of them seems likely to be a serious contender.

The major distinction between the two options is whether the network stops outside the public entrance of Parliament House or winds through Parkes and Barton before turning onto Adelaide Avenue.

See full map here.

There are two other choices to be made: whether it should travel around London Circuit on the eastern or western side of City Hill before crossing the lake, and whether to continue on from Woden to the Canberra Hospital.

But are these really choices, or have they only been offered up to make Canberrans feel as though they’re having a say?

Surely there’s only one sensible option here: to travel west from Alinga Street, servicing the ANU, the legal precinct and New Acton and leaving the western side of London Circuit for a later stage heading to the Canberra Airport, then heading over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge (whether on existing infrastructure or an additional central lane) and on to collect and deliver passengers visiting national institutions in Parkes then those living and working in the high density Federal Government office and residential precinct of Barton before joining Adelaide Avenue and travelling through to Woden and onwards to the Hospital.

Another benefit of the Barton option is that it passes through the intersection of Adelaide Avenue and Canberra Avenue, leaving open the possibility of a future stage connecting Manuka, Kingston, Fyshwick and Queanbeyan.

Perhaps the Parliament House option is designed specifically to woo Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, given Federal funding will likely be required to get the project over the line. ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr appeared confident yesterday that Mr Turnbull would support the project.

“This prime minister can’t go on a piece of public transport without a taking a selfie so I’m pretty confident that he supports the objective of better public transport in Australian cities,” he told the ABC.

As for whether the network should continue through to the Canberra Hospital, this is another no-brainer. Parking remains a headache at the hospital. A light rail connection would be attractive to the huge staff that work on site as well as to patients and visitors.

Given its position at the intersection of Hindmarsh Drive and Yamba Drive, such a stop would allow for a future extension to Tuggeranong along Yamba Drive, Erindale Drive, Ashley Drive and Isabella Drive … though Tuggeranong residents be warned: Mr Barr made it clear yesterday that the next stage of the light rail network was most likely to be an east-west link on the northern side of the lake, running from Belconnen through the CBD and on to Russell.

What is clear based on these options is that a City to Woden stage of light rail would service the the West Basin waterfront/Commonwealth Park, the Deakin shops area, the Deakin West area and Yarralumla near its shops, the Curtin shops area and the Phillip Oval precinct near Launceston Street as well as Woden itself.

The ACT Government has invited Canberrans to have their say on the proposals via an online survey, by providing video feedback or by commenting on an interactive map (see below). There are also 14 public consultation sessions to be held across Canberra this month, starting with tomorrow night’s Woden Community Council meeting. Details of all sessions and more information about the options are on the Government’s Your Say site.

Canberrans can provide feedback via an interactive map

What do you think of the options the Government has put forward? Are they actually options, or is the New Acton, Parkes, Barton, Hospital version the only way forward?


Which proposed option for the City to Woden stage of light rail do you prefer?

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35 Responses to
Only one real option for City to Woden light rail route
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MarkE 11:44 pm 06 Jun 17

Can I choose NONE OF THE ABOVE?
Canberra should give Phase 1 a chance to publicly fail before spending another $2 billion of rate payers money on the next white elephant.

There is no real difference between a light rail system and a long and very expensive bus. Canberra already has bus lanes here. Why does the Government think this needs to be duplicated?

Robz 3:58 pm 04 May 17

Without doubt all LR Stages should be primarily designed to get from Point A to B via the shortest/quickest route (not through the winding surburban streets). Going through Barton adds 10mins to the trip (you may as well take the current rapid bus).
Later sub-stages may cater for areas such as Barton .. in the meantime Barton would be better catered for with a looping bus service that connects to LR stations (north and south of PH).
Same can be said for the hospital .. it would better be served by a bus system. I would prefer Stage 2 to finish at Mawson .. plenty of urban renewal opportunities past Hindmarsh Drive.

dungfungus 3:02 pm 04 May 17

octagonalman said :

dungfungus said :

Mark_Dando said :

dungfungus said :

octagonalman said :

dungfungus said :

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

I’ve used the bus service to the airport. It’s quite frequent and reasonably direct. Patronage was light. The only other passenger on board went to the Qantas Club, so I’m not sure about how the demographics work. Low floor buses mean that there’s even less gravity to overcome than when one lifts luggage into the boot of a car.

Great quip about the Qantas Club too.

I use both the airport bus and an airline lounge, both convenient and cost effective. What’s your point?

My point was that there was never any need for public transport at Canberra Airport.

It will suit some like you and no offence was intended.

By the way, were you the other passenger on the bus that octagonalman referred to?

I don’t think that you can draw the conclusion that there was never any need for public transport to Canberra Airport. The frequency is very effective now and keeps the number of passengers per bus low. I’ve taken trips on the xpresso services to Brindabella Park before to get to the airport. The driver saw that there were several people with luggage and made an announcement that they would make a special stop for us to minimise the walk. That’s service!

If the passengers per bus are low and bus frequencies are high it will only add more to the
huge annual subsidy we pay to ACTION.

While I concede that public transport isn’t there to make a profit there has to be some accountability is providing extremely nonviable services like this one.

I trust that is enough reason to convince you we don’t need public transport to/from Canberra Airport.

octagonalman 8:08 pm 03 May 17

dungfungus said :

Mark_Dando said :

dungfungus said :

octagonalman said :

dungfungus said :

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

I’ve used the bus service to the airport. It’s quite frequent and reasonably direct. Patronage was light. The only other passenger on board went to the Qantas Club, so I’m not sure about how the demographics work. Low floor buses mean that there’s even less gravity to overcome than when one lifts luggage into the boot of a car.

Great quip about the Qantas Club too.

I use both the airport bus and an airline lounge, both convenient and cost effective. What’s your point?

My point was that there was never any need for public transport at Canberra Airport.

It will suit some like you and no offence was intended.

By the way, were you the other passenger on the bus that octagonalman referred to?

I don’t think that you can draw the conclusion that there was never any need for public transport to Canberra Airport. The frequency is very effective now and keeps the number of passengers per bus low. I’ve taken trips on the xpresso services to Brindabella Park before to get to the airport. The driver saw that there were several people with luggage and made an announcement that they would make a special stop for us to minimise the walk. That’s service!

dungfungus 6:16 pm 03 May 17

Mark_Dando said :

dungfungus said :

octagonalman said :

dungfungus said :

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

I’ve used the bus service to the airport. It’s quite frequent and reasonably direct. Patronage was light. The only other passenger on board went to the Qantas Club, so I’m not sure about how the demographics work. Low floor buses mean that there’s even less gravity to overcome than when one lifts luggage into the boot of a car.

Great quip about the Qantas Club too.

I use both the airport bus and an airline lounge, both convenient and cost effective. What’s your point?

My point was that there was never any need for public transport at Canberra Airport.

It will suit some like you and no offence was intended.

By the way, were you the other passenger on the bus that octagonalman referred to?

HiddenDragon 5:39 pm 03 May 17

“Perhaps the Parliament House option is designed specifically to woo Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, given Federal funding will likely be required to get the project over the line. ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr appeared confident yesterday that Mr Turnbull would support the project.”

Perhaps, indeed – the comment about Malcolm’s predilection for public transport selfies is well made, but Malcolm and co. have been making some distinct noises about “the states” (that presumably includes us, for this purpose) no longer being able to treat the Commonwealth as “an ATM” – so federal assistance may be more like what we got for Mr Fluffy, rather than the obviously hoped-for no (real) strings attached Prime Ministerial munificence.

If so, the most convoluted route possible would seem preferable – not just because this is Canberra, and that’s how we do things here, but also because it will maximise the opportunities for “value capture” (all those nice, upmarket apartments in Barton etc. etc.), which is what the feds are likely to be looking for if they are to kick in for the Woden tram.

Mark_Dando 11:57 am 03 May 17

dungfungus said :

octagonalman said :

dungfungus said :

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

I’ve used the bus service to the airport. It’s quite frequent and reasonably direct. Patronage was light. The only other passenger on board went to the Qantas Club, so I’m not sure about how the demographics work. Low floor buses mean that there’s even less gravity to overcome than when one lifts luggage into the boot of a car.

Great quip about the Qantas Club too.

I use both the airport bus and an airline lounge, both convenient and cost effective. What’s your point?

dungfungus 10:33 am 03 May 17

octagonalman said :

dungfungus said :

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

I’ve used the bus service to the airport. It’s quite frequent and reasonably direct. Patronage was light. The only other passenger on board went to the Qantas Club, so I’m not sure about how the demographics work. Low floor buses mean that there’s even less gravity to overcome than when one lifts luggage into the boot of a car.

Thanks for that feedback – another scoop for RiotACT because no other media outlets have commented on it.

Actually two passengers is twice as many as I thought would be on it. I’m out of touch yet again.

The low floor is to benefit the disabled but if it helps load the luggage occasionally that’s good.

Great quip about the Qantas Club too.

chewy14 8:36 am 03 May 17

watto23 said :

The real issue with this is they are doing a piecemeal stage by stage approach. They should be consulting on routing for all stages. Then build the stages as/if required. Also given how much they are spending, I can’t imagine it would cost much more to put an express route past Parliament house also and or build a London circuit loop.
That said I have more issues with this stage. The first stage is makes more sense because of the high density housing that is being built. I can’t see there being much high density along Adelaide avenue…. A Belconnen-City-Russell-Airport link makes more sense.

I’d also prefer to give stage 1 a few years first to make sure its viable.

Yeah, I was thinking comments here are based on the best routes possible IF it gets built.

There’s almost zero chance of being able to put a business case together that gives a cost benefit ratio greater than 1 for this stage regardless of route for at least a few decades.

If it gets built it will be on “vision” rather than economics.

dungfungus 8:32 am 03 May 17

Queanbeyanite said :

Yes there is, don’t build It. Spend $2 million a few more bendy busses. A few licks of paint for extra bus lanes. Save $2 billion dollars, what’s not to like.

The current government talks in billions, not millions.

And they are only interested in spending, not saving.

Otherwise , that’s a very good idea to address extra demand when and if it ever happens.

dungfungus 10:38 pm 02 May 17

ChrisinTurner said :

If we want fast public transport we would have stayed with express buses. The LR vehicles being purchased have a manufacturer’s speed limit of 70 km/hr. The fastest LR in Australia is on the Gold Coast with an average operating speed of 31 km/hr. People travelling from Civic to Tuggeranong currently move at about 90 km/hr. They won’t want to wander through Parkes, Barton and Forrest at 31 km/hr, although it would suit people only going to the triangle.

Yeah, they are slow and they are roadblocks on rails for vehicular traffic that is following them, especially in the narrow streets of the triangle for example. They call that trammelling by the way. What a coincidence.

But hey, they look sexy and cool and we voted for it so nothing else matters, does it?

Queanbeyanite 10:03 pm 02 May 17

Yes there is, don’t build It. Spend $2 million a few more bendy busses. A few licks of paint for extra bus lanes. Save $2 billion dollars, what’s not to like.

octagonalman 9:59 pm 02 May 17

dungfungus said :

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

I’ve used the bus service to the airport. It’s quite frequent and reasonably direct. Patronage was light. The only other passenger on board went to the Qantas Club, so I’m not sure about how the demographics work. Low floor buses mean that there’s even less gravity to overcome than when one lifts luggage into the boot of a car.

watto23 8:14 pm 02 May 17

The real issue with this is they are doing a piecemeal stage by stage approach. They should be consulting on routing for all stages. Then build the stages as/if required. Also given how much they are spending, I can’t imagine it would cost much more to put an express route past Parliament house also and or build a London circuit loop.
That said I have more issues with this stage. The first stage is makes more sense because of the high density housing that is being built. I can’t see there being much high density along Adelaide avenue…. A Belconnen-City-Russell-Airport link makes more sense.

I’d also prefer to give stage 1 a few years first to make sure its viable.

dungfungus 4:36 pm 02 May 17

Tim Bohm said :

Once again our government has gone out of their way to avoid our international airport. What did happen to the detailed costings provided for the 2016 “STAGE 2 Russell Extension”, why have they never been made public?

https://the-riotact.com/light-rail-winning-bid-cheaper-faster-and-with-added-trees/162102

The city – airport public transport connection is now being carried out by Action busses. I’m yet to hear any feedback on it and I doubt if many people use the service.

Most travellers using the airport still prefer to use family, friends or a taxi to get them to and from the place.

It’s not practical to use a bus if you have luggage – it’s difficult with trams too.

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