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Locals should be tram’s priority

By Paul Costigan 29 October 2015 40

tuggeranongP1140141

Just when most locals probably thought that there have been more than enough discussions and surveys about the Canberra’s new light rail (or trams), the ACT Government has launched another consultation on the topic.

But wait – do not despair just yet – this time the focus is not about whether or not, or when or how much; all those discussions are now behind us as the government rolls on to the first stages. This time the government wants to open up a new debate about the longer-term decisions on the tram network across the whole of Canberra.

When I first saw the media release and then accessed the online survey and forum page, my first reaction was — well best of luck with that!

I could hear the keyboards being hit by all the usual suspects who have spent the last year or more pounding away and filling column spaces endlessly.

Meanwhile the tram supporters know it is a great initiative but look at these forums and the intensity of the tram opposition with despair.

As I have stated before, I support the introduction of the tram network to Canberra. I support a fully integrated approach to transport including trams, buses, cycling, pedestrians and cars (and maybe even jetpacks!).

NrthBourne-P1020075

The absence of trams in Canberra is a legacy of earlier planners who fell under the spell of cars, roads and Big Petrol. This all started with the NCDC in the ’50s and ’60s and their ambition to build LA style freeways across the capital. Subsequent planning authorities up to the present, remain dominated by road planners who love their roads and cars and put everything else as optional extras. Hence we still have a mish mash of infrastructure for cycling, a dangerous mix of cycling, cars and pedestrians and the present attacks on trees and open spaces in favour of parking.

I look forward to the day when Canberra, as well as having an integrated transport system, has a whole of government and a more healthy culture towards walking and cycling (real leisure cycling – not lycra racing) and the provision of the required infrastructure.

At last with this latest call for feedback we have the beginnings of a plan for a Canberra tram network. This should have been done years ago. But alas – sometimes things happen the wrong way around.

The priority for the network should be to link to the main town centres, Tuggeranong, Woden, and Belconnen, as fast as possible. The link to the airport can wait.

Woden-P1030523

The airport sale was a questionable deal that has left this major asset and all the land around the airport in private hands. If the owners of the airport now wish to have the tram join the airport, then that link should be funded by the major beneficiaries, the owners of the airport site.

A link to the nearest neighbours should be explored though discussions with the NSW Government about establishing a link to downtown Queanbeyan.

P1070577

The document has placed a priority on having the tram within the Parliamentary triangle. This should not be on the top of the list, if at all. The tram lines to Woden and later to Queanbeyan (Kingston) could provide more than enough linkages to this tourist haven.

Providing locals, especially those in the outer suburbs, with access to the tram must be the top priority.

In amongst the questions being asked are some loaded ones about land development. Obviously these have been embedded into the survey by the LDA/directorate to see if they could glean some form of credibility for selling off more of the cherished green spaces along the future tram corridors.

I would urge people to ignore those options. I suggest over time there will certainly be hoards of new developments along these trams routes. However these decisions should be based on honest and transparent engagements with the residents when the time comes.

The present practice by the LDA/directorate to constantly misuse results from generalised survey questions as a basis for many dubious land sales and developments continues to a major assault on the intelligence and good-will of the Canberra electorate.

The urgent change of culture within the LDA/directorate needs to happen to allow discussions on the trams not to be meshed with the LDA/directorates’ own style of propaganda that endangers the light rail initiative.

In fact I suggest the planning minister needs to take charge of planning and urban development and through real engagement with the electorate deal with the all the complex issues of city building. These debates are currently taking place elsewhere – in Melbourne and overseas – but not here in Canberra. Here it is ‘economic development‘ with everything else a very low priority.

But I digress! So back to trams and the proposed light rail network.

It is a fantastic thing that the government is letting people know that there is long-term general planning – or at least wishful thinking – being considered for a more comprehensive network of trams across Canberra.

I hope people will read the documents online. Curiously their main document is hidden away to the side of the main page under ‘document library’. I suggest it should also be a main link at the top of the page.

I urge people to ignore the wads of propaganda, to seek out the useful information and to participate in the survey to build up the body of opinions about this aspect of Canberra’s future transport options.

As I said earlier, just watch out for the trick questions and tick boxes that could result in responses that will be misused to justify later mass attacks on green spaces.

As for the forum, sadly I expect this will be dominated by the oppositional serial commentators – so I will be ignoring what is going on there.

What’s Your opinion?


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Locals should be tram’s priority
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gooterz 10:13 pm 21 Aug 16

25 minutes to civic (12km). Means that Tuggeranong to Belconnen would be in the order of (32km) 90 minutes.
Plus extra time for stops.
The same trip is about 15 minutes in a car.

Canberra is pretty hilly so routing the tram around will mean either (a) Tunnels (b) inefficient routes or (c) a ‘network’ that only exists in a patch.

Since the tram was announced all we have heard about is (c).

ungruntled 8:22 pm 17 Aug 16

“The priority for the network should be to link to the main town centres, Tuggeranong, Woden, and Belconnen, as fast as possible. The link to the airport can wait.”

Once again, Paul, I am in agreement. A rapid link between the major centres, promptly provided, should be the priority.
However, (because the bridges won’t support the weight of just adding a tram) it will require either the closure of one lane of vehicular traffic to provide one lane for a tram, (presumably 2 lanes on each bridge). That may have some implications for the rest of the bridge users, don’t you think ?
Alternately, it may be achieved by building new bridges. That may have some implications for the ACT budget, don’t you think?

ungruntled 8:04 pm 17 Aug 16

“I look forward to the day when Canberra, as well as having an integrated transport system, has a whole of government and a more healthy culture towards walking and cycling (real leisure cycling – not lycra racing) and the provision of the required infrastructure.”

I look forward to this too Paul, however, I’m not holding my breath !

As a person with mobility difficulties, I can tell you I’m really becoming very frustrated by the ever deminishing places to find parking in Civic.

While I’m on the topic, can anyone tell me why “parents with prams” parking in shopping centres takes so much space close to the entrances? The other day, I got so annoyed & was in so much pain, I just went “disability trumps prams!” and parked.

ungruntled 7:53 pm 17 Aug 16

“Providing locals, especially those in the outer suburbs, with access to the tram must be the top priority.”

Paul, I hate to be the one to point this out to you, since it would appear to have somehow slipped your notice, but transport has not been one of the priorities of this project at all !!!
It is & has been, from beginning to end, about selling land, changing zoning, turning it into apartments, shops, etc etc, making developers rich, (& probably also some of those “in the know”), and raising revenue.
But it has not been about public transport at any point. Transport is a by-product.
And that’s from the Minister’s own mouth at a Community Meeting, not something I’m making up

dungfungus 6:23 pm 09 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

This is what happens in South Australia when the wind stops blowing:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/widespread-power-blackout-hits-adelaide/story-fni6uo1m-1227590229395?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=AdelaideAdvertiser&utm_medium=Twitter%27
Our trams are going to run on renewables so what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining?

South Australia has bugger all coal mines, how does that change anything?

If South Australia actually WAS more energy independent with local renewable energy then they wouldn’t have had the problem. And total eclipses do not happen often enough to be a practical concern.

The ACT doesn’t have any coal mines (yet) but this hasn’t stopped Minister Corbell declaring that the Canberra trams will be powered by renewables 100%, preferably from the local solar farms during the day and windfarms at night.
But, like SA just found out, the weather doesn’t always work to the plan so coal fired electricity must be purchased off the grid.
Does this will mean all Greens that use the trams will demand the trams stop until the sun is shining and the wind blows again?

rubaiyat 5:06 pm 09 Nov 15

ungruntled said :

This discussion just goes on and on.

If anyone is really interested in the pros & cons, or wants to look at the hard data, may I suggest they go to the Canthetram site.

It is easily searchable and seems to carry all the information that has been researched, not just everybody’s comments, without regard to the level of knowledge behind those comments.

Armed with some factual information, I suspect some of the conversations may take a very different twist.

And there I thought you were absolutely bereft of a sense of humour! 😀

ungruntled 3:50 pm 09 Nov 15

This discussion just goes on and on.

If anyone is really interested in the pros & cons, or wants to look at the hard data, may I suggest they go to the Canthetram site.

It is easily searchable and seems to carry all the information that has been researched, not just everybody’s comments, without regard to the level of knowledge behind those comments.

Armed with some factual information, I suspect some of the conversations may take a very different twist.

rubaiyat 10:26 am 05 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

This is what happens in South Australia when the wind stops blowing:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/widespread-power-blackout-hits-adelaide/story-fni6uo1m-1227590229395?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=AdelaideAdvertiser&utm_medium=Twitter%27
Our trams are going to run on renewables so what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining?

South Australia has bugger all coal mines, how does that change anything?

If South Australia actually WAS more energy independent with local renewable energy then they wouldn’t have had the problem. And total eclipses do not happen often enough to be a practical concern.

dungfungus 8:15 am 05 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

This is what happens in South Australia when the wind stops blowing:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/widespread-power-blackout-hits-adelaide/story-fni6uo1m-1227590229395?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=AdelaideAdvertiser&utm_medium=Twitter%27
Our trams are going to run on renewables so what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining?

The last sentence should continue “isn’t shining” (like today)

dungfungus 8:19 pm 04 Nov 15

This is what happens in South Australia when the wind stops blowing:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/widespread-power-blackout-hits-adelaide/story-fni6uo1m-1227590229395?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=AdelaideAdvertiser&utm_medium=Twitter%27
Our trams are going to run on renewables so what happens when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining?

rommeldog56 3:05 pm 04 Nov 15

Heavs said :

What is the effect going to be on the ‘Dickson Parklands’?

Possibly – probably. Who knows.

There is no way that current green spaces along or near the tram line will be all retained. Those will be needed for infill sooner or later. I would say that it is almost inevitable that currently underutilised sites such as the Dickson parklands, will be used for residential infill too.

So, the OP will not be able to have his cake and eat it too. I hope the OP and other pro-tramers enjoy the new “grown up” European style, Canberra.

dungfungus 6:04 pm 03 Nov 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Replacing trams with buses down the Northbourne Avenue median strip will necessitate most of the work required for the trams namely excavations, relocations of services. Even though buses are lighter than trams they both have similar axle loadings and if there are parallel lanes/tracks extra strengthening is required.

Occassionally we agree.

Bus Rapid Transit will actually mean laying bitumen down what is now green space and a whole lot more infrastructure at the stops, because buses have a much lower capacity and crowd the stops. The lower capacity and relative disorganisation of multiple untracked vehicles actually causes congestion during peak hours as they all try to pull in and pull out.

All for the cost of not much different from Light Rail with substantially lower capacity.
.

By not much different you mean less than half right?

We’ve been over this previously, the costs from the government’s own report are:

BRT : $300-350 million
LRT: $700-$750 million

As for the rest of your complaints they’re also incorrect. The BRT system has almost the exact same performance characteristics as the tram. Complaints about buses causing congestion or capacity issues because they’re “untracked” is just wrong.

The ACT Report was for kerbside alignment for both LRT and BRT in Northbourne Ave.

The BRT option DID NOT include the cost of the Buses nor Depots so was a false comparison.

If, as proposed above, the buses run down the centre green verge in dedicated lanes, that occupies more land and would be more costly then simply excising two lanes from the existing roads. That would provide extra capacity with an additional two road lanes but would mean the buses would not be able to pass each other as suggested without extra overtaking lanes, which is extra cost and an extra several metres taken out of the verge requiring 4 lanes at the bus stops. Buses because they are untracked need wider space than Light Rail to safely run opposing lines at speed. They also have a fifth to a third of the passengers of Light Rail requiring 3 to 5 times more vehicles and drivers.

BRT can carry 4,500 to 25,000 passengers per hour per direction. The higher figure can only be achieved by a substantially upgraded system which can cost more than LRT.

LRT can carry 25,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour per direction. To achieve the higher figure the LRT needs to be fully grade separated.

Brisbane’s BRT runs 200 buses/hr carrying 9000 passengers peak. NB This is one bus passing EVERY 18 seconds on average.

The best performing BRT system, Bogotá’s TransMillenio uses 4 lanes and pedestrian bridge access, and carries 25,000 pph. ie 560 buses per hour, almost one every 10 seconds. TransMillenio’s buses are a major contributor to the city’s pollution and restrictions are placed on when and which buses can run during the day.

Running costs are lower per passenger/km with LRT.

The Canberra BRT proposal planned a substantial narrowing of the median verge to less than half the existing and culling the trees just as with the current LRT proposal. Any bitumen paving for buses in the median verge will disturb or smother tree roots and will in turn be damaged by the adjacent trees. Light rail tracks are open and can be grassed.

Peak hour congestion of buses pulling in and out of BRT stops is a known issue and why the more sophisticated and expensive BRT systems, particularly in South America build more complicated stops with more lanes to achieve a capacity closer to LRT.

All of the above ignores the qualitative differences, the reasons why LRT is preferred by passengers and adds value to real estate along its route. It is clean, quiet and less dangerous. It is also more permeable for pedestrians who can easily cross the tracks, unlike the much busier and erratic BRT. Further the access to BRTs is often hindered by the need to protect the surrounds from excessive noise and fumes, usually with heavy barrier walls.

BRT represents a substantial investment in the same polluting, uncomfortable and unsuccessful transport as we already have now. Any infrastructure for a BRT will have to be removed if upgrading later to a higher capacity and and cleaner LRT, so the cost and the disruption to the network will be double or worse.

Equivalent to building a still expensive but crippled NBN, instead of just building a long term solution in the first place.

Firstly, I thought you didn’t like roads and cars? Now you want to protect extra lanes on roads for cars over a public transport bus option?

But regardless of that, I’m really wondering why you believe that we need a transport mode capable of upscaling to 25000-40000 people per hour when the total current usage along the corridor is around 9000 per day and the Capital Metro numbers suggest that will increase to 20000 per day in 15-20 years time through densification of the area? The kind of numbers you’re talking about are a few generations away.

Why would you spend such a large amount of capital now when you could have a much cheaper option and upgrade to light rail when the demand actually materialises? Seems like a massive bet on what is a very unknown and fluid demand.

Light rail or bust?

It has nothing to do with “like”. I drive when it makes sense or I have no choice. I also fly, bus, ferry, tram, rail, escalator, lift, cycle when that makes sense, which is most of the time.

You persist in the false notion that it is black or white, when it is comparative.

I am not demanding banning anything, which is what the CanTheTram lobby are demanding. The anti-rail reactionaries do not want an alternative, because they do not want a choice. With no options they can demand ever more roads, parking and pollution, to the usual result.

I am just pointing out how bad and damaging cars and freeways are as a transport option. They do not have a future, we have pretty well reached “Peak Car” and fro now on it is down hill.

The one thing about excess capacity is that it will be used. Freeways build in excess capacity, but it is not very large and gets very quickly exceeded because most of it is wasted. The one eyed perspective of drivers ignores how badly they use the very expensive and land hogging freeways.

The driver looks at full peak rail and not so full off-peak rail and sees a “problem” where there actually is no problem, that it is in fact the correct use of resources. Fully used when demand is high, run less when not so high.

The driver does not look at the largely empty cars with just one driver, stuck in stop start peak hour traffic, the largely empty off peak roads or the thousands of empty vehicles, going nowhere, littering our streets and open spaces as a problem, even though it is a HUGE waste of resources.

I have shown over and over again, that the total cost of the light rail is a fraction of the cost of the total cost of road plus vehicles and their consequences.

Maths frightens most people, so they avoid it. If there are any more than a few separate numbers to be calculated and added up to work out the real cost they just fudge it and go “I reckon…”.

They reckon wrong. Massively wrong.

BRT is very much a dirty, noisy and unpleasant option. It is not “half the cost” because the calculations mysteriously did not cost in the vehicles, drivers or other operational cost of the buses. It is a very bad stop gap because it only adds to the ultimate cost of the solution without contributing anything but more pollution in the interim.

Now you can actually advance this debate by doing some research and calculations. No more fudging and “I say” because we can all make wild guesses or even lie about all the options till the cows come home. I wasn’t particularly happy with the governments poor efforts so went off and did my own research and found the results quite interesting.

I actually started off questioning the Light Rail because I don’t like the route, still don’t for a number of reasons I have enumerated, but, and this is a big but, it will work as a means of clean transport for Gungahlin and as an alternative to bulldozing swathes of Canberra and inflicting a lot of pollution and noise on our suburbs. It will also be the start of a broader public transport solution, which Canberra desperately needs now that it is grown into a real city, and the densification that will take the pressure of urban sprawl. So win win IMHO.

I’ve only ever presented figures that have been presented in the government’s own reports whereas you’ve consistently presented irrelevant figures comparing things like the total cost of owning cars vs light rail or overseas examples of capacity or mode.

Yes, it is all comparitive, which has been my argument all along. That the light rail cannot be justified based on demand predictions and costs in the current economic environment.

Right on!
It’s as simple as that but they still wan’t accept it.

rubaiyat 4:14 pm 03 Nov 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Replacing trams with buses down the Northbourne Avenue median strip will necessitate most of the work required for the trams namely excavations, relocations of services. Even though buses are lighter than trams they both have similar axle loadings and if there are parallel lanes/tracks extra strengthening is required.

Occassionally we agree.

Bus Rapid Transit will actually mean laying bitumen down what is now green space and a whole lot more infrastructure at the stops, because buses have a much lower capacity and crowd the stops. The lower capacity and relative disorganisation of multiple untracked vehicles actually causes congestion during peak hours as they all try to pull in and pull out.

All for the cost of not much different from Light Rail with substantially lower capacity.
.

By not much different you mean less than half right?

We’ve been over this previously, the costs from the government’s own report are:

BRT : $300-350 million
LRT: $700-$750 million

As for the rest of your complaints they’re also incorrect. The BRT system has almost the exact same performance characteristics as the tram. Complaints about buses causing congestion or capacity issues because they’re “untracked” is just wrong.

The ACT Report was for kerbside alignment for both LRT and BRT in Northbourne Ave.

The BRT option DID NOT include the cost of the Buses nor Depots so was a false comparison.

If, as proposed above, the buses run down the centre green verge in dedicated lanes, that occupies more land and would be more costly then simply excising two lanes from the existing roads. That would provide extra capacity with an additional two road lanes but would mean the buses would not be able to pass each other as suggested without extra overtaking lanes, which is extra cost and an extra several metres taken out of the verge requiring 4 lanes at the bus stops. Buses because they are untracked need wider space than Light Rail to safely run opposing lines at speed. They also have a fifth to a third of the passengers of Light Rail requiring 3 to 5 times more vehicles and drivers.

BRT can carry 4,500 to 25,000 passengers per hour per direction. The higher figure can only be achieved by a substantially upgraded system which can cost more than LRT.

LRT can carry 25,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour per direction. To achieve the higher figure the LRT needs to be fully grade separated.

Brisbane’s BRT runs 200 buses/hr carrying 9000 passengers peak. NB This is one bus passing EVERY 18 seconds on average.

The best performing BRT system, Bogotá’s TransMillenio uses 4 lanes and pedestrian bridge access, and carries 25,000 pph. ie 560 buses per hour, almost one every 10 seconds. TransMillenio’s buses are a major contributor to the city’s pollution and restrictions are placed on when and which buses can run during the day.

Running costs are lower per passenger/km with LRT.

The Canberra BRT proposal planned a substantial narrowing of the median verge to less than half the existing and culling the trees just as with the current LRT proposal. Any bitumen paving for buses in the median verge will disturb or smother tree roots and will in turn be damaged by the adjacent trees. Light rail tracks are open and can be grassed.

Peak hour congestion of buses pulling in and out of BRT stops is a known issue and why the more sophisticated and expensive BRT systems, particularly in South America build more complicated stops with more lanes to achieve a capacity closer to LRT.

All of the above ignores the qualitative differences, the reasons why LRT is preferred by passengers and adds value to real estate along its route. It is clean, quiet and less dangerous. It is also more permeable for pedestrians who can easily cross the tracks, unlike the much busier and erratic BRT. Further the access to BRTs is often hindered by the need to protect the surrounds from excessive noise and fumes, usually with heavy barrier walls.

BRT represents a substantial investment in the same polluting, uncomfortable and unsuccessful transport as we already have now. Any infrastructure for a BRT will have to be removed if upgrading later to a higher capacity and and cleaner LRT, so the cost and the disruption to the network will be double or worse.

Equivalent to building a still expensive but crippled NBN, instead of just building a long term solution in the first place.

Firstly, I thought you didn’t like roads and cars? Now you want to protect extra lanes on roads for cars over a public transport bus option?

But regardless of that, I’m really wondering why you believe that we need a transport mode capable of upscaling to 25000-40000 people per hour when the total current usage along the corridor is around 9000 per day and the Capital Metro numbers suggest that will increase to 20000 per day in 15-20 years time through densification of the area? The kind of numbers you’re talking about are a few generations away.

Why would you spend such a large amount of capital now when you could have a much cheaper option and upgrade to light rail when the demand actually materialises? Seems like a massive bet on what is a very unknown and fluid demand.

Light rail or bust?

It has nothing to do with “like”. I drive when it makes sense or I have no choice. I also fly, bus, ferry, tram, rail, escalator, lift, cycle when that makes sense, which is most of the time.

You persist in the false notion that it is black or white, when it is comparative.

I am not demanding banning anything, which is what the CanTheTram lobby are demanding. The anti-rail reactionaries do not want an alternative, because they do not want a choice. With no options they can demand ever more roads, parking and pollution, to the usual result.

I am just pointing out how bad and damaging cars and freeways are as a transport option. They do not have a future, we have pretty well reached “Peak Car” and fro now on it is down hill.

The one thing about excess capacity is that it will be used. Freeways build in excess capacity, but it is not very large and gets very quickly exceeded because most of it is wasted. The one eyed perspective of drivers ignores how badly they use the very expensive and land hogging freeways.

The driver looks at full peak rail and not so full off-peak rail and sees a “problem” where there actually is no problem, that it is in fact the correct use of resources. Fully used when demand is high, run less when not so high.

The driver does not look at the largely empty cars with just one driver, stuck in stop start peak hour traffic, the largely empty off peak roads or the thousands of empty vehicles, going nowhere, littering our streets and open spaces as a problem, even though it is a HUGE waste of resources.

I have shown over and over again, that the total cost of the light rail is a fraction of the cost of the total cost of road plus vehicles and their consequences.

Maths frightens most people, so they avoid it. If there are any more than a few separate numbers to be calculated and added up to work out the real cost they just fudge it and go “I reckon…”.

They reckon wrong. Massively wrong.

BRT is very much a dirty, noisy and unpleasant option. It is not “half the cost” because the calculations mysteriously did not cost in the vehicles, drivers or other operational cost of the buses. It is a very bad stop gap because it only adds to the ultimate cost of the solution without contributing anything but more pollution in the interim.

Now you can actually advance this debate by doing some research and calculations. No more fudging and “I say” because we can all make wild guesses or even lie about all the options till the cows come home. I wasn’t particularly happy with the governments poor efforts so went off and did my own research and found the results quite interesting.

I actually started off questioning the Light Rail because I don’t like the route, still don’t for a number of reasons I have enumerated, but, and this is a big but, it will work as a means of clean transport for Gungahlin and as an alternative to bulldozing swathes of Canberra and inflicting a lot of pollution and noise on our suburbs. It will also be the start of a broader public transport solution, which Canberra desperately needs now that it is grown into a real city, and the densification that will take the pressure of urban sprawl. So win win IMHO.

I’ve only ever presented figures that have been presented in the government’s own reports whereas you’ve consistently presented irrelevant figures comparing things like the total cost of owning cars vs light rail or overseas examples of capacity or mode.

Yes, it is all comparitive, which has been my argument all along. That the light rail cannot be justified based on demand predictions and costs in the current economic environment.

And I have shown that that is not true, complete with references and my calculations.

AGAIN you have shown nothing, just made another unsubstantiated assertion.

Given your other “facts” easily check out as only “say so” we give it the credit it is due.

chewy14 2:51 pm 03 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Replacing trams with buses down the Northbourne Avenue median strip will necessitate most of the work required for the trams namely excavations, relocations of services. Even though buses are lighter than trams they both have similar axle loadings and if there are parallel lanes/tracks extra strengthening is required.

Occassionally we agree.

Bus Rapid Transit will actually mean laying bitumen down what is now green space and a whole lot more infrastructure at the stops, because buses have a much lower capacity and crowd the stops. The lower capacity and relative disorganisation of multiple untracked vehicles actually causes congestion during peak hours as they all try to pull in and pull out.

All for the cost of not much different from Light Rail with substantially lower capacity.
.

By not much different you mean less than half right?

We’ve been over this previously, the costs from the government’s own report are:

BRT : $300-350 million
LRT: $700-$750 million

As for the rest of your complaints they’re also incorrect. The BRT system has almost the exact same performance characteristics as the tram. Complaints about buses causing congestion or capacity issues because they’re “untracked” is just wrong.

The ACT Report was for kerbside alignment for both LRT and BRT in Northbourne Ave.

The BRT option DID NOT include the cost of the Buses nor Depots so was a false comparison.

If, as proposed above, the buses run down the centre green verge in dedicated lanes, that occupies more land and would be more costly then simply excising two lanes from the existing roads. That would provide extra capacity with an additional two road lanes but would mean the buses would not be able to pass each other as suggested without extra overtaking lanes, which is extra cost and an extra several metres taken out of the verge requiring 4 lanes at the bus stops. Buses because they are untracked need wider space than Light Rail to safely run opposing lines at speed. They also have a fifth to a third of the passengers of Light Rail requiring 3 to 5 times more vehicles and drivers.

BRT can carry 4,500 to 25,000 passengers per hour per direction. The higher figure can only be achieved by a substantially upgraded system which can cost more than LRT.

LRT can carry 25,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour per direction. To achieve the higher figure the LRT needs to be fully grade separated.

Brisbane’s BRT runs 200 buses/hr carrying 9000 passengers peak. NB This is one bus passing EVERY 18 seconds on average.

The best performing BRT system, Bogotá’s TransMillenio uses 4 lanes and pedestrian bridge access, and carries 25,000 pph. ie 560 buses per hour, almost one every 10 seconds. TransMillenio’s buses are a major contributor to the city’s pollution and restrictions are placed on when and which buses can run during the day.

Running costs are lower per passenger/km with LRT.

The Canberra BRT proposal planned a substantial narrowing of the median verge to less than half the existing and culling the trees just as with the current LRT proposal. Any bitumen paving for buses in the median verge will disturb or smother tree roots and will in turn be damaged by the adjacent trees. Light rail tracks are open and can be grassed.

Peak hour congestion of buses pulling in and out of BRT stops is a known issue and why the more sophisticated and expensive BRT systems, particularly in South America build more complicated stops with more lanes to achieve a capacity closer to LRT.

All of the above ignores the qualitative differences, the reasons why LRT is preferred by passengers and adds value to real estate along its route. It is clean, quiet and less dangerous. It is also more permeable for pedestrians who can easily cross the tracks, unlike the much busier and erratic BRT. Further the access to BRTs is often hindered by the need to protect the surrounds from excessive noise and fumes, usually with heavy barrier walls.

BRT represents a substantial investment in the same polluting, uncomfortable and unsuccessful transport as we already have now. Any infrastructure for a BRT will have to be removed if upgrading later to a higher capacity and and cleaner LRT, so the cost and the disruption to the network will be double or worse.

Equivalent to building a still expensive but crippled NBN, instead of just building a long term solution in the first place.

Firstly, I thought you didn’t like roads and cars? Now you want to protect extra lanes on roads for cars over a public transport bus option?

But regardless of that, I’m really wondering why you believe that we need a transport mode capable of upscaling to 25000-40000 people per hour when the total current usage along the corridor is around 9000 per day and the Capital Metro numbers suggest that will increase to 20000 per day in 15-20 years time through densification of the area? The kind of numbers you’re talking about are a few generations away.

Why would you spend such a large amount of capital now when you could have a much cheaper option and upgrade to light rail when the demand actually materialises? Seems like a massive bet on what is a very unknown and fluid demand.

Light rail or bust?

It has nothing to do with “like”. I drive when it makes sense or I have no choice. I also fly, bus, ferry, tram, rail, escalator, lift, cycle when that makes sense, which is most of the time.

You persist in the false notion that it is black or white, when it is comparative.

I am not demanding banning anything, which is what the CanTheTram lobby are demanding. The anti-rail reactionaries do not want an alternative, because they do not want a choice. With no options they can demand ever more roads, parking and pollution, to the usual result.

I am just pointing out how bad and damaging cars and freeways are as a transport option. They do not have a future, we have pretty well reached “Peak Car” and fro now on it is down hill.

The one thing about excess capacity is that it will be used. Freeways build in excess capacity, but it is not very large and gets very quickly exceeded because most of it is wasted. The one eyed perspective of drivers ignores how badly they use the very expensive and land hogging freeways.

The driver looks at full peak rail and not so full off-peak rail and sees a “problem” where there actually is no problem, that it is in fact the correct use of resources. Fully used when demand is high, run less when not so high.

The driver does not look at the largely empty cars with just one driver, stuck in stop start peak hour traffic, the largely empty off peak roads or the thousands of empty vehicles, going nowhere, littering our streets and open spaces as a problem, even though it is a HUGE waste of resources.

I have shown over and over again, that the total cost of the light rail is a fraction of the cost of the total cost of road plus vehicles and their consequences.

Maths frightens most people, so they avoid it. If there are any more than a few separate numbers to be calculated and added up to work out the real cost they just fudge it and go “I reckon…”.

They reckon wrong. Massively wrong.

BRT is very much a dirty, noisy and unpleasant option. It is not “half the cost” because the calculations mysteriously did not cost in the vehicles, drivers or other operational cost of the buses. It is a very bad stop gap because it only adds to the ultimate cost of the solution without contributing anything but more pollution in the interim.

Now you can actually advance this debate by doing some research and calculations. No more fudging and “I say” because we can all make wild guesses or even lie about all the options till the cows come home. I wasn’t particularly happy with the governments poor efforts so went off and did my own research and found the results quite interesting.

I actually started off questioning the Light Rail because I don’t like the route, still don’t for a number of reasons I have enumerated, but, and this is a big but, it will work as a means of clean transport for Gungahlin and as an alternative to bulldozing swathes of Canberra and inflicting a lot of pollution and noise on our suburbs. It will also be the start of a broader public transport solution, which Canberra desperately needs now that it is grown into a real city, and the densification that will take the pressure of urban sprawl. So win win IMHO.

I’ve only ever presented figures that have been presented in the government’s own reports whereas you’ve consistently presented irrelevant figures comparing things like the total cost of owning cars vs light rail or overseas examples of capacity or mode.

Yes, it is all comparitive, which has been my argument all along. That the light rail cannot be justified based on demand predictions and costs in the current economic environment.

rubaiyat 10:24 am 03 Nov 15

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Replacing trams with buses down the Northbourne Avenue median strip will necessitate most of the work required for the trams namely excavations, relocations of services. Even though buses are lighter than trams they both have similar axle loadings and if there are parallel lanes/tracks extra strengthening is required.

Occassionally we agree.

Bus Rapid Transit will actually mean laying bitumen down what is now green space and a whole lot more infrastructure at the stops, because buses have a much lower capacity and crowd the stops. The lower capacity and relative disorganisation of multiple untracked vehicles actually causes congestion during peak hours as they all try to pull in and pull out.

All for the cost of not much different from Light Rail with substantially lower capacity.
.

By not much different you mean less than half right?

We’ve been over this previously, the costs from the government’s own report are:

BRT : $300-350 million
LRT: $700-$750 million

As for the rest of your complaints they’re also incorrect. The BRT system has almost the exact same performance characteristics as the tram. Complaints about buses causing congestion or capacity issues because they’re “untracked” is just wrong.

The ACT Report was for kerbside alignment for both LRT and BRT in Northbourne Ave.

The BRT option DID NOT include the cost of the Buses nor Depots so was a false comparison.

If, as proposed above, the buses run down the centre green verge in dedicated lanes, that occupies more land and would be more costly then simply excising two lanes from the existing roads. That would provide extra capacity with an additional two road lanes but would mean the buses would not be able to pass each other as suggested without extra overtaking lanes, which is extra cost and an extra several metres taken out of the verge requiring 4 lanes at the bus stops. Buses because they are untracked need wider space than Light Rail to safely run opposing lines at speed. They also have a fifth to a third of the passengers of Light Rail requiring 3 to 5 times more vehicles and drivers.

BRT can carry 4,500 to 25,000 passengers per hour per direction. The higher figure can only be achieved by a substantially upgraded system which can cost more than LRT.

LRT can carry 25,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour per direction. To achieve the higher figure the LRT needs to be fully grade separated.

Brisbane’s BRT runs 200 buses/hr carrying 9000 passengers peak. NB This is one bus passing EVERY 18 seconds on average.

The best performing BRT system, Bogotá’s TransMillenio uses 4 lanes and pedestrian bridge access, and carries 25,000 pph. ie 560 buses per hour, almost one every 10 seconds. TransMillenio’s buses are a major contributor to the city’s pollution and restrictions are placed on when and which buses can run during the day.

Running costs are lower per passenger/km with LRT.

The Canberra BRT proposal planned a substantial narrowing of the median verge to less than half the existing and culling the trees just as with the current LRT proposal. Any bitumen paving for buses in the median verge will disturb or smother tree roots and will in turn be damaged by the adjacent trees. Light rail tracks are open and can be grassed.

Peak hour congestion of buses pulling in and out of BRT stops is a known issue and why the more sophisticated and expensive BRT systems, particularly in South America build more complicated stops with more lanes to achieve a capacity closer to LRT.

All of the above ignores the qualitative differences, the reasons why LRT is preferred by passengers and adds value to real estate along its route. It is clean, quiet and less dangerous. It is also more permeable for pedestrians who can easily cross the tracks, unlike the much busier and erratic BRT. Further the access to BRTs is often hindered by the need to protect the surrounds from excessive noise and fumes, usually with heavy barrier walls.

BRT represents a substantial investment in the same polluting, uncomfortable and unsuccessful transport as we already have now. Any infrastructure for a BRT will have to be removed if upgrading later to a higher capacity and and cleaner LRT, so the cost and the disruption to the network will be double or worse.

Equivalent to building a still expensive but crippled NBN, instead of just building a long term solution in the first place.

Firstly, I thought you didn’t like roads and cars? Now you want to protect extra lanes on roads for cars over a public transport bus option?

But regardless of that, I’m really wondering why you believe that we need a transport mode capable of upscaling to 25000-40000 people per hour when the total current usage along the corridor is around 9000 per day and the Capital Metro numbers suggest that will increase to 20000 per day in 15-20 years time through densification of the area? The kind of numbers you’re talking about are a few generations away.

Why would you spend such a large amount of capital now when you could have a much cheaper option and upgrade to light rail when the demand actually materialises? Seems like a massive bet on what is a very unknown and fluid demand.

Light rail or bust?

It has nothing to do with “like”. I drive when it makes sense or I have no choice. I also fly, bus, ferry, tram, rail, escalator, lift, cycle when that makes sense, which is most of the time.

You persist in the false notion that it is black or white, when it is comparative.

I am not demanding banning anything, which is what the CanTheTram lobby are demanding. The anti-rail reactionaries do not want an alternative, because they do not want a choice. With no options they can demand ever more roads, parking and pollution, to the usual result.

I am just pointing out how bad and damaging cars and freeways are as a transport option. They do not have a future, we have pretty well reached “Peak Car” and fro now on it is down hill.

The one thing about excess capacity is that it will be used. Freeways build in excess capacity, but it is not very large and gets very quickly exceeded because most of it is wasted. The one eyed perspective of drivers ignores how badly they use the very expensive and land hogging freeways.

The driver looks at full peak rail and not so full off-peak rail and sees a “problem” where there actually is no problem, that it is in fact the correct use of resources. Fully used when demand is high, run less when not so high.

The driver does not look at the largely empty cars with just one driver, stuck in stop start peak hour traffic, the largely empty off peak roads or the thousands of empty vehicles, going nowhere, littering our streets and open spaces as a problem, even though it is a HUGE waste of resources.

I have shown over and over again, that the total cost of the light rail is a fraction of the cost of the total cost of road plus vehicles and their consequences.

Maths frightens most people, so they avoid it. If there are any more than a few separate numbers to be calculated and added up to work out the real cost they just fudge it and go “I reckon…”.

They reckon wrong. Massively wrong.

BRT is very much a dirty, noisy and unpleasant option. It is not “half the cost” because the calculations mysteriously did not cost in the vehicles, drivers or other operational cost of the buses. It is a very bad stop gap because it only adds to the ultimate cost of the solution without contributing anything but more pollution in the interim.

Now you can actually advance this debate by doing some research and calculations. No more fudging and “I say” because we can all make wild guesses or even lie about all the options till the cows come home. I wasn’t particularly happy with the governments poor efforts so went off and did my own research and found the results quite interesting.

I actually started off questioning the Light Rail because I don’t like the route, still don’t for a number of reasons I have enumerated, but, and this is a big but, it will work as a means of clean transport for Gungahlin and as an alternative to bulldozing swathes of Canberra and inflicting a lot of pollution and noise on our suburbs. It will also be the start of a broader public transport solution, which Canberra desperately needs now that it is grown into a real city, and the densification that will take the pressure of urban sprawl. So win win IMHO.

rubaiyat 9:37 am 03 Nov 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

rubaiyat said :

And stop piling vehicles into roads that have already reached their capacity and then demand more of the same.

This is interesting. You say the roads are at capacity. That is true between the hours of “X” and “Y”, twice a day. The rest of the day you could set up a picnic in the middle lane and have tea. Instead of trying to work around a transport problem, why are we not looking at ways to eliminate the problem in the first place? Spread work hours around so that not everyone is trying to get to the same place at the same time. Work from home, seeing that most of what people do in their office could easily be done on their home internet connection. Congestion is caused mainly by gazetted work hours. The government wants to get rid of penalty rates for working after hours and weekends so make use of this philosophy and have people working around the clock on different shifts. Imagine if you could go and do a car registration at 11 PM or sort out a problem with your Centerlink payments at 3 in the morning.
If the push is on to change things and not say no simply because we don’t want change, then here is an opportunity to do something radically different that will solve a lot of issues and create some new jobs.

All fine but a distraction. If it can be done, do it. What is stopping a tradie turning up at 11pm to “sort out a problem”?

Except he can’t even turn up on time any other time of the day. If at all.

Meanwhile people still pile in their cars or whatever transport in the peak hours for all sorts of reasons.

The difference is that in public transport they don’t do it 1.2 persons per vehicle and clog up the roads.

Rail based public transport keeps on schedule in the peak as well as the off peak periods. Drivers ignore the peak problems and persist in the self delusion that that is abnormal, not normal and the off peak is normal. You can not escape that a large number of people hauling around individual heavy vehicles is extremely inefficient, polluting, dangerous and consumes a lot of real estate and creates barriers to the movement of everyone else.

chewy14 8:58 am 03 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Replacing trams with buses down the Northbourne Avenue median strip will necessitate most of the work required for the trams namely excavations, relocations of services. Even though buses are lighter than trams they both have similar axle loadings and if there are parallel lanes/tracks extra strengthening is required.

Occassionally we agree.

Bus Rapid Transit will actually mean laying bitumen down what is now green space and a whole lot more infrastructure at the stops, because buses have a much lower capacity and crowd the stops. The lower capacity and relative disorganisation of multiple untracked vehicles actually causes congestion during peak hours as they all try to pull in and pull out.

All for the cost of not much different from Light Rail with substantially lower capacity.
.

By not much different you mean less than half right?

We’ve been over this previously, the costs from the government’s own report are:

BRT : $300-350 million
LRT: $700-$750 million

As for the rest of your complaints they’re also incorrect. The BRT system has almost the exact same performance characteristics as the tram. Complaints about buses causing congestion or capacity issues because they’re “untracked” is just wrong.

The ACT Report was for kerbside alignment for both LRT and BRT in Northbourne Ave.

The BRT option DID NOT include the cost of the Buses nor Depots so was a false comparison.

If, as proposed above, the buses run down the centre green verge in dedicated lanes, that occupies more land and would be more costly then simply excising two lanes from the existing roads. That would provide extra capacity with an additional two road lanes but would mean the buses would not be able to pass each other as suggested without extra overtaking lanes, which is extra cost and an extra several metres taken out of the verge requiring 4 lanes at the bus stops. Buses because they are untracked need wider space than Light Rail to safely run opposing lines at speed. They also have a fifth to a third of the passengers of Light Rail requiring 3 to 5 times more vehicles and drivers.

BRT can carry 4,500 to 25,000 passengers per hour per direction. The higher figure can only be achieved by a substantially upgraded system which can cost more than LRT.

LRT can carry 25,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour per direction. To achieve the higher figure the LRT needs to be fully grade separated.

Brisbane’s BRT runs 200 buses/hr carrying 9000 passengers peak. NB This is one bus passing EVERY 18 seconds on average.

The best performing BRT system, Bogotá’s TransMillenio uses 4 lanes and pedestrian bridge access, and carries 25,000 pph. ie 560 buses per hour, almost one every 10 seconds. TransMillenio’s buses are a major contributor to the city’s pollution and restrictions are placed on when and which buses can run during the day.

Running costs are lower per passenger/km with LRT.

The Canberra BRT proposal planned a substantial narrowing of the median verge to less than half the existing and culling the trees just as with the current LRT proposal. Any bitumen paving for buses in the median verge will disturb or smother tree roots and will in turn be damaged by the adjacent trees. Light rail tracks are open and can be grassed.

Peak hour congestion of buses pulling in and out of BRT stops is a known issue and why the more sophisticated and expensive BRT systems, particularly in South America build more complicated stops with more lanes to achieve a capacity closer to LRT.

All of the above ignores the qualitative differences, the reasons why LRT is preferred by passengers and adds value to real estate along its route. It is clean, quiet and less dangerous. It is also more permeable for pedestrians who can easily cross the tracks, unlike the much busier and erratic BRT. Further the access to BRTs is often hindered by the need to protect the surrounds from excessive noise and fumes, usually with heavy barrier walls.

BRT represents a substantial investment in the same polluting, uncomfortable and unsuccessful transport as we already have now. Any infrastructure for a BRT will have to be removed if upgrading later to a higher capacity and and cleaner LRT, so the cost and the disruption to the network will be double or worse.

Equivalent to building a still expensive but crippled NBN, instead of just building a long term solution in the first place.

Firstly, I thought you didn’t like roads and cars? Now you want to protect extra lanes on roads for cars over a public transport bus option?

But regardless of that, I’m really wondering why you believe that we need a transport mode capable of upscaling to 25000-40000 people per hour when the total current usage along the corridor is around 9000 per day and the Capital Metro numbers suggest that will increase to 20000 per day in 15-20 years time through densification of the area? The kind of numbers you’re talking about are a few generations away.

Why would you spend such a large amount of capital now when you could have a much cheaper option and upgrade to light rail when the demand actually materialises? Seems like a massive bet on what is a very unknown and fluid demand.

Light rail or bust?

wildturkeycanoe 11:24 pm 02 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

And stop piling vehicles into roads that have already reached their capacity and then demand more of the same.

This is interesting. You say the roads are at capacity. That is true between the hours of “X” and “Y”, twice a day. The rest of the day you could set up a picnic in the middle lane and have tea. Instead of trying to work around a transport problem, why are we not looking at ways to eliminate the problem in the first place? Spread work hours around so that not everyone is trying to get to the same place at the same time. Work from home, seeing that most of what people do in their office could easily be done on their home internet connection. Congestion is caused mainly by gazetted work hours. The government wants to get rid of penalty rates for working after hours and weekends so make use of this philosophy and have people working around the clock on different shifts. Imagine if you could go and do a car registration at 11 PM or sort out a problem with your Centerlink payments at 3 in the morning.
If the push is on to change things and not say no simply because we don’t want change, then here is an opportunity to do something radically different that will solve a lot of issues and create some new jobs.

rubaiyat 2:43 pm 02 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

Nothing stopping us switching to electric buses when they become available. There is even a Geelong company wanting to build both electric buses and trucks. It just recently ran one from Melbourne to Sydney on one charge.

Buses can never be as efficient as Light Rail in either energy, real estate for right of way or delivering passengers. They require many times more vehicles and drivers.

Buses are useful for feeder services and the less frequented side routes.

But to clean them up requires a whole new fleet, the same deal as for a sensible change to Light Rail.

Correction. The Melbourne City bus is yet to happen, they are still testing the bus, and it is not Geelong it is Yuroke.

rubaiyat 1:36 pm 02 Nov 15

For those who’d like to know more:

http://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/all-electric-bus-unveiled-in-melbourne-heading-to-sydney-on-one-charge/

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/adelaide-creates-worlds-first-solar-powered-public-transport-system-32530

http://gizmodo.com/adelaides-solar-buses-could-be-the-worlds-greenest-pu-1301379604

http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/em3945/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_bus

NB The Brighsun site is extremely sketchy and the Tindo has been around for a few years now but I can see no sign of it being expanded or any reasons why not. So I am guessing early days and other factors we have not been told about.

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