Saturday, November 12, 2011

Northbourne light rail - spin v reality

The government has been very careful in spinning its latest 'study' into Northbourne Avenue and in turn, the Civic to Gungahlin corridor.  The impression has been that it is a light rail study. I urge people to read very carefully what the governments actual study consists of, and the guidelines that have been provided to determine the outcome. 

This is at odds with the impression the government and its media minders who have been drip feeding some unquestioning journos. 

Lets go to the FAQ for the current study:

Why aren't you considering light rail?

The study will consider short, medium and long term options for improved public transport in the Northbourne Avenue corridor. In the short to medium term, this will be through the use of buses, with measures to give them priority over general traffic ensuring service reliability and faster travel times.

The design of the Northbourne Avenue corridor will incorporate future provision for light rail within the corridor. At present public transport passenger numbers within the corridor are in the order of 1500 per hour during the peak, which will continue to grow as Gungahlin develops further, residential density consolidates in the inner north suburbs and employment is consolidated in the CBD. Light rail would be considered be more viable as public transport passenger numbers approach 5000 per hour during the peak.

Some questions:

  • Why would you wait until passenger numbers reached 5000 before providing a better solution?
  • Who determined this 5000 figure?

Clearly the government study will recommend buses for the 'short term' and another 'study' into Light Rail probably post 2031. I don't even have to wait until June 2012 to predict this. 

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