The head of the Australasian Rail Association, Brian Nye, has questioned the ACT Governments cost figures for the proposed 13km Gungahlin to Civic light rail route. He claims the real costs are between $260 and $520 million.
This industry professional provides firm support for ACT Light Rails view that the ACT Government are inflating the costs for light rail, to make their inevitable decision to build bus lanes, seem rational and considered, instead of the nakedly political decision it will be. Minster Corbell has recently attacked people that question his costings as being part of a conspiracy.
Read 'Corbell challenges light rail supporters to prove conspiracy theory' Canberra Times article here.
In that article the Minister said he was ''sick of the conspiracy theories'' that cast doubt on a recent transport study for the Gungahlin to Civic corridor, which said it would cost $700 million to $860 million to build a 13-kilometre stretch of light rail."
The view today expressed by the peak body is that the Minister is wrong and that the conspiracy theorists are correct. The costs are wrong. the costs for light rail have been inflated.
"Chief executive Bryan Nye said when he saw the $800 million figure and again heard it on the radio he thought the territory must be after one of the world's most expensive tram networks.
"...including trams, the Tourism and Transport Forum prices a typical light-rail network between $20 million and $40 million per kilometre, making the Canberra estimates of $66 million per kilometre about double the cost of an average light-rail network.
ACT Light Rail call on the Transport Minister to release in full the documentation that the ACT Government has based the 700 to 870 million dollar light rail costings on. ACT Light Rail also remind people that the 300 million dollar cost for the proposed bus alternative did not include a figure for any new buses, despite multi-articulated buses featuring heavily in the BRT proposal material.