Thursday, May 26, 2016

A light rail network across Canberra would have cost $421 million in 1995

Canberra Times 11 Jan 1995

The recent signing of a contract to construct and operate Capital Metro Stage One shows that it will cost $707 million dollars. Of that, the ACT are paying $375 million upon completion, and the rest over a 20 year period. Those payments over 20 years also include operational costs.

That does seem like a lot of money, but light rail could have cost us a lot less and been completed twenty years ago. In 1995 it was estimated that a four route light rail network across Canberra would have cost $421 million.

Missed opportunities cost us a lot in the long term. Build light rail now.

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Canberra celebrates as light rail contract signed for Capital Metro Stage One

Civic Plaza (proposed)

The signing of contracts between the ACT Government and the Canberra Metro consortium to construct and operate the first stage of Capital Metro has been received tremendously positively.

It has received wide media coverage online, on television, radio and the Canberra Times.

Minister Simon Corbell said the light rail contract also delivered additional features that would improve the way Canberrans make use of inner city spaces. A new area called Civic Plaza will create an accessible, usable and vibrant space between the Sydney and Melbourne buildings that will link the east and west sides of the CBD.
“With the new Civic Plaza we will create an area that brings people together in the middle of our city, bridging the gap between east and west,” Mr Corbell said.
“The upgraded Alinga Street terminus will give us a destination worthy of its place in the heart of the city and the dynamic lighting at stops along the route will add to the vibrancy of Canberra nights and will improve the experience of people using the corridor no matter which method they choose to travel.
“The artists impressions released today are just an example of how this space could be developed into a active and enjoyable community space.”
Mr Corbell said over the 20 years of the contract the annual availability payment, which includes operational costs such as electricity, drivers and maintenance as well as construction costs, would be approximately $48m in the first 12 months of operations and finish at approximately $75m for the last 12 months of the contract term in 2038, with an average annual availability payment of approximately $64m.
“Over its 20 year operations period this contract will account for less than 1 per cent of ACT Government expenditure,” Mr Corbell said.
“The Australian Government has also demonstrated its support by increasing its contribution to the project to $67 million.
“We are committed to building a city that continues to be one of the most liveable places in the world. The opportunity to build such a bold and visionary project shows that Canberra is a city of innovation, sustainable living and truly part of the global economy.”

The contract’s capital cost will be approximately $710 million, much less than the cost originally estimated in the business case for the project. This cost will be finalised when financial close for the project is reached in the coming weeks.
The ACT Government would be making a capital contribution of $375m towards the project in 2018-19. This $375m is funded from the sale of assets – such as ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT Government office accommodation – and includes a 15% bonus from the Commonwealth as part of the Asset Recycling Initiative, a sum of $60m that the Federal Liberal government recently announced would be increased to $67m solely for use on light rail.


The first stage of Canberra’s light rail network is an important part of the government’s integrated transport plan. As of July 1, the new Transport Canberra agency will coordinate buses and light rail planning, timetabling and fares and will develop a single ticket for use across the system, which will help to manage Canberra’s growth by reducing congestion on Canberra’s roads.

Figures for availability payments exclude territory contingency amounts and are approximate until the project reaches financial close in the coming weeks.

The Canberra Times reported on the announcement here.

video

ABC TV News Canberra broadcast this on 17 May 2016

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WIN TV Canberra broadcast this on 17 may 2016

Simon Corbell posted this to Facebook:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How much will Capital Metro Stage One cost?

One of the major benefits of the contract signing is the announcement of the actual cost of the light rail project. No one ever expected it to be cheap, but in the context of other infrastructure projects, better public transport is an investment in our future that will provide direct and indirect benefits for decades to come. The total cost announced on 17 May 2016 of $710 million is far below some predictions.

How much will light rail cost? 

The light rail contract’s capital cost will be approximately $710 million, much less than the cost originally estimated in the business case for the project.


Where is the money coming from? 

The ACT Government will be making a capital contribution of $375m towards the project in 2018-19. The first payment to the Canberra Metro consortium will be made only when operations commence.
This $375m is funded from the sale of assets – such as ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT Government office accommodation – and includes a 15% bonus from the Commonwealth as part of the Asset Recycling Initiative.
The federal Liberal government has also demonstrated its support for Capital Metro Stage One by increasing its contribution to the project to $67 million.
The money for the rest of the project will come from the ACT Budget. The ACT Government receives funding from a number of sources, the largest by far being Commonwealth grants (from GST revenue and payment to the ACT Government for delivery of services) that in 2015-16 totalled 5.6 billion dollars.

What about the long term payments?

Over its 20 year operations period the first stage of Canberra’s light rail will account for less than 1 per cent of ACT Government expenditure. Over the same period, the ACT Government will spend $33 on health and $24 on education for every $1 we spend on light rail.
Over the 20 years of the contract the annual availability payment, which includes operational costs such as electricity, drivers and maintenance as well as construction costs, would be approximately $48m in the first 12 months of operations and finish at approximately $75m for the last 12 months of the contract term in 2038, with an average annual availability payment of approximately $64m.



What about the rest of the light rail network?

The ACT Government have only committed to Stage One of a light rail network at this stage. They have indicated they may go to the electorate with a second stage at the October 2016 ACT Assembly elections. In the Light Rail Master Plan, it states that all future stages must have their own business cases.

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news. 


ACT Light Rail overjoyed at contract signing for Capital Metro Stage One



Canberra's peak public transport lobby group, ACT Light Rail, today announced that its members were overjoyed at the signing of a contract between the ACT Government and the Canberra Metro consortium, for the construction and operation of the first stage of Canberra's light rail network.

The final price of Stage One of the Capital Metro light rail project is $710 million.  The Canberra Metro consortium will be paid $48 million in the first 12 months and ramping up to $75 million in 2038, or an annual average of $64 million over the life of the project.

This is a new stage in Canberra's history, comparable with the filling of Lake Burley Griffin and the construction of new Parliament House.

Capital Metro light rail will change Canberra's future in a way that people are yet to truly understand. It will provide a backbone to our city that people will change their lifestyle to use. It's a
tremendously positive and ambitious sign of maturity in our 26th year of self government.

No longer will a family living  along the light rail corridor need to own two cars, or experience the frustration of sitting in road congestion and searching for scarce carparking. Light rail will
provide a reliable, frequent and attractive way for us to move around our city.

ACT Light Rail Chair Damien Haas said after the today's contract signing that "It's a tremendously brave political decision to build light rail, and after taking it to the 2012 Assembly election and
receiving a mandate, this government has wasted no time in preparing an engineering study, a business case, and now a signed contract."

"Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Ministers Corbell and Rattenbury have worked very hard to ensure this project delivers the best outcome for Canberra and this Government should be commended for their efforts in getting the project to this stage."

"This project is affordable and necessary. With only one dollar out of every one hundred dollars from the ACT Budget being spent on light rail, it is a small investment in our future, especially considering
the benefits in reducing road congestion, and attracting Transit Oriented Development."

"I would expect that people in Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Woden will be demanding that their MLA's deliver light rail for their parts of Canberra, and in time ACT Light Rail expect that will happen."

"In a few years we will be taking light rail for granted as an essential part of the city's infrastructure, and it will be as iconic as Melbourne's Trams and Sydney's Harbour Ferries."

Mr Haas has been campaigning for light rail since the early 2000's, and ACT Light Rail have been campaigning since the mid 1990's for better public transport for Canberra. Comprised of members of all political parties, community councils and members of the public, they have an active social media presence with over 900 members.

The announcement has been covered by the Canberra Times here.

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news. 


Monday, May 9, 2016

Transport Canberra - Public Transport Survey

The Transport Survey that TAMS Minister Meegan Fitzharris has been talking about for a few months has finally gone live. The aim is to collect feedback on our existing service and plan a better future service with integrated buses and light rail.

ACT Light Rail want better public transport, and light rail integrated with more frequent local buses is the best way for Canberra to sustainably grow. We have shared our views, why not share yours?

The Transport Survey is at this link.

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news. 

Local suppliers to Capital Metro Stage One - Canberra Business Chamber support


Are you a local business looking to supply services/products to the Capital Metro Stage One project?

The Canberra Business Chamber is working to connect potential local suppliers with the consortium constructing Stage 1 of the ACT’s light rail system.

One key way the Light Rail Business Link Program plans to achieve this is by developing a Suppliers List. The Suppliers List will outline firms in Canberra with capacity and interest in bidding for projects and associated work with the construction and operation of light rail.

Those firms on the Suppliers List will be kept informed of training and information activities and opportunities relevant to them.

To make sure you are kept informed, please complete the online form here.

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news.