Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Peak rail body attacks inflated light rail costing from ACT Government

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. 

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.

He was even more mystified considering Canberra was designed for light rail.
''What I am really asking for is for the government to release the URS report to see where the difference is. There is so much light rail happening around the world. It just doesn't seem sensible.''
"...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.
Mr Nye said Canberra was intended to have light rail and so the costs simply didn't make sense.
''The URS figures would make the 13-kilometre light-rail link one of the most expensive in the world and puts the costs of a Canberra light-rail network at about double the cost of the average light-rail system.'' Light-rail networks already in operation had been significantly less costly to build.

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. 


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