Thursday, October 13, 2016

Canberra Liberals bus only alternative to light rail exposed as a lie - by themselves!

One of the leased buses expected if Canberra Liberals are elected

Since 2012 the Canberra Liberals have been promising to kill light rail. They claim we don't need it, They claim that they would release a policy that would be better than light rail. They did, several months ago - and there were many questions about it. Could it be implemented? How much would it cost? Would it bring about any of the benefits that lightrail would? Would it be Bus Rapid Transit or just bus lanes?
Today TWO DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION the Liberals provided their costings to ACT Treasury. It is in the detail that they expose their policy as really, just a flimsy three page description of well, not much really. Certainly not a realistic alternative to light rail.

Remember that this is the policy that they claim is better than light rail. 

This is what it doesn't have:
  • No mention of a new bus depot
  • The "eight new rapid routes" only include assumptions of leased buses and operating costs
  • No new buses  
  • No bus stop / road improvements
  • No new bus lanes
  • No intersection / traffic signal upgrade
  • No bus Interchange expansion (which would be vital)
  • No mention of ancillary equipment - such as additional NXTBUS modules and MyWay equipment
  • No staff increases
  • No opportunity for Transit Oriented Development
  • No opportunity for Canberra based construction jobs
By leasing buses one could assume that this is a cost saver, but in fact it isn't. To lease a bus at $5500 per month - not including inflation - works out at $1.3m for 20 years compared to $800000 to buy one outright. 
What a flimsy unimplementable policy. Appalling. This is what they offer as an alternative t light rail?
This Saturday the two choices are:
  • A costed and funded light rail from Gungahlin to Civic (and then to Woden) 
  • An unimplementable bus only plan that cannot match the transport objectives promised.
There is no choice - Vote for Light Rail.  

Update: Friday 14 October
As of Friday morning (the day before polling day) Labor wound up with one policy uncosted (deemed withdrawn due to lack of time constraints) which was the not-insignificant upgrade of the Centenary Hospital.

The Liberals wound up with 4 deemed withdra
wn due to time constraints. And they're pretty substantial ones:

  • The Zero percent lease variation charge
  • The cost of new 'Rapid' bus routes. They quoted $40m, and in my opinion, from the look of the document there seem to be a few items not factored into that number.
  • The $35m flyover proposal for the Barton Highway.
  • The widening of roads between Gungahlin and Civic (part of their no-light rail platform) which they costed at $58m 
The Greens, for what it's worth, had all their policies costed by Treasury.

For more frequent updates on Canberra Metro and Canberra light rail related news, please visit our Facebook page 'Light Rail for Canberra'.  

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