Canberra light rail to cost up to $860m
The ACT Government has released new cost estimates for the City to Gungahlin Transit Corridor project which show that a light rail line for the corridor could cost between $700m-$860m.
This is compared with a bus rapid transit which could cost between $300m-$360m.
According to minister for environment and sustainable development, Simon Corbell, the costings are “initial estimates” and would require further detailed investigation. A detailed business case is being prepared for the ACT government by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, based on the concept design prepared by URS Australia.
Initial transport modelling suggests that if it was in place now, the light rail option would cut delays in peak travel times between Civic and Gungahlin from 16 minutes as they currently stand to less than six minutes, whereas the bus rapid transit option would see the delay reduced to approximately eight minutes.
While the ACT Greens welcomed the positive conclusions of the study it reminded the government about its “history of repeated rhetoric and inaction on the issue”.
“The ACT Government has made numerous announcements about the findings of public transport studies and engaged in positive rhetoric about the opportunities, only to then take the projects nowhere,” Greens transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, said.
According to Bresnan, the Greens showed last year that for less than the cost of the Majura Parkway, the government could build light rail from Gungahlin to Civic.
“Canberra’s population and density can support mass public transport, and if we want to attract investment and interest in Canberra, then we need a public transport system that moves people around the city in an efficient and fast way,” Bresnan said.
“Other cities in Australia and the world are years ahead of Canberra in making public transport a priority – it’s time this commitment was made to the people of Canberra.
“We are hopeful once again that this study is the first step of an active, committed pathway to light rail or bus rapid transit for Canberra's growing population.”
The City to Gungahlin project is part of a suite of public transport projects under the Transport for Canberra program which aim to reduce congestion, encourage more people to use public transport options, and make travel times less of an inconvenience.
8th - 9th May 2012 | InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto
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