Well – I just had a look at the Key Features of the light rail on the website! http://mysydney.nsw.gov.au/projects/cbd-and-south-east-light-rail
Key features of the light rail: Notice that there are no key benefits? Normally the marketing would should features and benefits wouldn’t it?
FEATURE ONE: High frequency ‘turn up and go’ light rail services operating up to every four minutes in the peak. REALLY?
Every eight minutes to and from Kingsford and Randwick in the peak? What?
There are 180 buses per hour in the morning peak between Kingsford/Randwick and Central/Circular Quay. This is a much higher frequency of one bus every 20 seconds or 24 buses every 8 minutes!
Even with standard bus capacity of 60 passengers this is 24 x 60 = 1440 passengers in eight minutes, compared to just one tram of 450 passengers (MAX) 24 bendy buses could carry 2760 passengers in 8 minutes!
FEATURE ONE HAS NO BENEFITS!
FEATURE TWO: Reliable and high-capacity services. REALLY?
Reliable? They are reliable as long as no trams break down, there is no flooding, there are no wires down, because if this happens, the whole network goes down. Well, they are 67 metres long and have 79 intersections to negotiate with no RMS traffic signalling priority and a 3 minute reliability ‘window’? hmm…
High Capacity? 220 buses with a capacity of 16,000 passengers an hour into the city in the am peak will be replaced by just 15 trams with a capacity of just 6,750 passengers an hour into the city in the am peak. (And that’s Tokyo Crush Capacity! Smelly, Slovenly and Stylish Sydneysiders will slash that capacity WAY down!
FEATURE TWO HAS NO BENEFITS!
FEATURE THREE: Additional special event services between Central and the Moore Park and Alison Road stops. REALLY?
Additional Services? Well, if there are trams every 4 minutes at the moment, and they are 67 metres long, and they are already going to gridlock the city and there is no signal priority… This is a question for the government – how will they actually do this?
FEATURE THREE HAS NO BENEFITS!
FEATURE FOUR: A one-kilometre pedestrian zone along George Street, between Hunter and Bathurst streets, providing new opportunities for outdoor dining, creative spaces and entertainment. REALLY?
DO WE REALLY NEED A LIGHT RAIL TO DO THIS? Wouldn’t outdoor dining, creative spaces, and entertainment be much nicer without 67 metre long 60 tonne trains going past on average every 2 minutes in either direction? Just have a look at all of the outdoor dining, creative spaces and entertainment going on round the tramline in chinatown! Or on the gold coast.
FEATURE FOUR HAS NO BENEFITS!
FEATURE FIVE: A fleet of electric-powered light rail vehicles with air conditioning and accessible low-floor design.
Wow! Electric Powered! Air Conditioning! Accessible Low Floor Design! Wow! Just like…our current buses!
FEATURE FIVE HAS NO BENEFITS!
SO we had a light rail forum last night and asked John Brady from Transport for NSW, Bruce Notley-Smith, Murray Matson, Noel D’Souza, Brendan Roberts, and any of the other proponents of light rail out there, like Gladys Berejiklian, Mike Baird, Glenn Bentley, Marg Prendergast, or indeed any of the transport bloggers, but no one showed up to talk about one single benefit for the light rail!
Come on – are there any benefits to light rail? Prove it or lose it!
Release the business case and cost benefit analysis or stop the project – NOW! BEFORE you cut down the trees on Devonshire St and the Tree Of Knowledge!