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Light rail conducts search for specialists

Artist's impression of light rail in Canberra

Artist's impression of light rail in Canberra Photo: Supplied

Wanted: experts in metropolitan light rail systems for well-paid ACT government advisory panel.

Must meet strict tender requirements and have experience in urban transport, infrastructure and ticketing systems.

Applications close April 8, self-promoters need not apply.

So reads a tender notice issued by Canberra's Capital Metro Agency, calling for advisers for a new specialist services panel working on the city's new light rail roll-out over the next two years.

Tender papers issued through the government's procurement website invite interested parties to submit a maximum application of five pages, with limited ''promotional material and referenced documents'' strongly encouraged.

The panel will include experts in the areas of project management, cost estimating, light-rail operations, transport planning and economics and urban design.

Engineering specialists are also sought, with experience in power supply, safety, signalling, track design and passenger information systems.

Successful tenders must have been involved in similar light rail or engineering systems with a value of more than $100 million.

Tenderers applying with urban design experience will be required to show involvement in at least two consultancy engagements in planning, architecture and sustainability or previous engagement with the ACT Planning and Land Authority or the National Capital Authority.

Fees for the two-year appointment should be specified in hourly, daily and weekly rates, while approval for travel, accommodation and meal allowances are subject to approval by the Capital Metro Agency. Successful applicants are expected to be named this month, ahead of stage one construction from 2016.

The first stage of the Capital Metro project is planned to run from Civic up Northbourne Avenue and then along Flemington Road to Gungahlin.

''The service is proposed to run at or better than a 10-minute frequency during peak hours,'' the tender documents state. ''Three major stations would exist along the corridor at City, Dickson and Gungahlin, where significant modal interchange would occur.''

Last month, The Canberra Times reported the payroll bill for the project would soon hit $45,000 a week as a search for a new executive began.

The ACT government will fill another four positions, including the role of finance and economics director with an annual salary of $230,406.

Those appointments will take the agency's staffing to 17 people.

7 comments

  • How about a citizens' advisory group -- this is where a lot of the real knowledge and expertise exists. BTW, I would love to see at least a trial of one recent citizen recommendation (in a letter in the Can.Times): close a few of the cross-street intersections, of which there are a multitude which intersect Northbourne Ave, to see what effect this has on traffic congestion on Northbourne.

    Commenter
    Karina M.
    Location
    Belconnen
    Date and time
    April 03, 2014, 8:49AM
    • Karina, yours is the smartest suggestion I have heard yet, a commonsense idea but there in lies the problem, Mr 1909 votes, Ms Gallagher, commonsense, I think not, arrogance and wasted costs, I think so>

      Commenter
      NITRO NUT CASE
      Date and time
      April 03, 2014, 12:34PM
  • Expertise in construction and running of light rail comes from continental European countries, not Britain or USA. Sydney is not a good example to follow - much of the track and infrastructure is over-engineered, and the new light rail suffers from excessively slow speed constraints. Whilst the original vehicles built in the 1990s were reasonably comfortable with a fair amount of seating, the new ones offer a much harsher ride and fewer, more awkwardly placed and harder seats. Door placement is also poor, leading to longer loading times at stops. For light rail to be really efficient it needs to have traffic signal priority, not the shambles that exists in Melbourne, where adherence to timetables is almost impossible.

    Commenter
    DaveB
    Date and time
    April 03, 2014, 8:57AM
    • I'm happy for experienced staff to run a major project that is, after all, spending my tax money. Lets go back to basics; why has this project selected the most expensive and longest timefame to deliver option?
      Why didn't the option paper include an option for a single bus lane down the wide median strip of Northbourne Ave? Only a single bus lane is required as the return bus can use the near empty Northbourne Ave lanes against the peak traffic flow. This option will be quicker to deliver and may not require the removal of all trees from Northbourne Ave. Another benefit would be the limited impact on existing traffic during construction and operation of the Light Rail system.
      Did the consultants have a look at the O-Bahn Busway in Adelaide? The O-Bahn is 16km of 2 lanes and included new buses cost ~$80M or 15% of what the Light Rail proposed for Canberra will cost us, the tax payers.
      Maybe Light Rail was selected as it is fully electric and had nothing to do with timely, effecient and cost effective delivery of public transport!

      Commenter
      Why Rail?
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      April 03, 2014, 9:09AM
      • So the experts already employed have been employed to employ specialists which is a worry as an expert is simply a """redundant drip under pressure""", oh Mr 1909 votes Corbel, what a tangled web we weave hey.

        Commenter
        SHUT UP WHEN I'M INTERUPTING
        Date and time
        April 03, 2014, 11:12AM
        • Love to see publication of the cost benefit analysis for this new venture for all Canberrans to see before we commit

          Commenter
          View
          Date and time
          April 03, 2014, 9:53PM
          • I second the comment regarding the option for a single bus lane down the median of Northbourne avenue.

            I don't see any benefits to having light rail in Canberra at this time, Perhaps I'm misinformed but as a lay person it seems that the system has less capacity than the ACTION bus routes in the area, is slower than the ACTION buses and costs far more than maintaining and running the buses along the City-Gungahlin route. Can't we just overhaul the ACTION bus system with that money and make ACTION a world class bus network?

            Saying that I imagine when Canberra surpasses 1,000,000 in population that some kind of elevated inter-town centre high speed/high capacity monorail would be practical and viable. Use the monorails for inter-town links (i.e. Between Civic and the Belconnen Town Centre) and ACTION buses for intra-town routes (i.e. Routes going between a suburb(s) and the town centre)

            A bit far out I know.

            Commenter
            Benjamin Rose
            Location
            Gungahlin
            Date and time
            April 03, 2014, 10:37PM
            Comments are now closed
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