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Transport plan's $800m price tag cops criticism

Date

Lisa Cox

Light rail proponents have ridiculed an $860 million price tag for a transit line to be built from Canberra's north in to the city.

A transport study released by the ACT Government today said the Gungahlin to Civic line would cost $700-$860 million to build, while a bus rapid transit along the main commuter corridor could be installed for $300-$360 million.

Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell announced the estimates today but gave no guarantee the ACT Government will go to the October election with a commitment to either transport option.

But Mr Corbell was immediately accused by light rail proponents of overstating the cost of the 13km Civic to Gungahlin link.

The ACT Greens said the government needed to get on and commit to a public transport option for the corridor.

The chair of ACT Light Rail, Damien Haas said the tracks would need to be "plated in gold" for the figure to be anywhere near $800 million.

Mr Corbell said the costs would become clearer as more detailed analysis was done and that the next stage of the project was asking Canberrans which option they preferred.

"These are large scale projects and we must make sure we do the detailed investigation before we make the decision," he said.

25 comments

  • I for light rail

    Commenter
    dominic
    Date and time
    April 18, 2012, 2:53PM
    • I'm for light rail too.

      Do you think we could get a discount and extend the light rail to the airport?

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      April 18, 2012, 3:04PM
      • That works out at $61,000,000 for each kilometer.

        Given that we don't need any expensive tunnelling or huge bridgeworks I'd assume that we would come pretty close to the average cost per kilometer of light rail, which in the US is $21,000,000.

        Surely we can do better than the Gold Coast who have budgeted $950m for 13km of light rail?

        Australians have to ask their governments why it is so expensive to build infratraucture here and demand that it be done cheaper.

        Commenter
        Stir the pot
        Date and time
        April 18, 2012, 3:05PM
        • Do governments realise every quote they get is at least double

          Commenter
          WTF?????
          Date and time
          April 18, 2012, 3:06PM
          • Going to the airport via Russell so we can solve the silly parking problems there too.

            Commenter
            Michael
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            April 18, 2012, 3:10PM
            • The Bus option will always be cheaper, but there are other things to consider. If the ACT is to be carbon nutrel, its it better to go with an electric train and generate the power in a better way. Also buses provide less room than a train and there is no gurantee they will fully use it, much line the transit lane on Adeliade Avenue.

              Commenter
              Tom
              Date and time
              April 18, 2012, 3:12PM
              • @ Sharron, why on earth would you want public transport to an airport?
                What a dumb idea, just ask any of our Pollies why we dont have anything better than a substandard taxi service, im sure they can tell you.
                I sure as hell cant.
                Must be the only capital city in the world without a decent public transport system to the airport.
                Why would you want to change that?

                Commenter
                Aussieman
                Date and time
                April 18, 2012, 3:27PM
                • Yes, extend light rail to the airport. State of the art Asian airports are all accessed by clean, efficient public transport. Even Sydney airport is serviced by an albeit grotty rail connection.

                  Commenter
                  Trish
                  Location
                  Canberra
                  Date and time
                  April 18, 2012, 4:22PM
              • how about rail from tuggeranong to civic and barton\manuka freeing congestion on the monaro and parkway. gungahlin just got a shinny new road and new internet, how about not neglecting the south.

                Commenter
                BlackKnight7891
                Date and time
                April 18, 2012, 3:28PM
                • Include Tuggeranong in this...surely you jest. Tuggeranong residents are the poor relations. When the GDE went over budget, road duplication out here was delayed so the GDE could be finished.

                  And if they are looking at that sort of money for light rail, roads out south won't get a look in for MANY years.

                  Commenter
                  PennyJ
                  Date and time
                  April 18, 2012, 9:31PM

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