Gold Coast light rail – More pork?

Click link to original version of this comment at Macrobusiness  (link may be locked – but there is a free trial available)

Hmmm not very tasty sauce


CBA of 2.3 but no detail nor can I find the CBA of alternatives.

The Business Case is secret – it seems any degree of redaction of so called ‘sensitive info’ is beyond them. Sounds like an excuse to keep the Wizard concealed behind the curtain.

Basically it will be impossible to identify, test or kick around the assumptions that the business case is based on.

Like too many of these projects some dodgy assumptions suddenly become apparent too late when the project goes broke, is not used, requires lots more cash to modify etc and we find that the public purse is being drained pursuant to guarantees designed to protect the ‘private’ partners from the downside of building a white elephant.

Well it is under way now so lets see if the government allows complete transparency on the ACTUAL costs v benefits in operation in order to assess any divergence between projected CBA, actual CBA and the CBAs of the alternatives that did not make the cut.

But lets not hold our breath – Commercial in Confidence – is an excellent barrier to an effective autopsy.

and this

Unbelievable how light rail has become fish of the day.

If anyone is serious about public transport in existing areas the first steps should be:

1. Paint a lane on the road red and make it bus only during peak hours

2. Lease some buses – if volume requires make them the big stretchy or double deckers.

3. If you are really keen – give the buses preference at intersections with their own green light.

If the bus lane gets chocked with buses – because the bus route attracted medium or high density housing, a subway can be considered and funded by the land taxes that were introduced when the land was redeveloped to medium and high density housing.

and this


Yep, know what you mean about George Street. It can take a bus 20+ minutes to get from King St round the corner into Druitt.

The whole length of George from Broadway to Circular Quay should be bus and taxi only during peak hours. That gives a double bus lane in both directions.

The weird thing is that they are planning to make the whole thing light rail only as part of the south east light rail proposal.

Why wait?

While they are about it they could make a couple of streets (the ones they are planning to use for light rail) through Surry Hills bus only during peak as well.

At the very least it would demonstrate what dedicated bus lanes can achieve before spending hundreds of millions on rail, trams and wiring.

and this

Very good propboy,

How does light rail fit within in your political framework of right wing roads and left wing public transport?

Light rail runs on expensive specially engineered road like surfaces – evilsync will fill you in on the details over a beer.

Unlike road pavement, light rail is very unpleasant to high heels, bike wheels, wheel chairs and skate boards – that sounds pretty right wing to me!

The debate is not about public transport (which I use almost exclusively) it is about the most flexible cost efficient public transport possible.

You can provide a lot of public transport on your ‘right wing’ roads if you don’t spray money on projects because they are ‘mighty fine’ examples of engineering, technocratic report writing and fat margin financing.

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