Light rail in Canberra.

This discussion lurches on today.

The biggest single problem here and always has been that we don’t have a public transport mentality here and I don’t think we’re going to just acquire one just because we spend a billion dollars on this toy train.

In the Canberra Times this morning…New data of Canberra’s bus patronage reveals routes in the Northbourne Avenue corridor carry a weekday average of just under 8000 passengers.

We’re building this thing for 8000 people.

Now, maybe that figure will increase a little with the introduction of the train…..lets get optimistic and say we add 2,000 new passengers.

Let’s call it 10,000 people.

Lets do the sums on this. $783 million divided by 10,000 people…..the answer is a $78,000 spend for each individual passenger.

$78,000 for each passenger just for the set up of this toy train.

Here’s an idea.

How about we scrap the entire project. How about we offer to get those 10,000 people to and from work every day in Taxis

Lets work with $50 each way.

Rough arithmetic. $100 a day x 250 workdays in a year.

That means we pay $25,000 to each resident for the year…..reality is that for many it will be much less.

$25,000 x 10,000 residents = $250 million.

So we could either save $500 million on the project initially….or according to these figures, we could taxi people to and from work for 3 whole years for the same cost as establishing this line.

Understand too, that we’re not creating a ‘new’ service. People along this corridor can already take public transport into town…just not a train.

Now, obviously taxis can’t be a real solution here. It would be absurd to clog up the road with all of these extra cabs, but doesn’t this mathematical exercise clearly display that the numbers don’t work out on this project ?

Anyone who believes this train line is going to be cost effective is dreaming.