Light rail

In today’s SMH, former transport bureaucrat John Lee makes a pretty convincing case against light rail for George Street. I haven’t thought hard about these issues before, but his point about the flexibility of bus routes makes a lot of sense.

Incidentally, while browsing the SMH site, I noticed that the cyclops kitten article, first published 6 days ago, has ranked as the SMH’s best-read article ever since.

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4 Responses to Light rail

  1. David says:

    I’m not convinced by the flexibility point, at least for George Street. I think we can happily assume that demand for travel in the city will at least stay stable.

    The extra time and inconvenience of changing transport nodes is a fair point, but that would need to be considered along with the idea of extending light rail along some major corridors in the inner city – if light rail up Oxford St or Anzac Parade is feasible, this is not so much of an issue.

    I think the main issue in the city is capacity. If Lee is right that buses transport more people more rapidly, effectively and comfortably than light rail, that pretty much wins the argument as far as I’m concerned.

    So it would be good to know where his stats on capacity come from…

  2. Sacha Blumen says:

    Vehicles that use the city roads will be subject to traffic conditions and will affect traffic. If you had a transport system that used its own corridors, you could increase the numbers of people that could be moved to/from the CBD.

    Perhaps you could have subways or bus tunnels under the existing roads. (I have heard that subways are very expensive to build, though.) These are not subject to above ground traffic.

  3. David says:

    There’s another piece in today’s SMH on this, by Sydney City Council’s CEO.

    http://smh.com.au/news/opinion/all-aboard-the-light-rail-to-the-future/2006/01/18/1137553646222.html

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