Thursday, December 20, 2012

Light Rail green lighted to return to George St

Rail returning to George St is a very strange idea if you ask me.  Even the Sydney's Light Rail Future document states that the capacity of Light Rail is 9000 people per hour.  The current bus services along George St already carry more than this.  The document does go on to suggest that buses may be re-directed to Sussex St and Elizabeth St.  It is not clear how they will reach Sussex St along the amber dotted line without interacting with the Light Rail but it is clear that to reach Elizabeth St they will interact with the Light Rail on Eddy Ave, potentially reducing the capacity.

What is worse, is that it seems that some of the passengers who currently access Elizabeth St on bus services are going to be expected to take this sluggish and indirect light rail service, using up some of its capacity.

This is going to be very inconvenient for most.  Sussex St is not near to many places of employment.  Elizabeth St is better, but not nearly as central as George St had been in the past.  Others will have to interchange, probably requiring a separate fare.

So far, they have failed to remove taxis from the bus lane (by making it a "Bus Only Lane") between Market St and Hunter St, but it is OK to remove the buses from this area.

Basically this whole plan is to solve bus congestion by reducing the roads they can access.  Even Labor didn't do anything this stupid.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Parking space levy only allowed to be used for parking?

According to the Auditor-General, the parking space levy is the major funding source for "the Commuter Car Park and Interchange Program (now the Transport Access Program)".

This seems to mean that all this money ($104 million in 2011/12) is only allowed to be used for car park programs, among the worst bang for buck in the industry.

If true, time this policy was reversed and the money put into services which people can actually use.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cabinet decision on Light Rail to UNSW due soon

According to a recent Telegraph article a cabinet decision is due this coming week.  In my opinion, this idea is purely ideologically based.  Currently, the bus services in the region have flows in both directions in both peaks.  This system will take out the counter peak flows on the 891 and 895 bus services while leaving the peak direction flows largely on buses.  This may be different with fare integration as you could carve out the via Central bits of bus routes 339, 374, 376, 391 and remove the 372, 393 and 395 services.  However, most of the advantages could be had with just fare integration.  Why is it being seriously considered?  Mostly because the 891 doesn't really achieve.  I proposed a number of solutions to that here.  Indeed, it's not necessarily clear that the trams will solve the problem.

According to this SMH article, this is yet to be approved by cabinet.  From the article:

"A spokesman for Action for Public Transport, Jim Donovan, said he had been told by a senior public transport bureaucrat that a proposal to integrate fares in Sydney had been put to the cabinet but not yet signed"

This is absurd and unacceptable, and should be a major focus for fixing transport in Sydney but it isn't.