The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) welcomes the ACT Greens’ Light Rail Plan released today by Greens Transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan. The ACT Greens Plan indicates that Canberra’s Light Rail network would provide substantive benefits to Canberra and set the Territory up as a connected, sustainable and liveable city for the future.
The ACT Greens Light Rail Plan sets out to:
*commit $200 million initial Government funding to planning light rail, and to commence building the first ACT route by 2015;
*establish an authority independent of Government to manage the implementation of light rail in the ACT;
*investigate raising funds for light rail through value capture, private-public partnerships, and other financial opportunities; and
*establish an ACT-wide light rail master plan for the longer-term development of light rail right across Canberra.
Australasian Railway Association CEO, Bryan Nye acknowledged the ACT Green’s effort in raising long term transport solutions for Canberra.
“Canberrans should be calling for light rail as a long-term investment to improve the connectivity of the city,” he said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the ACT’s population is expected to increase to approximately 450,000 by 2036. This reflects compound annual growth of about 1 per cent.
“The ACT Greens have outlined a long-term transport vision that is critical for the Territory as its population increases.”
“Population growth will increase congestion on Canberra’s roads. Canberra has the chance to learn from other Australian cities by implementing plans like the ACT Greens’ Light Rail plan so Australia’s Capital City avoids the problems other cities currently face.”
Trams have many benefits – moving people, environmental credentials and providing employment.
“One tram can move more than 10,000 people per hour in space equivalent to one lane of traffic that could otherwise move 800 cars,” continued Mr Nye.
“By using renewable energy, trams can produce zero emissions, helping to lower pollution and noise levels.
“We also have a skills shortage. It’s abundantly clear that we could unlock the potential of thousands of productive fulltime workers every year, by reducing congestion.
“As I’ve said before, Canberra should be positioned as a vibrant and exciting urban environment. If Canberra is to be marketed as a place to live and visit, it must have improved public transport available and a light rail system plan will do just that,” concluded Mr Nye.