Transport for NSW Opal data reveals Newcastle light rail patronage in opening weeks

 

News article: Transport for NSW Opal data reveals Newcastle light rail patronage in opening weeks

NEWCASTLE light rail has proven more than just a hit on its opening day with an average of 4259 trips taken on each day of operation in February, according to Transport for NSW data.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
What an unbelievable statement from the government.

Doing a few calculations and assuming the project cost $1.2b which has been reported on this site and confirmed in media reports, that $1.2b would be amortised over the 25 years of the network.

That is an annualised repayment of capital of $48m per annum based on 25 years and assumes no borrowing costs nor opportunity cost.

We need to get back at least $8m per annum in benefits to just break even.  Now looking at operating cost I have assumed 5% of capital over the life of the project (25 years) which is $60m or $2.4m per annum to operate the network.

Based on 657,000 trips per annum at a price of $2.20 per adult (discounting for children would make the numbers even worse) we are looking at revenue of $1,445,400 per annum.

Yes, you guessed it, this is roughly a PER TRIP subsidy of $75!!!!!!!  Yes $75.00 per trip.

Looking at it another way, if the length of the service is 2400 metres that is a subsidy of  $3.20 PER METRE.

These guys have rocks in their head if they are calling this a worthwhile project.

Transport for NSW Opal data reveals Newcastle light rail patronage in opening weeks

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  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
How the business case could have ever been prepared on less patronage is astounding.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
You failed Mathematics miserably it seems.

You need much more editing than the one you have had so far.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
4259/day

Divided by 16h a day of operation and a trip every 10min is around 44 people per trip.

Looking back to the 2014 Sydney Trains Corundum data, the combined patronage of both Newcastle and Civic Stations was about 2000 per day (1150 + 890 respectively), which was probably the numbers used for the business case. I'm guessing this would have to be one of the lowest numbers ever used to build a Greenfield tram line in the world.

Anyway, lets hope for the sake of the project and future tram projects the numbers not only stay at +4000/day, but continue to grow.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

On weekdays there are 96 trips timetabled each way, giving a total of 192. That averages out to about 22 passengers per trip. Tram capacity is about 210 passengers.

The cost of the project is hard to determine but some estimates appear to be as low as $500 - $600 million; half for dismantling the railway and half for the light rail.



……………………………………………………………..

Based on 657,000 trips per annum at a price of $2.20 per adult (discounting for children would make the numbers even worse) we are looking at revenue of $1,445,400 per annum.

..............................................................................
x31
The cost for full-fare passengers interchanging to or from a train, bus or ferry is 20c. These will be the bulk of the passengers by far.


There’s a thread ‘Newcastle Light Rail Opening’ (amongst others) in Trams and Light Rail:
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11399286-0-asc-s0.htm
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
The Auditor General puts the cost of construction of Newcastle light rail at $368M as of March 2017. Where is 1.2bn coming from?

https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/our-work/reports/newcastle-urban-transformation-and-transport-program
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

plus $226M for the closure of the railway.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The Auditor General puts the cost of construction of Newcastle light rail at $368M as of March 2017. Where is 1.2bn coming from?

https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/our-work/reports/newcastle-urban-transformation-and-transport-program
arctic

I do need to apologise for the $1.2b amount which is took from https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/new-1-2bn-blowout-for-nsw-lightrail-project realising now that would be the Sydney Light Rail project.

Let's call the light rail project in Newcastle a $600m investment.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
There is more than that mathematical blunder in your original post x31, read it again...carefully.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
With the change to capital amount without repayment or capital cost burden the amount of subsidy per trip now becomes $37.98 still based on operating costs of 10% of capital over the period.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Addendum: The current headway headway between 7am & 7pm weekdays is 10 mins. The Newcastle Light Rail website lists one of the benefits as ‘Frequent and reliable services during peak times’ with a 7.5 in the adjacent icon. A 7.5 min headway would add an extra 24 services each way, reducing the passenger average per trip to 17.

Ostensibly the 7.5 min headway, which requires 4 LRVs, couldn’t be introduced because, of the fleet of six, one LRV had a damaged pantograph and another a cracked windscreen, meaning there would be no reserves. It would appear the good folks of Newcastle are being softened up for after the election.

Anyway, it is what it is; whatever that is. Significant savings in the project cost could have been made by dispensing with the ‘Please do not talk to the Driver’ signs.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

The cost of the project (whatever it may be) is irrelevant. The railway HAD to close no matter what.
The land was needed as a gift to the developers, end of story
  a6et Minister for Railways

The cost of the project (whatever it may be) is irrelevant. The railway HAD to close no matter what.
The land was needed as a gift to the developers, end of story
Lockspike
Too true.

How long before the old Newcastle station will be pulled down for developers as well?  The area is a ghost town precinct, unless things have changed over the last month or so, the restaurant area has closed, the filling up of the old tracks with concrete had done nothing to entice people to go there.

The only residents that will be there is mice, rats and cockroaches in abundance and they wont be disturbed until the wrecking balls come in.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
plus $226M for the closure of the railway.
kitchgp
$226M to close 3km of track? It would have cost less to build it greenfield including the stations and O/H.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Newcastle Interchange (nee Wickham), perhaps the bus interchange, etc
  a6et Minister for Railways

Newcastle Interchange (nee Wickham), perhaps bus interchange, etc
kitchgp
For those not going onto the trams, and wanting to catch buses to other areas, its now over 1/2kilometre walk if going to locations along & near the Industrial drive.  The so called interchange is now only for train to tram or visa versa. Another step backwards.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Supposedly there will be a bus interchange on the site of The Store in Hunter Street. Hard to find any information on how it is progressing. Some of the light rail increased patronage mentioned above will be from the truncated bus routes.

https://revitalisingnewcastle.nsw.gov.au/what-we-are-doing/newcastle-bus-interchange/
  a6et Minister for Railways

Supposedly there will be a bus interchange on the site of The Store in Hunter Street. Hard to find any information on how it is progressing. Some of the light rail increased patronage mentioned above will be from the truncated bus routes.

https://revitalisingnewcastle.nsw.gov.au/what-we-are-doing/newcastle-bus-interchange/
kitchgp
I wondered what was going on there, thing is that as the buses go out, they will still have the old bogie issue of the trams and streets with level crossings to get through.  That will still be an issue and was one of the big reasons said in the public arena regarding delays when the trains ran into Ncle.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Given it involves a private developer who will probably want to pre-sell 80% of the office and residential space before commencing construction, it is unlikely the interchange will be completed in the next 3 years. There are no schematics or completion date on the website, just the developer's artist impression of the interchange without buses in it and a group of people who appear to have no idea what is going on.

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