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In reflecting on the ACT government's persistence with its light rail project in the face of better alternatives, all I can only conclude is that a "tram" is essentially an image factor in the minds of Andrew Barr and Shane Rattenbury; a gleam in their eyes. It probably makes them feel that Canberra has somehow come of age as a city.
The light rail in action. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Despite consideration of more efficient and effective alternatives, a colourful and costly brochure has been issued containing persuasive and creative costings, aiming to capitalise on, and override, the general public apathy. In reality, Barr and Rattenbury are conning us into accepting what is nothing less than a grossly irresponsible waste of public money.
Many concerned Canberrans have been pointing out the obvious for months, even years, that easily the most effective and efficient public transport technology is battery-powered electric buses. A system based on this technology would be flexible, adaptable, peaceful (quiet!), and happily accessible to all of us, wherever we may live.
The ACT government must surely in all conscience cancel its plans, save the wasteful cost of crossing Lake Burley Griffin and all that that entails, and adopt a public transport plan that is truly suited to Canberra's needs.
Sandy Paine, Griffith
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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