Public Transport Victoria forum hears call for more Maryborough train services
State Government Commits to Developing Rail Infrastructure for Victoria
Horsham residents to be quizzed about future use of dormant rail corridor land
No choppers here: Malcolm Turnbull takes the train to Geelong
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy backs Melbourne Airport rail link
Jail time for train threats to Vline Staff
Premier Daniel Andrews hears efforts to address Central Goldfields disadvantage, push for more Maryborough trains
The Inland Rail Link Melbourne to Brisbane a Similar Case as the RAA's Bendigo - Geelong Rail Link
North-West Rail Alliance urges more council support amid push for return of Mildura passenger rail
Grampians Rail Trail: Shire calls for community to step up and manage facility
Last week, I questioned the efficacy of the announced $10 billion rail link connecting Melbourne airport to the CBD, noting that:
Since its announcement on Thursday, other commentators have also questioned the project’s merits.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive, Adrian Dwyer, is also concerned that the ticket cost is likely to be excessive:
“Ticket sales alone will not be able to support the construction and operation of the airport rail link, meaning the commonwealth will need to put hard-dollar grant funding on the table to keep fares affordable”…
“For the airport line to be well used by the community and to open up the areas surrounding the precinct, ticket prices will need to be accessible and attractive to consumers”…
Of course, keeping “fares affordable” means taxpayers providing operational subsidies as far as the eye can see, which comes on top of the proposed $10 billion cost to taxpayers to build the project.
The Guardian’s Greg Jericho is even more sceptical:
…those who use the airport will like it, but despite the prime minister’s claims that “everybody in Melbourne uses this airport” the reality is they don’t and not in sufficient numbers that will see the benefits from a rail link be widely spread.
The prime minister argued that the rail link will be a “congestion-busting piece of infrastructure” and yet it is unlikely to do much…
A study for Infrastructure Victoria by KPMG-Arup and Jacobs concluded that that the project will “have minimal impact on overall demand for road and public transport” and that as result the main beneficiaries would not be users of the Tullamarine Freeway but rather “travellers and people accessing Melbourne airport for leisure purposes”.
Similarly, as Infrastructure Victoria noted in its 30-year plan, the optimum need for link will be in 15 to 30 years’ time – with the economically optimal opening year for such a rail link estimated to be between 2036 and 2039…
But the project is popular – not surprisingly Bill Shorten quickly came out in support of the proposal – and in a pre-election budget, popularity rather than economic need will take precedence.
As I noted last week, there are far many other infrastructure projects far more worthy of $10 billion of taxpayer funding (let alone ongoing operational subsidies). A good start would be to examine Infrastructure Australia’sPriority List:
This article first appeared on www.macrobusiness.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.