Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Member for Clark
Light rail is the high-quality public transport solution nipaluna/Hobart deserves but the Rockliff minority government plans to rip up the tracks and put in a boring busway.
Transport Minister Michael Ferguson continues to pretend his northern suburbs bus proposal for the rail corridor is more economically viable, but that just isn’t supported by evidence.
The government-commissioned comparative study work confirmed light rail is not only possible on the existing corridor, it would be more popular, and generate more social and economic activity. It would also be a much better use of taxpayer funds.
The Liberals’ plan will cost $50M a kilometre for buses that would hold only dozens of people. It might look cheaper in the short term, but the economic and social benefits would fall way below the light rail option.
The Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group’s warning to the AFL is right – rapid buses will fail. While we don’t support the proposed stadium at Macquarie Point, adding in a second-rate transport option would only make it worse.
Light rail is significantly more popular than buses – a Western Australian project to rip up a bus line and create light rail saw a quadrupling of patronage. It would also stimulate more urban growth and jobs.
If the Rockliff minority government is serious about delivering a world-class transport solution for Hobart and its northern suburbs, they should abandon rapid buses and commit to the best option - light rail.