This week in transport (7 December 2014)

Posted: December 7, 2014 in Transport
Tags: , , ,

Monday: Opal rollout complete

Opal Card readers have been installed and activated across all of NSW; trains, buses, ferries, and trams are all now Opal enabled. The Opal rollout began in December 2012 and was set to be completed in early 2015. Over 1.4 million Opal Cards have been ordered or issued.

Concession Opal Cards, the only type still not available, will be available early in 2015 for university students. Opal Cards for children and pensioners became available earlier this year.

Tuesday: Sydney light rail to have 67m long trams, amongst world’s longest

Modifications to the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) will see two trams coupled to form 67m long vehicles, while 3rd rail technology will be utilised within the CBD to allow for catenary wire free operation. Previous plans had 45m long single vehicle trams utilising batteries to operate within the CBD. “The proposal offers services that from day one carry up to 15 per cent more light rail passengers in peak hours, and 33 per cent more seats across the day” according to the Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

Example of third rail technology used by the Bordeaux tram system. Click to enlarge. (Source: CBD and South East Light Rail Modification Report 2014, p. 67)

Example of third rail technology used by the Bordeaux tram system. Click to enlarge. (Source: CBD and South East Light Rail Modification Report 2014, p. 67)

Changes will also see the World Square stop scrapped, an underground access tunnel will be introduced for the Moore Park stop rather than a two storey design, while the Randwick Racecourse stop will be shifted to the North of Alison Road. Changes to the Racecourse stop will require customers to cross Alison Road to reach Randwick Racecourse and may interfere with the recently built bike path along Alison Road.

Though longer vehicles will see higher overall capacity added, it will also see a slight reduction to frequencies during peak hour, from a tram every 3 minutes to a tram every 4 minutes in the CBD (trams in each of the Randwick/Kingsford branches will be half as frequent as in the core CBD section). However, frequencies will be improved during the late night and early morning hours, from a tram every 10 minutes to a tram every 6 minutes in the CBD. This will ensure 12 minute frequencies in each of the 2 branches, rather than 20 minute frequencies. The modification report stated that “20 minute headways…were not consistent with Transport for NSW customer service obligations”.

Proposed service frequencies. Click to enlarge. (Source: CBD and South East Light Rail Modification Report 2014, p. 27.)

Proposed service frequencies. Click to enlarge. (Source: CBD and South East Light Rail Modification Report 2014, p. 27.)

UPDATE (9:57PM, 7 December 2014): Tandemtrainrider99 points out in the comments that, though 67m long trams would be amongst the world’s longest, Sydney would not actually have the world’s longest trams. He points to the San Diego Trolley, with its 3 vehicles coupled together at 72m in length. This is slightly longer than Sydney’s proposed 2 vehicles coupled together at 67m in length. A few of these can be seen in the video below and might give an insight into what George St may look like in a few years.

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Comments
  1. Bob says:

    I’m a bit disappointed you didn’t mention the announcement on 28 November about the new ferry design.

  2. @Bob –

    That was from the week ending 30 November, not the week ending 7 December.

  3. Longer trams … I very much support this. But I don’t think 67m is the longest in the world by any means. I’ll have to check this out and get back to everyone with some links.

  4. Have a look at the San Diego trolly. OK, barely still a tram, but 112m platforms, 72m 3 car “trams”
    In Google Maps

  5. @tandemtrainrider99 –

    They run on the street alongside cars, so I reckon they qualify as trams. You make a good point. I’ll update the post.

  6. How about these then? :-) :-) Chicago’s South Shore Line at Michigan City Have a look at 2:45. Yes, the “trams” just pull up in the street to let people on and off. A “solution” for Newcastle ? ;-)

    The Sand Diego trolly is interesting in that it started life as a tram system but has morphed almost completely into a suburban railway. I like the sat images just near the link I posted, which shows the light rail system’s alignment is now grade separated at most road crossing, while the heavy rail service up to LA is not. Only in America I guess.

  7. Budapest have Comino trams that are 53.99 metres long – The longest passenger tram in the world. There are cargo trams in Dresden at 59.4 metres long.

    What this is, is simply two trams coupled together – probably done that way so as to increase the rolling stock purchase price (i.e. two short trams will be more expensive (double the drivers cab) than one extra long tram).

    Unless there are conductors in each vehicle, I would expect it to do nothing but provide a vehicle free of supervision for the graffiti ‘artists’ and dead beats who like to damage stuff for fun.

  8. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    What TfNSW has not announced though is that public transport capacity for the South East will fall significantly once the new scheme is operating from 2019.

    An audit into current bus capacity conducted on August 14, 2014, on the routes to be eliminated to accommodate the CSELR, is more than 17,000 passengers an hour during the morning peak.
    The twenty bus routes to be eliminated from Circular Quay/Central to Kingsford/Randwick mean a cut of more than 10,000 passengers an hour, actually slashing public transport capacity by 60 per cent from today’s levels

    When the State Government says it doesn’t have enough money for schools and hospitals, how can it justify spending $2.2bn to reduce public transport?

    The community has been fed a stream of wrong and misleading information for years, such as the Randwick City Council leaflet, in August 2011, claiming Randwick’s buses moved just 3,500 passengers an hour when it was actually over 14,000.

    As the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, said in a media release last month, ‘The proposal offers services that from day one carry up to up to 15 per cent more’.
    “That is from the 6,000 an hour previously announced to 6,900 an hour. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see that 17,000+ does not go into 6,900!”

    Still the State Govt refuses to provide any of the analysis to substantiate the claims made, the cost/benefit analysis, traffic modelling, patronage modelling etc.

    Even more damning is a comparison with the London Cross Rail project due for completion in 2019.

    The Facts

    118 miles mostly underground, new stations, new platforms, river crossings etc cost 14.8bn Pounds or convert it into our figures,

    188.8 km costing AUD 27.6 billion is a cost per km of $146.5m for underground heavy rail under one of the world’s oldest cities (and all their existing tunnels and utilities dating back to Roman times.

    Compare this with the CSELR is over $180m per km for above ground ‘light but scandalously expensive’ rail with a capacity per hour a fraction of what is being built in London.

    Great documentary about it on SBS the last three Saturdays.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/359474243933/Londonand39s-Super-Tunnel-Tunnels-Under-The-Thames available until Sat Dec 13, 2014

    http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/362510403914/Londonand39s-Super-Tunnel-Platforms-And-Plague-Pits available until Sat Dec 20, 2014

    All this London construction is occurring without shutting down arterial roads, cutting around 1,000 car spaces permanently etc. Why the cost blowouts on the Australian East Coast?

    The proposed double trains running coupled together creates a safety issue as they are not certified to run at speed coupled together as their ‘crashworthiness’ and ‘buff strength’ is designed for a double load.

    The US requirements for crashworthiness has seen additional strengthening required. This has increased the weight of a 20m Eu sourced design from 22.5 tonnes to 32.5 tonnes.

  9. QPP says:

    >> I like the sat images just near the link I posted, which shows the light rail system’s alignment is now grade separated at most road crossing, while the heavy rail service up to LA is not. Only in America I guess.<<

    I dunno, there are a few other countries where you'd find the same

    Level crossings are more an issue for the roads than the rail. If the road is lightly used then they're not really an issue. Plenty of 200kph lines in Europe with LCs on them

  10. QPP says:

    @Andrew Roydhouse:

    I’ve seen your stuff on many websites

    I think you should focus your campaign to be more effective. At the moment it’s too scattergun: You can’t decide whether the project is a problem because it will provide less capacity than the buses, or because it’s too expensive, or because it’s a stalking horse for some spectre of development, or it’s unsafe, or too secretive, or what.

    By trying to throw every argument at it, you just come across as a NIMBY or similar that is just objecting for the sake of it. The government finds it very easy to ignore people it has thus pigeonholed. Also, be honest with yourself (I don’t expect you to do so here on past form): you have been guilty of over-egging your numbers on bus capacity and twisting the facts on what’s in the CSLER EIS to suit your arguments. Again, the government finds it very easy to ignore people it thinks are playing games with the numbers for polemical reasons.

    I think you should target the genuine soft underbelly of this project: The cost. Focus on that, get as many facts as you can, benchmark against other projects, don’t be tempted to twist the facts to suit yourself too much (I don’t think you need to) and most importantly, lobby opposition politicians to make it a party political issue if you think there is a genuine argument that a heavy rail line could be produced for the same sort of sums.

    As there is a preferred bidder in place and early works contracts entered into, you have a slim chance of halting the project if you target your attack on it effectively and engage political support

    If you persist in scattergun arguments and manipulation of the facts then I think you have none

  11. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @QPP,
    ” Also, be honest with yourself (I don’t expect you to do so here on past form): you have been guilty of over-egging your numbers on bus capacity and twisting the facts on what’s in the CSLER EIS to suit your arguments”

    I had a meeting with the State Auditor General’s Office (now called Audit NSW) in August and provided them with all the numbers and source documents for the bus capacity figures. Subsequently they have announced that an investigation into the CSELR will being in early in the New Year due to what I revealed to them.

    The only ‘over-egging’ has been by TfNSW and Randwick City Council. Have a look at this link to an August 2011 brochure distributed to every business/dwelling in Randwick – cosigned by UNSW and Royal Randwick Racecourse. Amongst other claims was that TOTAL bus capacity (for all routes including express services not just the 20 to be eliminated) was just 3,500 passengers per hour.

    Light rail leaflet August 2011 (4.28 MB) (pdf)

    Please show me one example where the facts have been twisted or the numbers over-egged by me?

    It is easy to make groundless allegations it is another thing to demonstrate them.

    If I’ve made a mistake please point it (them out) if you can. To date no-one else has been able to.

  12. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    The link did not work in previous post.

    Your Say Randwick | Light Rail to Randwick

    yoursayrandwick.com.au/lightrail/documents

    The document is near the bottom of the list

    Light rail leaflet August 2011 (4.28 MB) (pdf)
    Randwick Council Light Rail Urban Design Guidelines_Volume 1 (61.9 MB) (pdf). File Randwick … Light rail leaflet August 2011 (4.28 MB) (pdf). Generic …

  13. Alex says:

    @Andrew,

    While I don’t necessarily disagree with your basic premise that the CESLR appears to be very expensive (as all rail projects in NSW seemingly are) to the point where one begins to wonder whether a metro or premetro might not be better value, I don’t think your comparison to the London Crossrail costs is strictly correct.

    For a start you appear to have miles and kilometres mixed up – which is easy to do as the British use both in a somewhat confusing fashion. For example you state the project involves constructing “118 miles mostly underground” which you convert into “188.8 km costing AUD 27.6 billion” which you claim is “a cost per km of $146.5m for underground heavy rail”.

    In actual fact according to both the Crossrail website (http://www.crossrail.co.uk/benefits/crossrail-in-numbers) and Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossrail) the project is 118 kilometres in length, not miles. Furthermore, according to both sites only 42 kilometres of the route involves new underground tunnelling – a substantial project, but not all or even most of the 118km route total.

    Based on a total cost of 14.9 billion pounds which at today’s conversion rate is $27.9 billion, this makes the cost per kilometre $236.4 million rather than your estimate of $146.5m. And this is for the whole route – I haven’t been able to source a separate figure for the underground section which obviously would be higher than this average.

  14. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Alex – You are spot on.

    The distance of 118 was indeed km not miles. So my cost per km is wrong. Thank you for checking.

    I had relied on the figures quoted at the start of episode 1 of the “London super tunnels” documentary for what I wrote.

    I made the mistake of assuming they were correct (I know – Ass U Me!) and did not check.

    The exchange rate on Friday was what I used to convert the GBP to AUD, so that is why there is a slight difference in the cost using current exchange rates.

    Bad mistake by me – well picked up and corrected!

    Deflates the cost comparison differential as now it the cost is just under 30% more expensive per km for the combined underground/over land heavy rail “CrossRail” vs the CBD & South East Light Rail.

    Amazingly, of the 14.9bn GBP total spend – 1bn GBP is the cost for one ‘expensive’ new station “Tottenham Court Road” which required compulsory acquisition of existing property.

  15. gseeney says:

    Andrew – as I (and others, including Bambul on this blog) have posted elsewhere, I think you have your capacity figures wrong. Can you share your full figures and how you worked them out? You have talked through them before so I don’t need an explanation – just a breakdown of your sums. If they are indeed wrong the Audit NSW investigation is likely to be very short.

    Your figures include the capacity of the M10, M50, 891 and 610 routes in the counter-peak direction. The 17000 you claim includes heavy passenger flow in both directions – Both heading to work in the CBD and heading to school/university from the CBD. It also includes express services that go via the Eastern Distributor (about 4,000/h capacity). These express services are not going anywhere.

    If you want to use that figure then you have to accept that the ultimate light rail capacity is 27,000/h (13,500/h in each direction) and that it is actually a capacity increase of 10,000/h. Comparing the initial 6,900/h, this is total (both directions) capacity of 13,800/h. Add in the 4000/h express bus capacity (which will remain in place) and you have 17,800/h.

    I agree that a metro or extension of ESR with a couple of big bus interchanges could be a better option in this situation and a cost not that much greater than what we are paying for light rail, but I also think that this would be complimentary to the light rail project and could be added in the future when needed to relieve capacity on the line. The CBD portion of this project would perhaps be better heading along Parramatta Rd. I strongly agree with the aims of getting buses and cars off large parts of George St – the CBD is not focused enough on the 90%+ of trips that are conducted on foot.

  16. QPP says:

    Precisely

    Andrew, I’ve seen your figures challenged on Skyscraper city and you weren’t able to answer and went silent. Similarly, I’ve seen your claims about intersections challenged on there with quotes from the EIS disproving your claims and you went silent.

    Like I said, I didn’t expect you to admit anything in public. In private, you need to step back from your position of outraged rectitude and challenge your own assumptions and figures as a cynical observer would.

    We don’t have to prove you wrong – you have to prove your figures right, something you have singularly failed to do so far. The fact that someone in Audit NSW has said there is something worth looking at does NOT mean they agree with you. Yet.
    If the figures really were as clear and devastating as you keep saying, then:
    a) You would have more people making the argument. More credible people from all sides, not just PUSH NIMBYs and the Metram dude
    b) The Government would not just be bulling along and ignoring you, whether it be Department of Planning approving the EIS or Transport signing up contracts. The stakes are too high for them if there are serious risks

    There is a lot of disquiet from many quarters about this project, but it’s not stopping yet nor looking likely to stop. I think your window of opportunity to pause or halt it is very small and diminishing all the time. Time to stop and think and try different tactics? The current ones aren’t working, so more of the same will just leave you a long 4 years of oppositionism ahead of you.

    I suspect the government has already pigeonholed you and is thinking that’s where you’ll be happy anyway. Maybe it is

  17. JC says:

    All this smacks of what Ray calls the “No! MY plan” brigade – or rather “it’s my project or no project” be mustn’t let the best be the enemy of the good – OK it turns out too expensive…(still better value than a $400m on metro that didn’t even reach hole oin the ground stage)… or the coupled trams turn out to be unworkable and they have to run as singles… or capacity is exceeded and we have to start thinking about a Moore Park to Barangaroo LRT tunnel and/or send the George street trams out to Sydney U and beyond… We will still be better off than we are now and a little bit closer to a a livable transit based city.

  18. Alexsg says:

    @JC – while building the CESLR as proposed is certainly better than doing nothing I think it’s quite legitimate to question whether it’s value for money, especially given the apparent 37% cost increase even before construction starts.

    The current price tag of $2.2 billion is a stonkingly huge amount for 12 km of surface track with only one small tunnel involved. Even if a pre-metro was, say, fifty percent more and a full metro around double the price, but both and particularly the latter provided greatly increased capacity which virtually future-proofed the investment, surely they are worth considering even at this late stage.

    Capacity is the key here. I don’t want to buy into the bus v. tram patronage debate but I think the line will achieve maximum capacity much sooner than anticipated – and then what? You can’t run 67-metre trams down the George Street mall more than once every three to four minutes (that’s a tram in either direction every 90 seconds to 2 minutes) without compromising it as a public space.

    Therefore you could end up having to do something fairly expensive fairly quickly to address the issue, on top of the original $2.2 billion price tag, and which government is going to want to do that? Far from making transit attractive, this could have the opposite effect for both government and the community and end up giving light rail a bad name.

    The other thing I don’t get is if the government is so keen on a metro for the NW, why not take this argument to its logical conclusion and run it through the CBD to the SE? You could build this in three stages – NW and SE to the CBD, followed by the harbour crossing. While I wasn’t keen on the metro initially, given that it’s a fait accompli I can see a certain logic in a system sharing a CBD spine with two branches north of the harbour to the NW and eventually to the NE, say somewhere like Dee Why

    South of the CBD you could have another two branches, one to the SE and the other along Parramatta Road (rather than a fairly pointless Bankstown line conversion) to serve the government’s density objectives in that corridor.

    I better stop now – after all, I don’t want to be accused of claiming that my plan is better than the government’s. We all know our place, which is to just uncritically accept whatever they are doing.

  19. > The other thing I don’t get is if the government is so keen on a metro for the NW, why not take this
    > argument to its logical conclusion and run it through the CBD to the SE?

    I think this is reflective of the decision making process over the past decade or so. They pick a mode (they think might be a political winner ?), then look for a problem to apply it to.

  20. QPP says:

    >>The other thing I don’t get is if the government is so keen on a metro for the NW, why not take this argument to its logical conclusion and run it through the CBD to the SE? You could build this in three stages – NW and SE to the CBD, followed by the harbour crossing. While I wasn’t keen on the metro initially, given that it’s a fait accompli I can see a certain logic in a system sharing a CBD spine with two branches north of the harbour to the NW and eventually to the NE, say somewhere like Dee Why<<

    They'll say there isn't the patronage now or projected to justify it, I suspect – which is why they looked at light rail in the first place. It only starts to get called into question because of the massive cost of the light rail scheme

    Transparency into what is going into the light rail cost would be nice but I wouldn't hold my breath. And even if you got it, you would only be able to see what was being charged in large chunks, eg rolling stock, utility movement/protection, streetworks, stops, control systems, electrical systems and so on – you wouldn't be able to see how much of those costs were being driven by, say, the wireless requirement in George Street, or the government dumping utility risk on the consortium

    I'm not sure the government is so keen per se on a metro for the NW – I would say it is keen on a separated network from the existing more than anything else. The fact that the NW Link happened to be the next cab off the rank made that the metro candidate, but it has never made much sense without the next project to bring it into the CBD as well

  21. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Greeney
    Thanks for your contribution Greeney, I asked Bambul some weeks ago about posting all the details but he is very busy and has been for some time which has prevented him going through my figures prior to posting the detailed calculations.

    He, like I have only so much spare time.

    “Your figures include the capacity of the M10, M50, 891 and 610 routes in the counter-peak direction. The 17000 you claim includes heavy passenger flow in both directions – Both heading to work in the CBD and heading to school/university from the CBD. It also includes express services that go via the Eastern Distributor (about 4,000/h capacity). These express services are not going anywhere.”

    No my figures do not include the express services going via the Eastern Distributor. They only include the twenty routes to be eliminated.

    My figures also significantly understated the actual current bus capacity as they assume only a median standard bus passenger capacity (sourced from both STA Annual Reports and STA submissions to IPART). If you live in this area you will know that virtually every of the routes earmarked to be eliminated using articulated buses.

    Did you have a look at the August 2011 brochure put out by Randwick City Council stating that TOTAL bus passenger capacity per hour was just 3,500 including all services – all stop (37s to 39s), express (X7s to X9s), UNSW express routes (890, 891, 892, 895)?

    Here is 3rd party verification of the errors in what TfNSW is saying sourced from a Randwick City Council Report.

    yoursayrandwick.com.au/lightrail/documents/4503/download
    Sep 26, 2011 – 21/20812/172048. Randwick Light Rail Pre-feasibility Study. Final Report. This Report: has been prepared by GHD for Randwick City Council

    Amongst other facts it states that during the morning peak 69% of students arrive by bus. TfNSW used around 40% I recall {please verify}.

    This 2011 report then refers to hard data from 2005. Even using that data shows how under-capacity the CSELR will be 14 to 15 years later.

    It states that there were 85 buses southbound past UNSW on Anzac Parade (does not cover UNSW Express services) 160 buses northbound in the hour between 8am to 9am past UNSW. As no buses from the 37s go past UNSW it suggests this is just the normal Anzac Parade services alone.

    This data alone proves the lack of CSELR capacity when it opens fifteen years later – it would have been unable to cope with 2005 demand for the Kingsford route alone! When it opens it is supposed to have 7-8 services an hour at 466, or capacity of 3,262 to 3,730 to each of Kingsford and Randwick respectively.

    Roughly 1 in 4 of the 160 northbound were express so that leaves 120 all-stop buses. The M10 and M50 services did not exist then.

    Passengers carried by these 120 buses plus the 6 M10s and 6 M50s do not fit onto just 7 or 8 trains. It cannot even cover the current observed peak hour use of the 1 in 4 buses being articulated carrying 115 passengers, just 42 bendy buses can carry over 4,800 passengers an hour.

    Add the remaining 90 standard buses at median passenger capacity of 70 gives 6,300 more passenger capacity.

    Making a grand total just along Anzac Parade (ignoring the lost capacity from the 373, 374, 376 & 377) of 10,100 using 2005 data.

    In 2019/2020 this will be replaced with a max capacity of 3,730.

    Observing the reality of buses in service in 2014 across three days for the am peak saw a minimum of 1 out of every 4 route 891 buses being articulated, at the peak of the peak the ratio was 1 in 2.

    Also 1 of the 4 buses was a 95 passenger capacity standard bus with the configuration of 61 seated and 34 standing.

    Here is the STA sourced information on these buses:

    http://www.sydneybuses.info/bus-fleet/scania-l113trbl

    Many operate out of Port Botany depot. Over 14 are in use in Randwick each day numbers 3413-3419, 3424, 3431-33, 3440, 3445, 3446. Many of the Randwick area ones are used for the 891 service based on the chassis numbers I’ve recorded. Some of the chassis numbers I recorded in one 15 minute period are: 3413, 3414, 3432, 3446.

    A round trip for the LR takes with optimum timing (no delay at any traffic light intersection for the entire route) 64 minutes. This does not include any time for the driver powering down the train at the route end, packing up their gear, getting out of the driver’s compartment, locking it, walking along checking the train for any suspicious packages or passengers, unlocking the driver’s compartment at the other end etc.

    This round trip time dropped from a time of 78 minutes used up until early November 2013 to 64 minutes in the EIS released in Nov 2013. There is no discussion, substantiation nor analysis of this change journey time in the EIS or elsewhere.

    These are the bus routes to be eliminated between Circular Quay/Central and Kingsford/Randwick (& beyond) are:
    Express services – 610, 890, 891, 892, 895
    Limited Stop – L94
    Cross-Regional – M10 & M50
    All-stop – 373, 374, 376, 377, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397 & 399.

    Please have a look at both the RCC August 2011 brochure and the report produced by the consultants. You may think their name familiar!

  22. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @JC
    “We will still be better off than we are now and a little bit closer to a a livable transit based city”

    Well actually we are not better off compared with the current buses.

    Public transport capacity is cut by over 60%, seating capacity is also cut by over 60%, end-to-end journey times are greater, motor vehicle capacity on the only arterial link for the South East (Anzac Parade) is significantly reduced (acknowledged in the EIS with the deterioration in the LOS for multiple intersections – some to F), access to the Prince of Wales Hospital Campus and High St specialists (90+) is lost as High St becomes a 24 hour clearway and the current bus stops directly outside are eliminated and patients have to head approx 250m uphill (that numerous specialists have gone on record saying is beyond the capacity of many renal, heart and pulmonary patients), nearly 1,000 existing car spaces are permanently lost, nearly 1,000 mature (and some historic) trees are lost etc.

    Even the road lanes are reduced to the absolute minimum (and in some cases below the Australian Standard such as in Devonshire St.

    Footpath widths are reduced at the same time, just about every left hand turn bay disappears, 75% of right hand turns are eliminated, cyclists are put at risk due to the narrowing of the traffic lanes as are pedestrians due to the traffic running directly adjacent to the footpath.

    Of the two road lanes in Anzac Parade it is currently proposed that the cross regional routes (400, 410, 418, 348, 370 etc) will stop on Anzac Parade causing one of the two lanes to constantly be halted compared with the existing situation of separate bus lanes. The elimination of left hand turn lanes also causes additional disruption as the vehicles turning left cannot do so until after the pedestrian crossing phase has been completed.

    In the short term by using more articulated buses then the capacity can grow to over 27,000 per hour in one direction. In the medium term extending the ESR to Charing Cross, Frenchmans Rd, Randwick, UNSW, Kingsford and then deviating to Maroubra Junction, Beauchamp Rd, Prince Henry before joining the recently duplicated heavy rail to Port Botany back to the City Rail system.

    The Port Botany line is used less than 10% of its capacity and one of the operators announced they will cease using it entirely.

    This would result in up to 20,000 passengers an hour being taken out from Central and Town Hall, shorten journey times from the South, South West and West to Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra LGAs significantly and create a capacity many times greater than the Light rail.

    What I object to is scarce public funds being wasted to satisfy a small but powerful lobby group.

  23. Alex says:

    @QPP – “They’ll say there isn’t the patronage now or projected to justify it, I suspect – which is why they looked at light rail in the first place. It only starts to get called into question because of the massive cost of the light rail scheme.”

    That’s precisely why it needs to be called into question. I would have thought a 37% increase prior to the commencement of construction would be cause for a rethink in any project – it doesn’t mean you don’t go ahead, but you certainly would want to review the project’s objectives, costs – and alternatives – before doing so.

    Also in terms of costing a possible alternative SE metro, one could view it as an “add-on” to the Harbour/CBD phase of the NW metro, since that will provide the CBD portion anyway. You could argue therefore that only the cost as far as Central needs to be considered in any comparison, or at most the cost between Central and Circular Quay should be shared 50:50 between the NW and a potential SE project.

    “Transparency into what is going into the light rail cost would be nice but I wouldn’t hold my breath.” – I agree, but as I said, rationally you would think the projected increase would be sufficient for the cost of these individual items to released and reviewed. If they are not then we can only work on the global costs provided (or leaked) and on that basis the CESLR seems to be questionable value compared with a metro – especially if the light rail turns out to be very costly but doesn’t provide enough capacity, while a metro may provide too much capacity but not be that much more expensive.

    “I’m not sure the government is so keen per se on a metro for the NW – I would say it is keen on a separated network from the existing more than anything else. The fact that the NW Link happened to be the next cab off the rank made that the metro candidate, but it has never made much sense without the next project to bring it into the CBD as well”

    It doesn’t matter whether the government is or isn’t particularly keen on metros – they have made that particular bed for themselves and they should lie in it. They are the ones who herald the metro as providing extra capacity and have committed themselves to a second harbour crossing. So far so good (sort of), but south of the CBD I think their plans are a bit strange.

    Instead of providing new infrastructure in areas where there is a public transport deficit, the government wants to commandeer an existing rail line. Personally I think they should look at two completely new metro lines, one along Parramatta Road and another to the SE, but if they insist on taking over the Bankstown line, a SE metro as an add-in to that would work as well.

  24. JC says:

    @alex: Fair enough – we can all question the cost – and the more time the Audit Commission spends on it the better – we might eventually bereak out of the NSW over-proce disease.

    And it is not my preferred model…

    …I think a metro based on LR technology as in Newcastle UK and the Rhine-Ruhr is the best match for Sydney’s density and urban structure, which would mean tunnels at the city end and hedng furthetr out Anzac Pde (at least to Maroubra J);

    ….Castlereagh St woudl have been better than George Street because (as you say) frequebnt trams don’t really mix with the sort of atnmkisphere they want for George St (Castlereagh St would make a “transit way” and the interconnections with Museaum Station are already there.

    ….the Randwick branch is a complete waste of time – the same distance of track from Kingsford to Maroubra and/or from Rawson Place to Sydnet U would delliver vfm greater by orders of magnitude.

    etc etc.

    But I realise that not all transport planners share my superior intelligence, and that people that are nearly as smart as me are prepared to put real money into real improvements is something we should welcome albeit with healthy scep[ticism about the cost.

    And @AR – the line that buses actually provide more capacity than trams, and are more flexible, safer, don’t take up so much road space blah blah blah is exactly the anti-public transport bull**** that got us into this toruble inthe first place. I basically don’t believe you.

  25. MrV says:

    Is the section of light rail track without overhead really necessary given the the additional expense? A single overhead isn’t particularly obstrusive, there are far bigger eyesores in the CBD.

    Why does tfNSW act like they are made of money, when there are so many projects and things that go begging just so a small section of track can be wirefree. Most people problem won’t notice (except when this wire-free section fails), let alone care.

  26. Alex says:

    @JC – I agree that the sort of pre-metros, light metros (call them what you will) that you find in Newcastle UK and many cities in Germany among other places might in an ideal world be the best fit for the south east.

    Most of the European examples I’ve seen involve either the undergrounding of existing tramways in the CBD combined with segregation of the lines in the suburbs or the conversion of old heavy rail surface lines, but there are examples of new builds like the metro in Porto in Portugal. As you suggest these systems seem to be most-effective when they have relatively short sections of underground in the CBD but then can run on the surface in the suburbs.

    Like you I could envisage running the line in a tunnel in the CBD and then on the surface along Anzac Parade, from Moore Park more or less as per the current CESLR plan. However I recall that one problem they did run into in some German cities was the cost – if you overdo the tunnelling you can reach a point where the cost of building an underground light rail approaches that of a fully-fledged metro.

    In this regard my point was that the government has already signed up for the metro in the NW and is going to bring that south of the harbour through the CBD anyway. Building a comparatively short branch from Kingsford to connect with that line at Central is probably not going to cost that much more than a light rail metro but would seem more cost effective, especially as the metro tunnel might close off options to put the CESLR underground once it reaches capacity.

    I also agree with your point that the current CESLR option is better than doing nothing and if the only options on the table are to build it or do nothing at all then the project should definitely proceed. However I also think given the huge sums involved then its worth one last look to see if either the costs could be brought down or whether the now relatively smaller extra cost for a “full” metro could be justified, especially in light of the capacity benefits it would bring.

  27. Alex says:

    @MrV – agreed, though I would be interested to see how much the adoption of the Alstrom APS system has actuallycontributed to the cost overrun. If the sums involved are significant it would also be fascinating to see how the costs of this system compare to the battery-based technology originally envisaged.

  28. JC says:

    “I recall that one problem they did run into in some German cities was the cost” …agree – there has been lots of gold-plating in German and other locations. The Newcastle system with metro-standard tunnels and stations has not been replicated in the UK; later systemts e.g. Manchester, Croydon, use pedestrianised sections in tne CBDs as in the Sydney proposals and seem to work OK.

  29. Alexsg says:

    @JC – in Sydney we seem to be getting a surface-running light rail for close to the cost of a light rail metro or even a full metro.

    The other issue with this is the long narrow shape of Sydney’s CBD coupled with its narrow streets compared to Melbourne’s grid of wide streets. The latter is comparatively easy to run trams through, while the big traffic issue that Sydney faced a century ago as a result of its topography was CBD tram congestion, particularly in George Street. This was one of the problems Bradfield tried to resolve through the construction of the City Circle – unfortunately the inner west and inner east loops which he planned to provide as an alternative to the trams never got built (with the partial exception decades later of the ESR).

    Now I fear we could be coming full circle, replacing car congestion with tram congestion. The latter may be a better outcome than the former but I still think for the money involved we should look very carefully at the costs snd the alternatives.

  30. QPP says:

    >>This was one of the problems Bradfield tried to resolve through the construction of the City Circle – <<

    Interesting. The CC as a concept just doesn't work because of the slowness of the trains and their infrequency (both on the CC and the lines it connects to)

    I never find myself using it. Want to go to somewhere in the vicinity of Circular Quay? I'll walk from or to Wynyard. St James or Museum? Ditto Town Hall

    If services on the CC were fast and frequent so it would be quicker for me to use it, I would. As it is I know it will be slower than just walking, so why bother?

  31. gseeney says:

    Andrew,

    I have done the numbers independently and can see that there is a small decrease in capacity in the southbound direction in the AM peak towards UNSW on day 1. It is certainly nowhere near the number you are claiming and is easily inside the stated ultimate capacity of the line at 13500 per direction, which is achieved by running a service every 2 minutes. I know you have done a lot of work on this, but I think you have mixed up some of your data and made some mistakes to get your 17000 number, which I can not reproduce.

    You need to look at the specific routes to be eliminated/rerouted and then split them by branch and by direction before you make your comparison.

    For the purposes of this analysis I have taken the peak hour between 8am and 9am. For the ‘To City’ direction, I have taken the time to be at Central station or at Museum station. In the From City direction I have taken the time to be from UNSW or from Randwick.

    Routes to be changed – total of 15 general routes to be changed, plus the UNSW express routes and the school routes (20 total). Breakdown of timetabled routes:

    *** RANDWICK BRANCH ***

    Eliminated:
    373, 376

    Terminate for interchange:
    377

    Reroute:
    374 (to Edgecliff)

    (372 is also mentioned and included as part of the 15 routes, but it will simply keep existing route to Central and through-connect to inner west. I will exclude it from numbers)

    *** KINGSFORD BRANCH ***

    Eliminated:
    M10, M50, 395, 396

    Terminate for interchange:
    391, 392, 394, 399

    Reroute:
    L94 (to Edgecliff), 397 (to Sydney Uni via Green Square)

    You mention 393 – that is not listed as being eliminated in the EIS.

    *** SPECIAL (Served by either branch) ***

    Eliminated:
    890, 891, 610
    (892, 895 don’t run in AM peak)

    ————–

    NUMBERS

    Now, we can total the number of services on each branch in each direction, remembering that UNSW has a station on both branches and that Sydney High Schools are before the branches split. In these numbers I assume that 1 in 4 buses are articulated buses with 115 capacity, and the rest are 60 – as per your assumptions.

    Although these numbers will use your assumptions, the reality of this is not 100% accurate, as the 115 capacity articulated buses have 52 seats and licensed for 63 standing. I have caught these buses for a long time and I never see them fit 62 people standing. 40 is pretty packed due to the way that people mill around the front and don’t move all the way back – a problem of front door loading. This problem would be eliminated by the all door loading that the light rail will have – allowing people to stand throughout the available space.

    *** Randwick to City ***

    30 services eliminated in AM peak.

    2190 crush capacity (vs 3495 light rail capacity on branch)

    *** Kingsford to City ***

    43 services eliminated

    3139 crush capacity (vs 3495 light rail capacity on branch)

    *** Randwick from City ***

    10 services eliminated

    730 crush capacity (vs 3495 light rail capacity on branch)

    *** Kingsford from City ***

    22 services eliminated

    1606 crush capacity (vs 3495 light rail capacity on branch)

    (4654 capacity remaining on above 2 branches)

    *** UNSW and Sydney High Schools (serviced by either branch) ***

    93 services eliminated (based on your figure of 71 services to UNSW and 22 services to the high schools, which I am taking at face value)

    6789 crush capacity (vs 4654 capacity remaining on above 2 branches)

    Total to City – 5329 vs 6990
    Total from City – 8613 vs 6990

    There is a shortfall, but it is nowhere near as extreme as you try and make out. I used to work at Eastgardens and formerly caught the 391 bus from central during this time frame and it certainly was not crush load. I don’t, however, have any hard facts to refute the fact that the full capacity of every 115 person and 60 person bus operating in that direction during that time is needed, or that in fact 1 in 4 buses are articulated across all routes. I do know, however, that the initial capacity can ultimately be doubled to a tram running every 2 minutes. While the EIS has this beyond the 10 year time frame, it does canvas that trams will be increased up to 1 every 3.25 minutes after line opening based on demand – this takes capacity to 8603 passengers/hour in each direction, matching the crush capacity of the current southbound bus services based on your best case current capacity figures for buses.

  32. Alex says:

    @QPP – I agree regarding the City Circle trains are comparatively slow but they are still a bit faster on average than walking, especially if you are going more than one stop or to travel between Central and any other CC station.

    The operative phrase is “on average”. The biggest problem is not the actual travel times or even the number of trains (though both could be improved) but the inconsistent gaps between trains, particularly in off-peak periods. By my calculations the actual travel time between, say, Central and St James is only about four minutes but chuck in average waiting times and allowing time to access and exit the station and you are looking at a range from 10 to 20+ minutes depending on the time of day. The bus takes about 13 minutes (but much longer in the peak) and walking takes about 20 minutes depending on your exact start and end points.

    However providing intra-CBD transport was not the dominant rationale for the CC – it was more to distribute places for commuters on the suburban network to access the city and to loop trains going into the CBD back out again (though that part was not fully realised until the two ends of the loop were joined via Circular Quay in 1956).

    In Bradfield’s time the trams and walking provided the main form of travel within the CBD but over the years the rise of the car has made the bus alternative a lot more problematic in peak hour and walking a lot less pleasant at all hours. I assume that one of the aims of the CESLR is provide more reliable intra-CBD travel times and to improve the amenity of the inner city by removing both cars and buses from George Street.

  33. Simon says:

    gseeney, the problem with the CSELR is not the capacity for people on the route, but the reduction in capacity for people not on the route.

  34. JC says:

    @Alex – completely agree with the diagnosis but not with treatment.

    I don’t think the solution is to put off investment indefinitely to reach a point where the Greiners have their way and we get nothing – or the pollies decide that L tnnels are the solution but it ill be $X bn more. I know it’s a second best and expensive solution but I fear that the best way forward is to let them get on with and be thankful for secong best and/or fix it up later.

  35. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    Thank you for your analysis. There are just a couple of mistakes in your figures and assumptions.

    There is some smoke & mirrors with the bus routes. All the routes I listed cease operating to Central or CQ. Some of them go elsewhere instead but keep their route numbers.

    i am not sure if you say I listed 372 as eliminated, if you look at my post 2 previous – I did not list it as one of the routes impacted, perhaps you misread the 392?

    The capacity for the LR 67m trains is calculated at 5 people standing per sqm, the 62 standing on the articulated is calculated at 4 per sqm. Observing the articulated on the 891 route and M10 route in the am peak did have over 110 passengers regularly. Not every artic but 2 out of 3 of the 801s for example between 8.38am and 9.02am.

    The key point though is I am comparing the capacity on a like-for-like basis. TfNSW say the capacity of the train is X and each bus is Y – I use their figures. This works out at 124 seated and 342 standing per LR train and if you adjust the capacity per metre for the 95 passenger standard bus with 61 seated and 34 standing you get an equivalent (for the 67m length) of 293 seated and 163 standing – a far more comfortable journey.

    If all the non-articulated buses were replaced with articulated buses then the total capacity in one direction would have an hourly peak of over 27,000 passengers. That is without adding one more motor vehicle to the roads. The cost for purchasing the additional articulated buses is less than one years interest cost for the project capital cost of $2.2bn.

    [Quote]In these numbers I assume that 1 in 4 buses are articulated buses with 115 capacity, and the rest are 60 – as per your assumptions.[/QUOTE]

    The rest are 70 passengers per standard bus which is what STA quote as the ‘median standard bus passenger capacity’.

    {A} Checking your figures using (#services x 115 / 4) + (# services x 60 /4 x 3) rounded to zero decimal places gave:

    My number Greeney number Greeney # of services
    using Greeney # Services

    2,213 2,190 30
    3,171 3,139 43
    738 730 10
    1,623 1,606 22
    6,859 6,789 93
    Total both ______ ______ ______ CSELR
    Directions 14,604 13,952 13,980

    which has my figures 652 higher than your numbers, based on 60 passenger capacity for a standard bus not 70.

    Correcting for the use of 60 instead of 70 using the following formula:

    (#services x 115 / 4) + (# services x 70 /4 x 3) rounded to zero decimal places gave:

    My number Greeney number Greeney # of services
    using Greeney # Services
    2,438 2,190 30
    3,494 3,139 43
    813 730 10
    1,788 1,606 22
    7,556 6,789 93
    Total both ______ ______ ______ CSELR
    Directions 16,089 ## 13,952 198 13,980

    which has my figures 2,137 higher than your numbers, based on 70 passenger capacity for a standard bus.

    {B} It is not clear that you have included the elimination of the M10 and M50 buses in both directions. Or you may not have adjusted your capacity calculation to reflect that this is a 100% 115 passenger bus service.

    Did not include in capacity calculations – 6 services each way per hour for each route.

    Capacity = 6 x 2 x 115 = 1,380 passenger capacity to add in each direction, so 2 x 1,380 = 2,760

    Total both directions = 16,089 + 2,760
    = 18,849 ## B1

    You have included them but did not adjust for then being all 115 capacity

    Capacity difference each way = 1,380 – {(12 x 115 / 4) + (12 x 60 /4 x 3)}
    = 1,380 – 885
    = 495 additional capacity in each direction, so 2 x 495 = 990

    Total both directions = 16,089 + 990
    = 17,079 ## B2

    (C) Understatement in the number of services in each direction

    The total number of bus services in both directions you have used is just 198. Or approx 99 each way. This understates bus numbers in use per hour by around 50%.

    The EIS states that up to 220 bus services will be eliminated hourly between Central and Circular Quay (in one direction) in the am peak of which 180 are due to services eliminated from Randwick LGA. This is also mentioned on pg 13 of TfNSW Annual Report 2012/13. The other 40 buses are Parratmatta Rd services to be terminated at Central instead of continuing on through the city. Those passengers are to join the CSELR trains.

    Note: This refers to buses in the CBD not buses eliminated to Central and this distinction can be seen in the Dec 2013 CBD Bus Strategy. It does not include buses terminating at Central (891 and 610 in particular).

    One source of under-counting can be due to using the PDF timetables vs the ‘live’ timetable link. The PDF timetables say you can catch a bus at this time, that time etc. They do not mention that there are 4 buses leaving at that time and 3 buses at this time etc. In the morning peaks there are multiple bus departures when UNSW and the schools are not on holiday.

    This is the link to the ‘live’ bus schedules:
    http://www.transportnsw.info/en/maps-and-timetables/index.page?#bus-status-updates-item-tab

    Scroll down half a page or so, click on the Blue Bus Tab, click on the ‘include school buses’ box, then put in 610 and select the “Sydney High Schools to Central Station”.

    You will then see that there are 8 buses that leave at 15.23 for example. A PDF timetable just shows 15.23 and 15.24 without the number of buses at that time. This potential underestimation is the same for the 89s UNSW expresses and a number of the all-stop services to and from the South East.

    A simple calculation of the 180 buses per hour to the City in the am peak @ 70 passengers per standard bus:

    = 180 x 70
    = 12,600

    At 1 in 4 articulated:

    = 135 x 70 + 45 x 115
    = 9,450 + 5,175
    = 14,625 using the flawed TfNSW bus numbers for services in use in Dec 2012 (date figures first appeared).

    That compares with the Oct 23 announced increased capacity from day 1 of 6,990.

    So using TfNSW’s bus numbers or my figures – the twenty bus routes to be eliminated from CQ/Central to Kingsford/Randwick provide around double to 2.5 times the passenger capacity the the latest 67m trains will.

    And the buses are future proof – capacity can be increased to above 27,000 per hour each way without one additional bus being added.

  36. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    OK, so I have a lot to learn about posting tables.

    Here goes – I’ll try showing the tables another way…

    @Greeney – “In these numbers I assume that 1 in 4 buses are articulated buses with 115 capacity, and the rest are 60 – as per your assumptions.”

    The rest are 70 passengers per standard bus which is what STA quote as the ‘median standard bus passenger capacity’.

    {A} Checking your figures using (#services x 115 / 4) + (# services x 60 /4 x 3) rounded to zero decimal places gave:

    ……………….My number…………..Greeney number…Greeney # of services
    ……….using Greeney # Services

    ……………………2,213…………………..2,190………………………30
    ……………………3,171…………………..3,139………………………43
    ………………………738………………….. 730………………………10
    ……………………1,623…………………..1,606………………………22
    ……………………6,859…………………..6,789………………………93
    Total both…… ______………………..______…………………..______ …..CSELR
    Directions…….14,604…………………13,952…………………..13,980

    which has my figures 652 higher than your numbers, based on 60 passenger capacity for a standard bus not 70.

    Correcting for the use of 60 instead of 70 using the following formula:

    (#services x 115 / 4) + (# services x 70 /4 x 3) rounded to zero decimal places gave:

    ……………….My number…………..Greeney number…Greeney # of services
    ……….using Greeney # Services
    ……………………2,438…………………..2,190………………………30
    ……………………3,494…………………..3,139………………………43
    ………………………813……………………..730………………………10
    ……………………1,788…………………..1,606………………………22
    ……………………7,556…………………..6,789………………………93
    Total both…….______………………..______…………………..______ …..CSELR
    Directions……16,089.##……………..13,952……………………198…………13,980

    …which has my figures 2,137 higher than your numbers, based on 70 passenger capacity for a standard bus.

  37. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Alex

    The max speed for the LR trains for the length of the pedestrian mall in George St (& around Central in places) will be 10kmh. That is the maximum speed though.

    If you calculate total journey time divided by distance then you get the slowest CBD light rail system in the world. The distances between the stops will see the majority of the time the LR accelerating and decelerating rather than running at 10kmh.

    The journey time (with all traffic lights green before the train arrives) is shown as 15 minutes for a little over 2.4km. That provides an average speed of 6 kmh. So despite spending all the money it is still better to go for a walk than catch the LR.

    A point a much wiser long time resident made this week was why should we spend so much putting LR along George St when we already have heavy rail running along side it and with more options such as Museum, St James and Martin Place as well?

    Surely we should spend some money improving the signalling and get the trains per hour up to Transport for London’s 32-36 per line due to start operating in 2019?

    When the CSELR project director was asked that question on Wednesday night his response was;
    “Well people don’t like changing the mode of travel, that’s why.”

    Incredible.

    With the CSELR that’s what is happening – people catch a bus to the interchange and then the LR from there (or vice-versa). Trouble is instead of a train every 100-113 seconds (London target) the LR will have a train every 480 seconds at Kingsford or Randwick in peak hours and every 960 seconds or 12 minutes in off-peak.

  38. JC says:

    @AR “If all the non-articulated buses were replaced with articulated buses then the total capacity in one direction would have an hourly peak of over 27,000 passengers. That is without adding one more motor vehicle to the roads”. !!!

    The quality of your analyis becomes clear of you think that you can replace standard busus with artic buses without any traffic impact.

    On city cicle for intra-cbd trips. IMHO the issue is convenience and access – it is a long walk from the street to the train at Wynyard and St James – and not much metter at the other stops. I don’t think improving speed and frequency would help much. Likewise people don’t uses buses for intra-cbd trips becasue of the frustration of standing still in traffic (even of the LRT is slow, the passenger feels as though thety are making progress)…

    And generally on capacity… the various posts about lost capacity assume that the current notional capacity actually delivers – it doesn’t. The cbd at peak hours has too many buses, there is unacceptable gridlock and delays; the system is broken.

  39. gseeney says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I did indeed include the M10 and M50 in each direction, and made the assumption (legitimately I believe) that the fact that all of these buses are articulated is compensated by the fact that there are many routes that run with no articulated buses (391, 392 just as a couple of examples but many of those routes eliminated run with 2 – 4 non articulated buses per hour). The fleet is predominately standard sized STA buses, which take about 45 seating and 15 standing. I am already using assumptions very generous to the existing capacity, assuming a larger number than this is just blatantly trying to inflate figures.

    The 372 issue – you didn’t list in specifically, but you stated there were 20 routes changing, which is the 5 special routes and the 15 general routes listed in the EIS. 372 is one of the 15 listed in the EIS as changing, but is in reality just being extended so it is really 14 routes that are changing. I am well aware of the fact that some routes are being combined and changed – I have taken that all into account when determining the number of services to disappear from the SE into and out of the CBD.

    I acknowledge the calculation differences – I used an average bus size of 73 for simplicity, using the real number of 73.75 gets your numbers.

    All of my bus totals are from the live bus schedule page you linked, with the exception of the UNSW route from which I took your 71 services at face value due to the fact that it is UNSW holidays at the moment so they are running a much reduced holiday timetable – therefore I couldn’t verify them myself.

    You mention changing to all articulated buses as a possibility. Do you use a bus on George or Elizabeth St in to the CBD on a daily basis? It is jammed up enough as it is with mostly regular buses, without increasing their size by 50% each.

    I now suspect you are getting your figures from the 220 bus CBD reduction – 220 x average bus capacity = around 17000. That figure, however, is the sum of all bus network changes and includes reductions from the inner west and other bus network simplifications. 180 of these services (from ALL corridors into the CBD) are considered to be due to light rail – including Victoria Rd services no longer using George St (interchange to Light rail on Park St), William St services no longer using Elizabeth St (interchange to Light rail on Park St), Inner West buses (50% interchanging at Central) and bus diversions from the Harbour Bridge to the Cahill Expressway (Sydney Light Rail Future, p18). A number of the bus movements into the CBD that are being prevented are likely to be empty buses heading to Central to pick up passengers at Central to head to UNSW.

    “Light rail would take 180 buses out of the CBD while additional bus network changes would bring this to a total of about 220 fewer buses entering the city centre in the morning peak hour.” (Sydney Light Rail Future, p16)

    Central station is a significant trip generator on the route, and beyond Central station the number of passengers on the trams starts to fall. As people from the south east get off at Central people from the inner west get on and take their place. As people get off at Town Hall, people from Victoria Rd and William St get on and take their place.

    Of course there is a lower capacity within the CBD than the buses that are to be displaced – the entire point of the CBD part of the project is to get rid of bus services blocking up George St and Elizabeth St that are a quarter empty after dropping of passengers at Central, half empty after dropping passengers near town hall, and completely empty by the time they get to Circular Quay. It takes buses 30 minutes to travel the length of the CBD from Central to Circular Quay in the morning, and a large part of this trip the buses are carrying not much more than air.

    The CBD component and SE component of the project should be considered to have 2 different but complimentary roles. The CBD component is a distributor within the CBD, and the South East component is a trunk transport route. The CBD component reduces capacity by design, and the SE component has more than enough capacity to meet this role.

    I have gone into this all with an open mind as I am by no means a big supporter of this project. I would describe myself as neutral – I think it could probably be a Metro for the cost that they are paying – but I can’t find any evidence of TfNSW being deceptive. Secretive? Yes definitely. A lot of the details have to be looked for between the lines. This is a shame, but I get why they do it. People love to exaggerate the negative aspects of these projects and blow them up in the community, and before things start operating it can be hard to counter these campaigns with facts. It is a natural reaction to maintain a level of secrecy. That still doesn’t make it right. The Sydney City Center Bus Plan being an example that is referred to constantly in other documents yet is not available to the public, other than the extended brochure that is Sydney’s Bus Future. I think that document alone probably has a lot of the answers to the questions being raised.

  40. Alexsg says:

    I’ll respond to some of the specific responses to my comments later, but in the meantime I came across this interesting report prepared in relation to the extension of the LUAS light rail network in Dublin on wire-free power alternatives, including the Alstom APS system proposed for Sydney:

    http://www.pleanala.ie/news/NA0004/NA0004SystraReport.pdf

    Among the relevant comments;

    “Mechanical aspects

    “…the first version of APS installed in Bordeaux in 2003 suffered damage at road intersections. It is worth mentioning that in this previous design, the APS rail was directly embedded in asphalt.

    “Following this experience, Alstom revised its design to embed the APS rail in a concrete plinth to increase its resistance to road traffic. This improvement ended up being satisfactory in Bordeaux.

    “The latest design of APS (APS 2) now includes a reinforced power rail, still embedded in a concrete plinth. Alstom claims that it can withstand 13.5 ton axle loads.” (P19)

    “Flooding

    “The APS power rail, like any power rail, cannot operate when it is covered by water, because such a situation would lead to current leak when the rail is powered up, and thus tripping of the circuit breaker protecting the traction power circuit.

    “Flooding of the track bed is an exceptional situation which should be prevented by an appropriate drainage arrangement embedded in the track.” (P20)

    “Energy efficiency

    “For safety reasons, regenerative breaking is not possible when running with the APS system, thus energy efficiency is degraded by 15% to 20%.

    “The cost associated with this increase in the power consumption is difficult to estimate accurately at this stage. In order to carry out this estimate, many assumptions must be made; each of them introduces potential uncertainty in the result.” (P22)

  41. Alexsg says:

    Further to my last comment, the Irush report goes on to state:

    “Alstom APS

    “The APS system is made of on-board equipment and track side equipment. To this date, on-board equipment has always been delivered on new trams.

    “The cost of this on-board equipment delivered on a new tram is estimated to be around 300,000 €, in addition to the basic cost of the tram.

    “… The cost of the APS track side equipment is estimated to be 1,850,000 €/km.” (p33-34)

    Assuming 25 trams, about a km of wire-free track and allowing for inflation since the Dublin report was produced in 2012, the total additional capital cost of the wire-free option would be about $15,000,000. This doesn’t include any saving from overhead wiring not installed in this section, but presumably it also does not include any additional cost in providing extra drainage to protect the APS conduit from the impact of heavy rain.

    While this isn’t exactly cheap, the APS system obviously won’t make a huge contribution to the 37% cost increase in the CESLR. However, reading between the lines of the Dublin report there are still some questions over the reliability of the system in torrential rain.

  42. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Greeney
    “The fleet is predominately standard sized STA buses, which take about 45 seating and 15 standing”

    The subset of the STA fleet used on the routes is not predominantly a bus of 60 passenger capacity. That is the 2nd smallest capacity used on the routes – the largest ‘standard’ bus used carries 95 passengers and there are over a dozen i use in our area (I provided you with the source details to verify that).

    The “median” standard bus capacity (so does not count articulated buses) for the entire STA fleet is 70 passengers not 60 – I have quoted two sources for you to verify that with. Using 60 is incorrect.

    The median ‘standard’ bus used in the South East (and on these routes in particular) is higher but I used the median figure for the entire STA fleet to be conservative.

    “I am already using assumptions very generous to the existing capacity, assuming a larger number than this is just blatantly trying to inflate figures.”

    Unfortunately your claim is not backed up by the STA facts – you are significantly understating passenger capacity vs current actual in use in the area today.

  43. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Greeney

    “I acknowledge the calculation differences – I used an average bus size of 73 for simplicity, using the real number of 73.75 gets your numbers.”

    That is not what you previously said was how you arrived at your figures.

    I do not see how increasing your number from 73 to 73.75 ‘gets my numbers’.

    The difference between your figures and my attempted verification of your numbers had a difference of 652.

    The total number of bus services used in your calculations was 198.

    198 x 0.75 = 149 NOT 652. Your numbers are not adding up.

    The ‘standard’ bus capacities in use in the South East are:
    59, 60, 62, 65, 68, 69, 70, 72, 81, 95.

    You have chosen to use virtually the smallest capacity bus in used for calculating 3/4 of the capacity figure.

    The average for 1 in 4 being articulated (115 passengers) and 3 in 4 being median standard buses (70 passengers):
    = {115 + (3 x 70)}/4
    = {115 + 210}/4
    = 325 / 4
    = 81 passengers

    In reality based on capacity audit – the number in the peak is significantly higher.

    For example:

    The Sydney Grammar schools have over 2,000 students who catch the 610 to/from Central. This figure has been mentioned a number of times, including the most recent that I have witnessed at the TfNSW meeting held at their offices on Dec 3 (of which I was part). The TfNSW project accepted the figures quoted by the delegate from the schools.

    In the morning they fit into 22 buses over 42 minutes, implying an avg loading per bus of 91 people.
    In the afternoon they fit into 21 buses over 9 minutes, implying an avg loading per bus of 95 people.

    Based on the 466 per train, it would require 5 trains to move solely these numbers. On start-up there are to be just 15 services in total per hour.

    That does not take into account the requirements for the other 19 routes that are eliminated between Circular Quay/Central and Kingsford/Randwick.

  44. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Greeney
    .
    “The 372 issue – you didn’t list in specifically, but you stated there were 20 routes changing, which is the 5 special routes and the 15 general routes listed in the EIS. 372 is one of the 15 listed in the EIS as changing, but is in reality just being extended so it is really 14 routes that are changing. I am well aware of the fact that some routes are being combined and changed – I have taken that all into account when determining the number of services to disappear from the SE into and out of the CBD.”

    I listed the twenty different routes that are to be eliminated between CQ/Central and Kingsford/Randwick – nothing more, nothing less.

    You seem to be confusing the TfNSW claim about the number of buses eliminated from between Central and the CBD per hour in the morning peak.

    I am LOOKING at ALL buses not just those that go into the CBD.

    Here is the list for you once more:

    These are the bus routes to be ELIMINATED BETWEEN Circular Quay/Central and Kingsford/Randwick (& beyond) are:

    Express services – 610, 890, 891, 892, 895
    Limited Stop – L94
    Cross-Regional – M10 & M50
    All-stop – 373, 374, 376, 377, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397 & 399.

    They add up to twenty routes and DOES NOT include the 372. The routes M10 & M50 continue to exist just no longer come to the South East (for example).

    Earlier you mentioned the 393 is not impacted – THAT IS WRONG.

    It also ceases to operate to the city.

    This can be found in the CSELR EIS Volume 2 pgs 129-131.

    In the EIS it also stated that the reason the 39s drop all CQ/Central bound passengers at the Kingsford Interchange BUT DO NOT TURN AROUND THERE is due to the lack of capacity with the trains. The buses continue as express services to UNSW where they drop all UNSW bound passengers and then drive along Anzac Parade to do a right turn into Todman Ave, go to a new roundabout outside Kensington Public School and turnaround to then reenter Anzac Parade heading south back to the Kingsford Interchange to resume their ‘shuttle bus’ operation.

    This may be where you are getting confused about ‘terminating services’.

  45. gseeney says:

    Andrew – I think we will have to agree to disagree on the individual bus capacity. I stand by my assumptions based on what is published by STA and what I observe day to day. I know that there are larger rigid buses (the 14.5m long buses) but there is also much less than 25% of the fleet that is articulated.

    Regarding the calculation number, I used 75% 60 capacity and 25% 115 capacity. To simplify calculation, I averaged this out to 73.75 and applied it to 100% of buses. I made the mistake of rounding down to 73 for ease of calculation and that is how we got the different numbers. Example:

    For 30 services eliminated Randwick to City, my initial calculation was 30 services x the average capacity of 73, which equals 2190. If I had used 73.75 (as I should have) it would have in fact come to 2212.5, which I presume is what you rounded your number of 2213 from.

    Regarding 393 – I apologise, you are correct. It is actually missing from the map on the previous page to the table, so I had not included it. This is also how I mistakenly thought you included 372 as I thought you were 1 short of your number of 15.

    So taking all of your assumptions for a minute, and calculating them out, as well as adding the 14 city-bound 393 services and the 4 outbound services, we get 216 total services (in both directions) – multiplying it by your average capacity of 81 (for arguments sake) and we get the magic number of 17k you have been claiming – this of course being the bus capacity reduction in both directions based on your your per-bus capacity assumption, which I still disagree with (remembering that the average passenger load on the routes to be removed is 55 people).

    Compare that to the design capacity of the light rail line at 13500 passengers an hour in each direction (or 27000 in both directions) and you must admit light rail as designed greatly exceeds the existing bus capacity in place in the South East, even under your assumptions.

    If you really want to make a difference – argue for an increased initial service frequency. I definitely agree that there should be more than a tram every 8 minutes per branch – not from a capacity standpoint but from a customer experience standpoint. As it stands the capacity will be there from the start that is roughly in line with existing capacity before being able to be doubled over time to the ultimate capacity of 13500 per hour per direction.

    P.s. Please pay more attention to my name when quoting it in the future – constantly getting it wrong shows a lack of attention to detail.

  46. gseeney says:

    As I have said all along, I am pretty neutral on this project compared to a metro or ESL extension, but on balance think that it is certainly better than the status quo and should probably go ahead. I think any shortcomings with initial design and operation can be overcome with time, and realistically if it was cancelled it would set a solution back 4 or 5 years, with the CBD choking under its bus load in the mean time. As others above asked said, what is the credible path to an alternative project from this point?

    My entire point in engaging you on here has been to get to the bottom of where your often quoted 17,000 figure comes from with regard to existing bus capacity to be removed. I think we have achieved that now.

    If you really just have capacity concerns with the project, I suggest you push for an increased initial frequency. At the very least arguments for or against should be fact based.

  47. Alexsg says:

    I think I have to agree with gseeney and JC’s views that it is better to proceed with the CESLR at this stage, albeit with some misgivings.

    Had we known a few years ago that the cost was likely to bow out to $2.2 billion then there would have been time for a reappraisal of other options such as either a full metro or a pre-metro, though to be fair a significant proportion of this cost is likely to be associated with the creation of the Georgre Street mall and is therefore not directly related to the cost of the tram infrastructure.

    As it stands with contracts already signed and work about to commence, I agree that any attempt to overturn the project now would result in a delay of at least four or five years, which would likely see the funds diverted into the potential black hole of the so-called “fully-funded” WestConnex and nothing built at all.

    So while what the CESLR may be a flawed project I think it should proceed. Building it is certainly better than doing nothing, which indeed is a comment you could have made about most of Sydney’s largely-unbuilt public transport strategies over the past 50 years or so. It seems we are very good at devising public transport systems for this city but crap at implementing them.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold the government to account though and suggest last-minute improvements. In this regard, a few observations:

    Capacity. To be frank I’ve lost track of the debate on this thread about this but from what I’ve read I suspect that while it won’t be as pretty or smooth as the government suggests there will be enough potential capacity in the system to meet most of the current bus demand. However I also think that frequency will have to be increased a lot earlier than the current 10-year estimate and there also won’t be a whole heap of spare capacity to support substantial additional population growth (though this limit may well be seen as a good thing by SE residents).

    George Street mall. While a 67-metre tram in each direction every 90 seconds to two minutes may not be ideal, the removal of cars, buses and other traffic will still make George Street a much more inviting and pedestrian-friendly space. The presence of the trams will provide easily-accessible surface-level transport within the CBD and help maintain the mall’s permanency. And no, not everyone wants to walk even if the tram is not much faster than walking.

    The presence of the trams does present a few challenges however. Ultimately it may be best to think of the mall as two malls, either side of the tramlines, with the tracks delineated from the pedestrian areas by the use of low-key barriers such as curbs, planter boxes, low walls, road markings and paint to limit places where pedestrians cross. Even this outcome would be a lot more pleasant than the current situation.

    Wire-free option. While the total cost which I estimated in my earlier comments is significant it isn’t huge, but the main issue is the reliability of the APS system particularly in heavy rain. There should be a lot more tests of the system and also of associated drainage options before the infrastructure is installed.

    Expansion options. I think the government will be forced to consider these a lot earlier than it anticipated. These could include additional light rail corridors into the city, options for a pre-metro tunnel (possibly for example a link via Oxford Street to the disused rail tunnel between Museum and St. James), extending the ESR to Randwick or Kingsford (I don’t think this option is a potential substitute for the CESLR, but the two could complement each other) and, ultimately, building a complementary metro line.

  48. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney

    Sorry about that I kept misreading your name.

  49. Simon says:

    Interesting that so few posters are enthusiastic about this project. I actually think people are optimistic about the manageability of the impacts of removing buses from George St, and that is the most difficult aspect of the entire plan. One thing that many people don’t seem too worried about is adding a phase to the traffic lights at Anzac Pde/Alison Rd/Dacey Ave. I’d hate to see the traffic impacts from that.

  50. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney

    Capacity – you are still way out on the number of services each way per hour in the peak.

    If you look at the STA Annual Reports, TfNSW 2012/13 Annual Report, or STA submissions to IPART all what I have said is verified in those reports both about median standard bus capacity as well as the number of services eliminated from CQ/Central to Kingsford/Randwick.

    So how about just examine 4 routes from CQ/Central in the morning peak.

    Audit on Aug 14, 2014

    Route…Number…Period….Current PPH……..Potential Max PPH
    ………..(60 minutes)…………………….If all Articulated buses @115 passengers
    ….610……..22………42……….2,200….(1).(2)…….3,614….(1)
    ….891……..71………60……….4,970…(.2)………….8,165
    ….M10……..6……….60………….690….(3)…………….690….(3)
    ….M50……..6……….60………….690….(3)…………….690….(3)
    …………………………….Totals..8,550……………… 13,159

    (1) To convert 22 buses in 42 minutes to an hourly capacity: 22/42*60
    (2) Assuming only STA median bus licensed capacity of 70 passengers, source STA Annual Report
    (3) M10s and M50s using 100% Articulated buses with licensed capacity of 115 passengers

    Then there are the other 16 routes to add on – another peak capacity of 8,610 calculated solely as standard buses (using the capacity figures provided by tfNSW in the EIS – not my figures). Many of the routes such as 373, 394, L94 use articulated buses but for ease of calculation as TfNSW refuses FOIs for the figures I just used the 70 capacity for the median standard bus from the STA Annual Report, IPART etc. Not an arbitrary figure.

    The Sydney Grammar Schools representative has stated that in reality there are over 2,000 students using the 610 service in the 42 minutes. That translates to an hourly capacity of 2,850 – however I will stay with the figures I used back from earlier in the year.

    Just these 4 routes provide capacity today, in 2014, that is 24% above the capacity the CSELR will have in 5 to six years from now.

    There is no allowance for UNSW’s business plan to increase student numbers from 50,000 to 90,000 over the next 15 years.

    The capacity shown in my table for the 891 understates the reality as 1 in 4 buses through the day are articulated and in the peak times it gets to 1 in 2. Even so, with these very conservative numbers, the CSELR cannot cover their demand.

    The current bus capacity for the 891s, on the above numbers, can be increased 64%.

    Due to the 50+ traffic intersections to be traversed by the LR it is unlikely that a future frequency (scheduled for post-2028 at the earliest) can ever be achieved due to it requiring the traffic lights to fully cycle every 90 seconds on average, and after allowing for the LRVs to clear the intersection leaves just 75 seconds for other vehicle movements compared with the current situation with traffic phase cycles as high as 140 seconds.

    That is why they’ve moved to double coupled vehicles and 66m+ lengths but decreased frequency from the original claims of ultimately every two minutes to now every three minutes.

  51. QPP says:

    >>The Sydney Grammar Schools representative has stated that in reality there are over 2,000 students using the 610 service in the 42 minutes. That translates to an hourly capacity of 2,850 – however I will stay with the figures I used back from earlier in the year.<<

    I don't understand this, on two levels:

    Firstly the 610 is a Hills Bus, no? Comes in to the city from the NW

    Secondly I don't understand who the representative is of "Sydney Grammar Schools" – an association?? Or the single school known as Sydney Grammar School?

  52. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @QPP

    I mixed up the names sorry for the mistake – I should have said Sydney High Schools (Sydney Boys High and Sydney Girls High)

    Go to this link, scroll down to the blue tab saying buses, click on it, click ‘on include school buses’, enter 610 then choose Central to Sydney High Schools

    http://www.transportnsw.info/en/maps-and-timetables/index.page?#bus-status-updates-item-tab

    The 610 service does come in as you suggest but there is also a service given the route number 610 (as school bus routes are with a ‘6’ in front of them have a look at the ‘673’ for example.

    The TfNSW has established an invitation only group to consult directly with the CSELR team at meetings held in their Pitt St offices. There is one representative who was chosen to represent the interests and concerns of both schools.

    I am one of the representatives for the Kensington, Kingsford & Randwick region.

  53. Simon says:

    Andrew Roydhouse, would you agree that the bit from Central (Chalmers St) to Randwick adds value? Why not focus on the negative impact of the other bits and get that bit constructed?

  54. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @ Simon – The bit from Chalmers St does not add value as far as I can see.

    It takes out 6 bus stops and replaces them with just 1 LR stop between Central to Moore Park, moving that single stop south from Cleveland St to Devonshire St then makes the blocks south of Cleveland St public transport poor.

    Then the gap from Moore Park to Randwick Racecourse is 1.7km between stops vs the 5 current bus stops servicing the (1) High Schools (2) Fox studios/EQ/Netball Courts/Tennis Courts/Centennial Park/Golf Course (3) The Robertson Rd housing triangle and ES Marks Stadium and West Kensington (4) End of bus way opp Doncaster) servicing the properties starting from Alison/Doncaster/Anzac Pde (5) On Alison opp Racecourse also servicing Randwick TAFE and the housing from Alison/Darley.

    Then there are 3 bus stops servicing the densely populated triangle north of Alison Rd through to Cook Rd – these disappear and the nearest stop is approx 1km walking – at the bottom of Wansey & Alison.

    High St becomes a 24 hr clearway so there is no ability to drop someone at the hospitals, the bus stops outside the hospital also go and the LR stop is 250m uphill and across Avoca St. Medical specialists have spoken out publicly stating the heart, kidney, lung patients are unable to make it up the High St hill.

    Trying to satisfy the 5 UNSW express routes, Sydney High School express route and all-stop routes eliminate has generated a compromise solution that does not really work for any and has many draw backs.

  55. ianh2014 says:

    “Opal Card readers have been installed and activated across all of NSW.” Meanwhile in other news, NSW state borders were dramatically redrawn, reducing the state to approximately 90% of its former area.

  56. Simon says:

    AR, Did anyone say that there would be no buses at any of those stops? Just the opposite actually.

    Who needs buses along Cleveland St, which is a traffic nightmare. Between the M20 along Philip St 309/310/343 along Chalmers St, 301/302/303 along Baptist St and the LR stop the area is adequately served with both Central and Circular Quay bound bus routes.

    I suppose there could be issues along High St but why do you think these can’t be managed? Doesn’t the hospital have an off street drop off area opposite Clara St.

    Hard to take you seriously when you are so unreasonably negative.

  57. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Simon – There is a large number of residents from Surry hills who use the buses along Cleveland St both for work purposes as well as for after work purposes.

    Imagine the area you live in and have a distance of 3.4km have over 95% of bus capacity removed with the alternative being more than 1km further away than the current distance to the public transport stop.

    There is a shopping centre that currently has a bus stop in situ for example.

    You are right, Cleveland St is a traffic nightmare but 94% of that nightmare is motor vehicles, other than buses, in peak hours.

    The High St ‘issue’ sees the LR stop approx 250m uphill. The hill is too steep for heart, lung and kidney patients to manage as stated by a number of eminent specialists. What many do not know is that there are nearly 100 specialists located on the other side of High St from the hospital as well.

    With High St turned into a 24hr clearway – a taxi or car dropping off a patient is hit with a $750 fine.

    There is no drop off for the Childrens Hospital nor Childrens Emergency either. The few buses that will remain will see their drop-off/pick-up moved from High St to as yet undecided location. That will be decided though once construction work starts – I hope!

    The two additional sets of traffic lights and median strip at the end of Eurimbla will impede emergency vehicle access as has been publicised in submissions.

    I am negative because the proposal does not improve on the current twenty bus services to be eliminated between CQ/Central and Kingsford/Randwick.

  58. Simon says:

    I can’t find where there will be 1km between stops. It’s close for Central bound between Philip St and Devonshire St but even so, it’s not like you’ll need to walk 1km. You might have to walk 500m or so though. Seems perfectly fine to me.

  59. JC says:

    This is all getting really tedious. The fact that we can replace eleventy-umpteen bus routes with 1.5 trams and still not be sure about there are capacity losses/gains shows the superiority of LRT over the current bus chaos.

    If people think punters would prefer to sit for 1/2 hour in a bus in a traffic jam to getting somewhere on a comfortable tram on a reserved route, they have no knowledge of human/consumer behaviour.

    Generally accepted numbers (sorry no source at the moment – but happy to be confirmed/refuted by anyoine wioth access to better data) are that punters will happily walk up to 500 metres to a bus stop – but up to 1 km to rail-based transport.

    I don’t really like getting personal on this site – but the more I read AR’s comments, the less I think he is actually a public transport user.

  60. Alex says:

    While AR has raised some important points, contracts have already been signed and work about to commence. As with the NWRL, any attempt to overturn these now would involve the state in litigation over contract cancellations, a loss of funding for public transport and the prospect of decades before any alternative proposal is implemented.

    I agree that the CE could have been better and that it is trying to address perhaps too many goals, but even with its flaws it is better than not doing anything. And even if full capacity is reached earlier than anticipated, the line provides a basis for expansion and development, for example for through the provision of additional light rail corridors into the city.

    As others have pointed out, it would be more constructive now to concentrate on changes that could make this work project better. If we really want the state to cancel transport infrastructure projects after contracts have signed and then engage in protracted legal battles over the outcomes, then the WestConnex motorway is probably a much better place to start.

  61. Alex says:

    Apologies – the second para in my comment above should start “I agree that the CESLR could have been better …”

  62. gseeney says:

    There is also something very simple that could be campaigned for – decreasing the peak headway from 4 minutes back to 3 minutes – therefore reducing the interchange penalty and increasing the capacity per hour, per direction to 9,320. That would certainly not be a bad outcome.

  63. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Simon – I already posted the details and comparison 4 posts above your question detailing exactly how many bus stops there in between the 1.7km gap from Moore Park stop to Randwick Racecourse

    Here is some more detail …

    Gaps between LR stops:
    Randwick Racecourse to Moore Park (opposite Sydney Boys High School) = 1.7km
    Moore Park to Surrey Hills (Devonshire St stop) = 1.2km
    Surrey Hills to Chalmers St = 800m

    Distance from bus stops on Cleveland St to the Surry Hills stop (or Moore Park Stop whichever is closer) by footpaths/across park land anywhere from 400m to 800m additional.

  64. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Alex – the contracts have not been signed for the major project only $70m of ‘enabling works’. No compensation payable yet.

    Major construction is not due to start until post June 15 and likely not before August 10th BTW.

    If State Govt does a losing-Vic-Govt trick and throws in a $1bn compensation clause and rushes to sign the contract then that would cost taxpayers.

    Perhaps why not ask the qn: Why won’t the State Govt publish any of the underlying modelling, cost/benefit or financial analysis?

    State Govt’s 2012 report states clearly no ability to expand the route due to shared running on the roads and adverse impact on traffic intersections.

    Did you see this article?

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/victorian-example-sparks-fresh-calls-to-release-westconnex-business-case-20141216-128261.html

    “The documents reveal multiple issues with the motorway that had not been disclosed by the previous state Coalition government in Victoria, including doubts about its financing and analysis showing it would cause traffic delays on other routes through Melbourne.”

    “The NSW government has released only a summary of the WestConnex business case.”

    Just as with the CSELR only a glossy brochure with one page of large pictures claiming $4bn of benefits. Such as $707mn operational savings from eliminating bus routes. or over $200m making people healthier by having them walk further to the LR stops vs the bus stop.

    No substantiation of one figure is provided anywhere. No substantiation of journey time which dropped from 78 minute round trip (with zero time to turn around) in October 2013 to 64 minutes used in the Nov 2013 EIS. Just some incriminating emails.

  65. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney

    3 minute headways are doubtful due to numerous traffic intersections on the route currently have 140 second phases or 130 second phase.

    Operating 3 minute headway = 20 trains each direction per hour.
    So 40 trains pass every point between CQ and Alison Rd/Anzac Parade each hour.

    Means every traffic intersection has a train go through it on average every 90 seconds. For major intersections RMS calculated in speed limited zones it would take 30 seconds for 45m LRV. At 66m it will be longer say 41 seconds. That then leaves just 49 seconds for all other traffic phase combinations that currently can last up to 140 seconds.

    Some of the major intersections have conflicting pedestrian crossing times that are 44 seconds long. The LRVs even with absolute PTIPs priority cannot cut that time. RMS have stated that intersections like Grosvenor/Bridge & George will not provide PTIPS absolute priority to the LRVs.

    So both headways and journey times will blow-out.

    This is what is behind the move to the 66m LRVs.

    Remember the initial capacity was to be every 2 minutes with 30 LRVs an hour.

    Did you question that as accurate?

    The constant refusal by TfNSW to substantiate a single claim – is that OK with you?

  66. Ray says:

    @Andrew Roydhouse –
    ‘The constant refusal by TfNSW to substantiate a single claim’
    As it has been with almost every infrastructure project undertaken by this Government, including the North West Rapid Transit, WestConnex, Newcastle rail line truncation etc. It’s the most secretive Government I’ve ever experienced. Hopefully, the revelations over the lack of transparency and disclosure with the former Victorian Government’s East-West Motorway proposal will be a wake up call.

  67. gseeney says:

    Sorry Andrew but this line is designed for 2 minute headways, and you are just throwing up more excuses by denying that.

    I am sure you are right that Grosvenor/Bridge & George will not provide priority – which means the tram will sit there and wait for it’s cycle and a tram will get through in both directions on a single cycle. That will only require that the cycles are 120 seconds in length, including the tram phase, so on your number 30 seconds for the tram phase, and 90 seconds for the other phases (with much less traffic on George St allowing plenty of time for the Bridge/Grosvenor cross traffic).

    The intersections south of that are much simpler as far as Bathurst – it will simply be tram vs cross street – some level of priority could be provided here if desired.

    At the south end of George St, the trams can share a phase with the straight through car traffic, until the intersections of George/Rawson, Pitt/Eddy/Rawson, which will probably operate similar to George/Grosvenor in that it wouldn’t have priority and would just have a tram from each direction wait for it’s cycle.

    From there, the intersections until Alison Rd are not complicated – Devonshire St is simple cross streets for it’s length with simple – hopefully short cycle – phasing, Southern Cross Drive will be a simple cross street, Lang Rd is a little more complicated but it can share green time with Anzac Parade through traffic and bus road through traffic (the same as is in place now). From there, the route splits at Robertson Rd, where a double cycle will allow any Kingsford bound trams to move to the centre of Anzac Parade quickly without holding up any following Randwick trams.

    From that point on, a headway of 4 minutes is all that is required on each branch. On the Kingsford Branch the tram will even be in the centre of the road before the Alison Rd intersection – meaning all the way to Kingsford it can just share the through traffic green phases – no issue at all.

    It is a bit rich to suggest that we can run hundreds of buses an hour through these same intersections, and yet can’t run 30 trams an hour? They are just big trams on steal tracks.

  68. gseeney says:

    I have just been looking through the media release about the contract having been signed (http://www.sydneylightrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/latest/media-releases/2013-(1)/transforming-sydney-cbd-and-south-east-light-rail) and notice that they are purchasing 30 light rail vehicles.

    If a round trip takes 80 minutes including recovery time (should be able to achieve this) they will need 20 vehicles to run a 4 minute headway. Presumably this means that there should be no problem increasing frequency without purchasing additional vehicles and they have plenty of scope for flexibility during special events.

    This is great news.

  69. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney

    “Sorry Andrew but this line is designed for 2 minute headways, and you are just throwing up more excuses by denying that.”

    It has been published by TfNSW that 2 minute head ways are not feasible (2012 report) despite that it appeared in the EIS.

    In this changes document it talks about the max frequency before was every 2.5 to 3 minutes at peak in the ‘future’ not day one. Now it is every 4 minutes with ‘3 minutes in the future (defined as post 2028-2030).

    @gseeney”I am sure you are right that Grosvenor/Bridge & George will not provide priority – which means the tram will sit there and wait for it’s cycle and a tram will get through in both directions on a single cycle. That will only require that the cycles are 120 seconds in length, including the tram phase, so on your number 30 seconds for the tram phase, and 90 seconds for the other phases (with much less traffic on George St allowing plenty of time for the Bridge/Grosvenor cross traffic).

    The intersections south of that are much simpler as far as Bathurst – it will simply be tram vs cross street – some level of priority could be provided here if desired.”

    There are a number of intersections on the route that are 120 to 140 seconds duration, not just Grosvenor/Bathurst/Bridge Sts – with Anzac/Cleveland/Lang Rd the longest at 140 seconds.

    @gseeney”At the south end of George St, the trams can share a phase with the straight through car traffic, until the intersections of George/Rawson, Pitt/Eddy/Rawson, which will probably operate similar to George/Grosvenor in that it wouldn’t have priority and would just have a tram from each direction wait for it’s cycle.

    From there, the intersections until Alison Rd are not complicated – Devonshire St is simple cross streets for it’s length with simple – hopefully short cycle – phasing, Southern Cross Drive will be a simple cross street, Lang Rd is a little more complicated but it can share green time with Anzac Parade through traffic and bus road through traffic (the same as is in place now). From there, the route splits at Robertson Rd, where a double cycle will allow any Kingsford bound trams to move to the centre of Anzac Parade quickly without holding up any following Randwick trams.”

    Anzac/Lang/Cleveland is actually the most complicated intersection in the region with 9 to 11 different phases included each cycle and one of the most ‘stressed’.

    @gseeney”From that point on, a headway of 4 minutes is all that is required on each branch. On the Kingsford Branch the tram will even be in the centre of the road before the Alison Rd intersection – meaning all the way to Kingsford it can just share the through traffic green phases – no issue at all.”

    Yes post the Alison/Anzac intersection it is not really a problem but at that intersection the EIS states it would cause it to go from Level-of-Service ‘B’ to ‘F’.

    @gseeney”It is a bit rich to suggest that we can run hundreds of buses an hour through these same intersections, and yet can’t run 30 trams an hour? They are just big trams on steal tracks.”

    Hold on you can not have it both ways – you have argued black and blue that there are less than 100 buses in each direction at peak times and now you are saying there are hundreds?

    I pointed out that in one direction in the morning peak that there are 105 services for just 4 of the twenty routes to be eliminated from CQ/Central to Kingsford/Randwick. Then you need to add the buses heading outbound for the other routes.

    …back to hundreds vs LRVs.

    To get to the 2 minute headway or 30 LRVs an hour has 30 going in and 30 coming out. So 60 pass through every traffic light intersection an hour, or once per minute.

    As you will agree, that means on average the cycles have to be completed within 60 seconds on average for each and every traffic light controlled intersection. In reality it is worse as a pedestrian crossing phase cannot be shortened and the longest pedestrian crossing phases for all intersections on the route are those that conflict with the LRV passage.

    Please explain to me what I am missing using the Anzac/Cleveland/Lang Rd Intersection as the example.
    Total phase time is 140 seconds.
    Pedestrian Crossing E/W across Anzac Parade is 44 seconds
    Minimum 9 different traffic phases per cycle.
    Red light delay before green for conflicting phase = 4 seconds.

    So how can this work every 60 seconds as you claim the CSELR was designed to allow a headway every two minutes?

    Instead of just saying it can – substantiate your claim.

    About the buses – currently there are 3 traffic lanes each way for Anzac Parade and at Cleveland a number of buses join/leave, the UNSW buses use Foveaux (inward) and Albion (out), most CQ buses use Oxford St – so spreading the load.

    As you persist with your claim of less than 100 buses each way and ignore what TfNSW itself says are the one way numbers (in the EIS).

    Then that implies just over 30 on each of those routes but not interferring with the traffic light phasing and having 3 or 4 or 5 go through at a time.

    The LR is getting rid of Express routes – no stop from Central to UNSW, or Central to Sydney Boys/Girls Schools, limited stop buses and all stop buses – so the compromise forced on it delivers the worst outcome for each service removed. Instead of the buses going directly to CQ the LR detours via Central.

    It is slower and has many fold the number of stops vs the Express routes lost.
    It is slower and has double the stops vs the Limited stop routes
    It is slower and has less stops to CQ than the All-stops to CQ but detours via Central
    It is slower and has less stops to Central for any All-stop service that begins before the interchange (only part due to the 8 minute gap between services on each route).

    It removes all left hand turn bays and bus transit lanes in the South East,
    It removes over 75% of right turns from along the route in the South East.
    It removes the ability to drop sick/elderly/mobility impaired at the hospitals, medical centres, chemists, shops along the route as those areas become clear ways.
    It increases travel delays for other road users through requiring absolute priority at all traffic intersections (basis for journey time calculations).
    It adds many new traffic lights along the route which will adversely impact on all traffic flows.

    Only good for the financiers, consultants, lobbyists, consortium and the groups receiving donations – definitely not the community.

  70. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney

    Can you please explain as there was no lack of capacity nor issue with traffic intersection phasing cycles with the previous version of the CSELR with 20 LRVs @ 300 passengers an hour to provide 6,000 capacity each way – WHY DID THEY:

    $$ Decrease frequency
    $$ Increase LRV length by 47%
    $$ Increase capacity by 15%

    As you say the project was correctly designed to allow LRVs every two minutes?

    BTW – you have still not explained how the 8,550 capacity provided in the morning peak outbound on the M10, M50, 610 to Sydney Boys/Girls High Schools & the 891 can all fit into the maximum recently increased capacity of 6,900?

    The other outbound bus routes are not empty either.

    Please substantiate how this works.

    Can you also show me where I am in error on this:

    New claimed maximum capacity is 13,500 passenger an hour post 2028/30.

    At 466 per LRV with 5 people per sqm standing requires 29 LRVs an hour, or one every 2 minutes 4 seconds each way (60 minutes / 58 LRVs)

    Which means the traffic light cycles are interrupted on average every 62 seconds.

    However in the “modifications” report it specifically states that PEAK Future frequency will be only one LRV every three minutes?

    Where is my maths wrong?.

  71. > WHY DID THEY:

    > $$ Decrease frequency
    > $$ Increase LRV length by 47%
    > $$ Increase capacity by 15%

    Lower Opex perhaps?

  72. Simon says:

    AR, I think you might be wrong where you assume that multiple trams can’t get through the same traffic light cycle. Obviously it’s not ideal as it means that LRVs are bunched up but I think it will surely happen.

  73. Simon says:

    ttr, you don’t believe AR’s claim that it is because the traffic light cycles are too long for 2 minute headways?

  74. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    Simon,

    The probability of two LRVs arriving from opposite directions for any one traffic light cycle is operationally less than 1%. For multiple traffic lights (over 50 intersections to cover) it is more likely you will win Lotto.

    Do you agree that 2 minute headways = 30 LRVs each way?

    So 30 inwards and 30 outwards, meaning at any point from CQ to Alison Rd & Anzac Parade will have 60 interruptions an hour?

    Or an average cycle time of 60 seconds (including red light delays & pedestrian crossing phases)?

    You seem to imply that there is no problem with this or am I misunderstanding you?

    Can you please detail mathematically how this can possibly work?

    Double coupling LRVs creates safety issues which reduces the max speed the LRVs can operate at due to buff strength limitations BTW.

  75. gseeney says:

    “To get to the 2 minute headway or 30 LRVs an hour has 30 going in and 30 coming out. So 60 pass through every traffic light intersection an hour, or once per minute.

    As you will agree, that means on average the cycles have to be completed within 60 seconds on average for each and every traffic light controlled intersection. In reality it is worse as a pedestrian crossing phase cannot be shortened and the longest pedestrian crossing phases for all intersections on the route are those that conflict with the LRV passage.

    Please explain to me what I am missing using the Anzac/Cleveland/Lang Rd Intersection as the example.
    Total phase time is 140 seconds.
    Pedestrian Crossing E/W across Anzac Parade is 44 seconds
    Minimum 9 different traffic phases per cycle.
    Red light delay before green for conflicting phase = 4 seconds.

    So how can this work every 60 seconds as you claim the CSELR was designed to allow a headway every two minutes?”

    The thing that you are missing is that a tram can wait on opposite sides of the intersection for it’s phase and cross at the same time once that phase arrives. To keep things even and predictable a 120 second phase would be preferable.

    But as you say, 2 minute headway is listed as being beyond 10 years, I concede that is what the latest EIS says. It does, however, allow for an increase to 3.25 minute headway, as does the fleet size that has been ordered. Realistically a 140 second headway (25 trams an hour) could also be achieved without changing the cycle at all, and greater could be achieved if you tolerated occasional bunching – not something I would advocate.

    I have admitted that, based on your bus capacity numbers the AM peak inbound capacity is about 7k and outbound about 10k. This is of course a reduction in capacity vs the initial service level in the outbound direction. Will you admit that adding these numbers together is where you get your 17k figure?

    I’m not convinced that TfNSW would not size the capacity for the demand before deciding to remove buses though, so if you are right we will see some kind of interim solution until the capacity increases no doubt, such as not getting rid of every bus on day 1, bumping up the frequency from the start or run a few extra special services starting from Central.

    Surely you see at this point that the best thing to advocate for in your dealings with TfNSW is an increase in service frequency from the start? Moving to 3 minute headway should be achievable with 27 of the 30 trams in service and would provide a capacity of 9320 people per hour in each direction.

    As for why they moved to longer trams? I think the State Infrastructure Strategy makes one motive pretty transparent – it discusses an extension down Anzac Parade to Maroubra or beyond – perhaps even as far as Little Bay. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as an election promise, with the subsequent EIS for the extension covering a move to greater headways closer in. Expect to see the just signed contract have provisions for this extension.

  76. gseeney says:

    Andrew – I have stated previously that I am no great supporter of this project. My discussions with you have made me dig below the surface and check out a lot more detail that I had previously seen. As a result I have to say I am now a strong advocate for the project. There are some operational issues that will probably have to be worked out over time, but overall I now thing this is going to be a great outcome for the South East.

  77. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    gseeney – 3,25 minute head ways then mean, on average a cycle change every 102 seconds or 1m 42 seconds which will cause major cascading gridlock issues for the only arterial road into/out of the South East.

    The journey times (which are slower than many of the buses currently) are calculated on never stopping for a single traffic intersection.

    So they are unrealistic but that also means the capacity is being overstated for them.

    On UNSW – they have confirmed in correspondence that they relied on TfNSW’s representations that it would increase capacity.

    Remember UNSW signed off the August 2011 RCC brochure that stated total bus capacity (all the routes to go plus all that are to remain) only had an hourly capacity of 3,500 passengers. It was understated by 75%.

    Their own annual travel study contained the figures for students and staff using buses in the morning peak hour which was nearly twice that number. Have a look at the latest one available for last year.

    2013 Travel Survey and Campus Counts – UNSW Facilities …
    http://www.facilities.unsw.edu.au/…/2013%20T...
    University of New South Wales
    1. \. 2013 Travel Survey and Campus Counts. Analysis Summary. Introduction. 2013 Travel Survey. The annual Travel Survey is a key element of the University’s …

    Due diligence is a dying art.

    BTW in the Nov 2013 EIS it explains that they cannot extend the route to maroubra (or to Coogee) as they do not have the ability to increase the capacity to cater for people wanting to get to Kingsford and go elsewhere or Randwick and go to Bondi.

    On capacity – UNSW is aiming to increase its student population by 80% over 15 years,

    In peak hours 69% of students use the buses.

    In 5 years time (2019) that implies the 71 891s in the morning peak hour would need to have increased to 86 services or an additional passenger capacity of 1,250 passengers.

    I won’t add any more students to the Sydney boys/Girls High Schools but they are projected to grow as well.

    So in 2019 the 4 routes alone will be needing more than 10,000 capacity and then to add all the other routes to be eliminated.

    One thing you may not know is that the racecourse also is used as a “college” for hundreds of students and that the old Randwick TAFE is apparently heading to 20,000 students (announced at the Dec 10 TfNSW meeting by the Director of the old Randwick TAFE).

    None of whom are users of the 4 routes I mentioned above.

    Normal factor is 80% of students attend each day, so that,s 16,000, and if at similar rate to UNSW of 69%of arrivals using buses in the peak hour yields demand for over 4,000 capacity to cope with its growth requirements.

  78. gseeney says:

    Come on – It is the same points over and over again, glossing over the simple questions I asked in the previous post and twisting things to suit your agenda.

    The contract is signed. This is going ahead. Put your efforts to better use by pushing for operational and capacity improvements to address your perceived issues rather than the scattergun negative approach.

    I have given you the benefit of the doubt all along that you are just genuinely concerned about providing good public transport to the area, but given your stance seems to be “anything but this proposal” I am starting to question that.

  79. Alex says:

    @Andrew: “…the contracts have not been signed for the major project only $70m of ‘enabling works’. No compensation payable yet.”

    Well it looks like the contract has just been signed: http://www.sydneylightrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/latest/media-releases/2013-(1)/transforming-sydney-cbd-and-south-east-light-rail

    The release also reaffirms that work will begin shortly after Anzac day next year.

    Furthermore I don’t think the Victorian “change of government and repudiate the contracts” scenario is going to apply in NSW, at least not in relation to this project. For a start Baird looks like he will win the next election and while Robertson has complained about the government committing to the NWRL and CESLR “without an assessment by Infrastructure NSW” I don’t think he would walk away from the contract either.

    And while there should be grater transparency regarding these projects, asking Infrastructure NSW to assess them when Greiner and Broad were running the place would have been like asking Dracula to assess the quality of wooden stakes.

  80. Alex says:

    Sorry, the last paragraph should have started: “And while there should be greater transparency regarding these projects…”

  81. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    gseeney – I ask you the same questions but you do not answer them – Why not?

    Is it because the answers show the CSELR cannot achieve either the headways or capacity required to replace the buses?

    Just substantiate your claims:

    @gseeney”From that point on, a headway of 4 minutes is all that is required on each branch. On the Kingsford Branch the tram will even be in the centre of the road before the Alison Rd intersection – meaning all the way to Kingsford it can just share the through traffic green phases – no issue at all.”

    Yes post the Alison/Anzac intersection it is not really a problem but at that intersection the EIS states it would cause it to go from Level-of-Service ‘B’ to ‘F’.

    @gseeney”It is a bit rich to suggest that we can run hundreds of buses an hour through these same intersections, and yet can’t run 30 trams an hour?”

    Ok if you are so adamant – PROVE IT!
    Produce the numbers that show it can work and achieve the stated journey times which rely on no delay at any intersection.

    If you are not prepared to substantiate your claims what does that suggest?

    Anyone can keep saying “That’s wrong” or “it is a bit rich” when the statement is actually true.

    Constant repetition of that theme suggests you cannot prove that a 2 minute headway is possible.

    As I illustrated above even a 3.25 minute headway seems unachievable.

    So same question maybe this time you will do the numbers and show where I am wrong. I am happy to find where I’ve made a mistake if I have.

    Please explain to me what I am missing using the Anzac/Cleveland/Lang Rd Intersection as the example.
    .
    Total phase time is 140 seconds.
    .
    Pedestrian Crossing E/W across Anzac Parade is 44 seconds
    .
    Minimum 9 different traffic phases per cycle.
    .
    Red light delay before green for conflicting phase = 4 seconds.
    .
    So how can this work every 60 seconds as you claim the CSELR was designed to allow a headway every two minutes?”
    .
    .
    Many of the same consultants, bureaucrats and financiers who are involved in this project also said the Cross-City Tunnel, The Lane Cove Tunnel and the Airport Link were viable projects that generated significant financial returns for their investors.

    Yet there were all shown to have wildly exaggerated the figures used in their justification.

    Then there’s Brisconnections, Clem 7, Brisbane’s Airport Link,
    .
    Turning $3 bn into $618 m: Brisbane’s failed Clem7 tunnel sold off…
    The failure is being blamed on wildly optimistic and unrealistic assumptions…
    The Airport Link collapse is the latest big toll road to have failed to meet

    Just tick a box for the consultants used for the CSELR for their involvement (some/all) in every failure listed above in NSW and Queensland.

    So again I ask – prove my error in saying two minute headway not possible, and 3.25 minute headway very doubtful at best.

  82. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Alex – Yes you were right (a point I’ve mentioned several posts previously BTW).

    It seems that due process lost again. Good timing getting signed before the delayed AG’s report into WestConnex was finally released. It was supposed to have been released in the first week of December.

    Unfortunately once the ‘citizen’ repudiated figures for the “Metro” project finally got enough airplay it was cancelled, after it had been signed, in Feb 2010. Yes it cost over $400m some say $500m in compensation but that was minor compared to its demonstrated negative real impact in the high single figure billions due to incorrect assumptions used in its design.

    Once again the normal list of consultants and State bureaucrats had said it had no errors in its modelling etc and yet again they were shown to be wrong. Did the consultants get sued for their errors? No. Much better politically for the New State Gov in 2011 to keep pointing to it and saying how bad the ALP were.

    Must protect the bureaucracy at all costs, cannot have the Depts of Finance and Treasury shown up as not understanding financial modelling and due diligence!

    Or with the IPART approval of the needless spending on ‘gold plating’ electricity transmission network. They merrily accepted the groundless claims lodged and did not even check that the top 3 assumptions were backed by reality.

    They did not even check to see the quoted power usage figures were correct!

    BTW – the figures were wrong and had actually decreased for two years despite the graphs and table showing them climbing.

    The State Bureaucracy has a poor reputation for figures and due diligence – trouble is the AG is being forced into efficiency gains through this period when it is needed to most.

  83. Alexsg says:

    @Andrew – I’ve indicated before that I believe that there should be greater transparency around all infrastructure projects, plus greater scrutiny of the costs. Why are all transport and in particular all PT projects so expensive, especially in NSW?

    The problem with most of these projects however was an overestimation of patronage/ usage, especially in relation to all the road projects. As for the CBD metro, it was cobbled together at the last minute out of the ruins of the first iteration of the NW metro when electricity privatisation fell over; if it had been built it probably would have gone broke for the same reason.

    The CESLR appears to be different to all these examples in that the question appears to be ultimately whether it will provide too little capacity for the demand, rather than too much. In this regard (and leaving aside the George St mall for the moment) a metro would probably have been more desirable, but the CESLR is unlikely to go broke from lack of patronage – and if it is wildly successful then a metro or pre-metro could eventually be added.

  84. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Alexsg – Would it not be great if the State Govt +/or Federal Govt would actually look into answering the questions you’ve asked?

    With the CSELR – at $2.1bn cost (stated) requiring just a 6% return (not acceptable to private sector ROI though but lets keep it low) means a return after all running costs of $126mn per annum.

    This is just a return on investment and does not cover repaying the $2.1bn spent – that has to be paid for some other way (unspecified).

    For the moment let’s concentrate on the 6% return on investment (very low return for private sector).

    Becomes $2,423,000 per week.

    Now UNSW semesters run for 28 weeks a year with 6 weeks of exams. Currently when UNSW is out of session then the UNSW express services are cut back to the bone (or go to zero over Xmas for example). The same happens with the 610 to the Sydney High Schools. The buses have that flexibility and they get used to expand services where demand increases (Xmas shopping & events etc).

    Also conveniently the taking of the buses off the road to some extent then allows the bus drivers with families to take their holidays during school/uni holidays.

    But lets not complicate the numbers – forget about it for the moment.

    This analysis assumes 100% loading 20 hours a day inward and outward.

    Now as UNSW and the Schools do not operate on weekends then for patronage I am making the 2 days of the weekend equivalent to 1 business day’s patronage.

    So effective per day return = $2,423,000 / 6
    …………………………………….= $404,000

    With initial CSELR capacity slated for first ten to twelve years at 6,900 each way per hour. Then at 12 hours a day running ‘peak’ (admission they do not have sufficient capacity so through the day capacity does not decrease from 7am to 7pm).

    Then 3 hours at 12/hour and 5 at 10/hour.
    Gives 124,000 passengers per day per way capacity.

    So fare cost per passenger per trip = $404,000/248,000
    …………………………………………………= $1.63
    or a return profit required of $3.26 per day.

    Now complications – that is the profit required. It is on top of all operational costs including power, parts, labour and all associated on costs which runs at over $100,000 per employee currently.

    So OPAL first 8 journeys cost then days 5-7 are free. So need to discount potential patronage by at least one day (should be two but let’s understate the impact). Reduce passengers/day by 5/6th

    Make adjustment:
    So fare cost per passenger per trip = $404,000/206,667
    …………………………………………………= $1.95
    or a return profit required of $3.90 per day.

    Pensioners/Concession fare limited to $2.50 per day regardless of number of journeys per day. According to IPART submission these make up 25% of journeys (IPART submission) on a business day with a large proportion within the morning and afternoon peak hours. Given the definition of peak for the CSELR 7am to 7pm it will be 90%+ within peak.

    They will not be contributing to the profit return – decrease available patronage for ‘return recovery’ but use 20% not the 25% quoted to IPART.

    Make adjustment:
    So fare cost per passenger per trip = $404,000/165,333
    …………………………………………………= $2.44
    or a return profit required of $4.88 per day.

    School Children are carried free-of-charge and in the IPART Submission the STA states they also make up approx 25% of the daily passengers.

    They will not be contributing to the profit return – decrease available patronage for ‘return recovery’ but use 20% not the 25% quoted to IPART. But 20% is on the figure of 206,667 not 165,333.

    Make adjustment:
    So fare cost per passenger per trip = $404,000/124,000
    …………………………………………………= $3.26
    or a return profit required of $6.52 per day.

    University students travel at concession/child price – half adult fare. In the South East that is currently approx 25,000 for UNSW and 4,000 for Randwick TAFE PLUS 1,500 going to Sydney Uni from the area. Makes 30,500 at half fare each way – so reduce figure by 30,500 to adjust for recovery.

    Make adjustment:
    So fare cost per passenger per trip = $404,000/93,500
    …………………………………………………= $4.32
    or a return profit required of $8.64 per day.

    If you then adjust fro UNSW being in session for just 28 weeks a year (and TAFE and SYD Uni, Macq Uni etc) the number gets even smaller.

    What about the number of children, non-school age who travel – that reduces it further but not as significant an amount.

    Cost for an adult fare with a Travel Ten from Kingsford to Central = $2.96, concession = $1.84.

    According to IPART submission fare box revenue does not cover even half of operational costs.

    After the 15 years the $2.1bn principal must be repaid in this example as there is no allowance for debt repayments in the above figures – just like an interest only investment loan.

    This project, even if you ignore the flaws in its numbers stated, does not make sense.

    Compared with the current situation – the existing bus fleet is a sunk cost when compared with the $2,1bn in addition to the return required by the consortium (underestimated at 6%) – financially there would seem to be no question.

    What have I missed?

  85. shiggyshiggy says:

    80 comments and counting.

    A new record?

  86. QPP says:

    >>What have I missed?<<

    You have fudged the figures, again, that's what you've missed

    Examples:
    a) Making the 20% seniors deduction after you've already done it for Opal deductions after 8 journeys
    b) Assumed the vast majority of users are travelling every day
    c) Assumed all students use the LR service and all use it every day
    b) Called the bus fleet a "sunk cost" and ignored any depreciation and renewal allowance…

    ….I could go on. But it's not worth it. It's pointless picking apart every tiny hole because ultimately it changes nothing

    I have seen enough of your figures and claims to be fairly comfortable that almost everything you post is a distortion. For me you lack any credibility as a result

    If this is playing the man and not the ball, so be it. We can only judge based on what is put in front of us and I've seen enough to judge, frankly

  87. gseeney says:

    Sorry Andrew, I thought I was pretty clear explaining how the intersections would work. Let me break it down.

    1. Southbound tram arrives. Lights not ready. Tram waits.
    2. Northbound tram arrives 60 (or any amount) seconds later. Lights not ready. Tram waits.
    3. Cycle changes to tram cycle, BOTH northbound and southbound trams cross each other and the intersection at the same time.

    Cycle length required: 120 seconds.

  88. Simon says:

    AR, I’m still unclear about what is so unreasonable about 2 LRVs in a single direction traversing a set of traffic lights in a single phase. It is sure to happen sometimes with 4 minute headways and will happen much more often with 2 minute headways.

  89. Simon says:

    gseeney, to have a 2 minute headway you need 4 trams traversing each intersection every 4 minutes. 2 in each direction.

    One other point. Yes this project will be good for those on the route. It is the people using buses which are not on the route who will suffer in great numbers.

    AR, I know you are very negative about this project but given that only 36.9% of UNSW staff use PT to get to work, what do you say should be done about that low figure? Or are you saying that it is acceptable?

  90. gseeney says:

    Correct Simon. 1 from each direction passing each other each 2 minute cycle. Total trams 4 each 2 x 2 minute cycles.

    Trams can of course bunch (2 in the same direction per cycle) but they won’t both be able to stop when they get the the stop as one of them will have to wait off the platform for the other.

  91. Simon says:

    Hmm, let’s hope any stops on the far side of intersections have sufficient space for a tram to wait between the stop and the intersection.

  92. gseeney says:

    That shouldn’t be necessary as long as the light cycles are the same time as the headway or less as the light time should help keep the services separated. That means that when they go to 2 minute headways, they should go to 120 second cycles as a max. Not too much of a change from 140 seconds, and also far off at this stage.

  93. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    Thanks for having a go at it gseeney – you have highlighted several of the flaws that I and others have raised.

    gseeney “Sorry Andrew, I thought I was pretty clear explaining how the intersections would work. Let me break it down.

    1. Southbound tram arrives. Lights not ready. TRAM WAITS.
    2. Northbound tram arrives 60 (or any amount) seconds later. Lights not ready. TRAM WAITS.
    3. Cycle changes to tram cycle, BOTH northbound and southbound trams cross each other and the intersection at the same time.

    Cycle length required: 120 seconds.”

    You example is fine but then you must admit that journey times blow out and stated capacity can not be met. This is just what happens at one intersection, there are many others. The example I presented was a 140 second intersection (Anzac/Lang & Cleveland) which for the direction south along Anzac Parade can mean nearly a 100 second wait per cycle.

    Your answer is getting there but does not specifically address one of the problems I and others have raised – that the journey times/head ways/impact on other vehicle movements are not consistent.

    You have considered just one of the 50+ intersections. The journey times of 64 minutes round trip has the assumption that the LRVs get priority at ALL intersections.

    Both of us and others know this cannot happen – but that is what the journey times are based upon.

    In your explanation, they have to wait and so the journey times start to increase. An increasing journey time reduces passenger capacity per hour. With the same fleet size then the headway times start to blow out as well.

    QED – they cannot make the head ways, journey times as stated without adversely impacting traffic intersections significantly.

    or if they are not to seriously impact other traffic flows then the headways and journey times must get larger which will see capacity decrease.

  94. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    QPP you’re beginning to sound like a consultant working for TfNSW – you never present any numbers to justify you claims, you say something is wrong but do not state what the correct answer is and when your questions are answered (such as for the 610) you ignore the answer as it does not suit your argument.

    You say my numbers have been disproven – that is untrue.

    The numbers for the 4 services M10, M50, 610 and 891 have been reluctantly agreed as correct by people on this thread who checked every detail and said yes they are right BUT then try another argument.

    8,550 current capacity is more in 2014 than 6,900 in five years time or in 2019 is it not? True or False – simple question.

    That capacity can be increase to over 13,000 by switching all the non-articulated buses to articulated buses as capacity demand grows in the future. That is over 13,000 passenger capacity per hour in one direction for just 4 of the routes without one additional bus on the road.

    None of this has been disproven or can be disproven despite how much you and TfNSW would like it to be.

    Just as the WestConnex project got panned in the Auditor General’s report I expect the same result for CSELR.

    The honour roll for the consultants/bureaucrats involved in this project extends to:
    $$ Lane Cove Tunnel
    $$ Cross City Tunnel
    $$ Airport Link
    $$ Brisconnections
    $$ Clem 7 Tunnel
    $$

    QPP >>What have I missed?<<

    "You have fudged the figures, again, that's what you've missed

    Examples:
    a) Making the 20% seniors deduction after you've already done it for Opal deductions after 8 journeys

    QPP there are two different adjustments:

    $$ one for OPAL only charging for effectively first 4 day’s return journeys (or less)
    $$ the second as the total fare cost for seniors/concession card holders is capped at $2.50 a day so they cannot contribute to the cost of the profit required. What is wrong with that adjustment then?

    b) Assumed the vast majority of users are travelling every day

    QPP – I am basing the calculations on TOTAL possible capacity which is available every day, I am basing the various proportions on what the STA states is the makeup of bus patronage every day.

    What I have then done is reduce the impact by decreasing the proportions from 25% to 20% for both school students and seniors/concession card holders – I have understated the impacts not over-stated as you imply.

    c) Assumed all students use the LR service and all use it every day

    QPP – I am basing the figures for students on the UNSW Travel survey and Campus counts (from 2003-3013) which states that the daily proportion of students going to uni each day approximates to 80% of the total student population as well as the proportion of those who use public transport which is 100% bus based. The proportion for free school travel is based on the STA submissions to IPART.

    d) Called the bus fleet a “sunk cost” and ignored any depreciation and renewal allowance…

    QPP – You do not understand the financial principles.

    When comparing the merits of replacing an existing system where the capital costs of establishing it (plant & equipment) have already been spent then they are considered a sunk cost. You bought the buses new, on average 12 years ago, they have been significantly depreciated The money has already been spent, the bus stops created, the bus transit way resurfaced, the signs put up etc.

    The ongoing depreciation is a continuing operational cost not a sunk cost as is any capital renewal allowance.

    ….I could go on. But it’s not worth it. It’s pointless picking apart every tiny hole because ultimately it changes nothing

    QPP – I have answered all your continuing criticisms – how about you produce what you think the figures should be and justify the assumptions you make to produce them – that’s what makes a good debate – not hollow claims.

    I provided the numbers for anyone to comment on and welcome it.
    If I’d made a mistake I appreciate it being pointed out (like I did on the London Cross Rail).

    Of courses none of this would be needed if the State Govt made public the underlying assumptions, modelling, business case and cost/benefit analysis.

    Why do you think they have not done that?

    Many of the same consultants, bureaucrats and financiers who are involved in this project also said the Cross-City Tunnel, The Lane Cove Tunnel and the Airport Link were viable projects that generated significant financial returns for their investors.

    Yet there were all shown to have wildly exaggerated the figures used in their justification and EVERY PROJECT FAILED.

    Then there’s Brisconnections, Clem 7, Brisbane’s Airport Link,
    .
    Turning $3 bn into $618 m: Brisbane’s failed Clem7 tunnel sold off…
    The failure is being blamed on wildly optimistic and unrealistic assumptions…
    The Airport Link collapse is the latest big toll road to have failed to meet

    Just tick a box for the consultants used for the CSELR for their involvement (some/all) in every failure listed above in NSW and Queensland.

    The problem is too many people have been too quick to believe the fantasy figures claimed. Have you seen the Auditor General’s scathing report into the flaws in the figures and methodology used for WestConnex? How can you say you have confidence in TfNSW when the Auditor General does not?

    I have seen enough of your figures and claims to be fairly comfortable that almost everything you post is a distortion. For me you lack any credibility as a result

    If this is playing the man and not the ball, so be it. We can only judge based on what is put in front of us and I’ve seen enough to judge, frankly”

    QPP –

  95. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Simon “AR, I’m still unclear about what is so unreasonable about 2 LRVs in a single direction traversing a set of traffic lights in a single phase. It is sure to happen sometimes with 4 minute headways and will happen much more often with 2 minute headways.”

    The conflict is that the journey times are based on the LRVs getting green lights at every of the 50+ intersections.

    If they have to stop and wait then the journey times blow out. Longer journey times = capacity falls which is one of the fundamental flaws with this project having shared road running.

    I totally agree with you – waiting is sure to happen. So capacity claimed is sure to be less in reality.

    As you say with LRVs on 2 minutes headways you are bound to get the LRVs bunching up one behind each other – something the EIS denies will happen as it is crucial for achieving capacity claimed.

  96. Simon says:

    AR, I noticed that you didn’t answer what they should do to improve PT use at UNSW.

  97. gseeney says:

    While I don’t think that the journey time estimates assume priority at every set of lights, I don’t have the evidence as hand to back that up. I’m sure I recall that they have stated the opposite is true for major intersections. Do you have evidence to back up your claim? Just a link to a source somewhere will do, no need to go on at length.

    That said, assuming you are right, a blowout in journey time doesn’t reduce the ultimate capacity, it only reduces the capacity you can run for a given number of trams. If you buy more trams to compensate for the longer journey time you can run the same capacity on a slower service.

    As an example, you would need 20 trams to run a 4 minute headway, assuming recovery time at each end making it an 80 minute round trip. If you were to let that blow out to 88 minutes per round trip due to additional stopping time then you would need 22 trams to run the service rather than 20. 96 minute round trip would take that to 24 trams.

    To run at a 2 minute headway, it is 40 trams for an 80 minute round trip vs 44 trams for 88 minutes, 48 trams for 96 minutes.

    This doesn’t decrease the capacity, only increases the cost.

  98. Ray says:

    Give it a break AR. The deal’s been done. The debate is over. You’re just wasting your breath carrying on with your diatribe.

  99. JC says:

    So if you take 220 buses off the roads, and replace them with 32 trams, traffic will be worse?

  100. Simon says:

    JC, the way CSELR will take 220 buses off the roads is by reducing PT use. So yes, that will increase traffic congestion.

    But let’s assume that won’t happen. The CSELR only takes up to 60 buses off the road, northbound off Oxford St and Foveaux St combined. Ignoring Victoria Rd and William St services, there are 175 buses/hr northbound on George St from Broadway and around 200 buses/hr northbound on Elizabeth St in the AM peak. Turn this into 315 buses/hr on Elizabeth St (175+200-60) which is more than are currently on either George or Elizabeth Sts.

    This will be worse traffic congestion than what currently applies unless there is a very significant number of buses stopping short of Circular Quay, which could be done besides the CSELR.

  101. gseeney says:

    Close, but half of the Broadway buses will terminate at Rawson Place to interchange with the light rail, or through route to remaining Railway Square originating eastern suburbs services. This makes it more like the 280 listed somewhere (Sydney’s Bus Future I think) – still quite an increase!

    We will soon see the bus infrastructure changes in the CBD that are planned to allow that (happening over the next few months) such as moving the bus lane from the curb lane to the second lane (with the curb becoming the stopping lane) and the relocation of the Elizabeth/Market bus stop. It will be interesting to see how that helps.

  102. gseeney says:

    Actually come to think of it I think it said that the number of services will go up to 280 during construction – implying the terminating of half of the Broadway services will happen next year (probably between the election and the start of construction!) before the number drops back to about 200 again when the 87 SE services go away in 2019.

  103. Simon says:

    I don’t believe they’ve ever detailed how many buses their proposing to terminate before Circular Quay (besides the William St & Victoria Rd services). Can you provide a reference?

  104. gseeney says:

    I can’t remember exactly where I read it, but in the EIS for the light rail project (perhaps the technical transport study appendix), and also in the REF on the RMS website for the bus infrastructure changes they discuss that 50% of inner west buses will terminate or through route at central. Later when I have time I will try and find a page reference.

  105. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Ray says: December 19, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    “Give it a break AR. The deal’s been done. The debate is over. You’re just wasting your breath carrying on with your diatribe.”

    That’s true Ray, the Transport Minister and Premier want this hushed up as does the winning consortium and the consultants &financiers.

    That does not make it right though.

    There are plenty of projects that have been cancelled after the contract signing.

    A project that is flawed and wastes money should be scrapped. have a look at the AG’s report into the WestConnex or the papers released in Victoria over the E/W link – true Cost/benefit return was 45 cents in the dollar.

    The CSELR looks like it is less than that.

    Spend the money on an infrastructure project that improves the public transport outcome not worsens it.

    The CSELR does not satisfy one of the eight criteria the AG proposed any spending for public transport must achieve. Zero out of eight is damning.

  106. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    Correct Simon. 1 from each direction passing each other each 2 minute cycle. Total trams 4 each 2 x 2 minute cycles.

    Trams can of course bunch (2 in the same direction per cycle) but they won’t both be able to stop when they get the the stop as one of them will have to wait off the platform for the other.

    Andrew responds:

    For the journey times to be achieved this cannot happen but we know it will – so journey times MUST blow out.

    @Simon says:
    December 19, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Hmm, let’s hope any stops on the far side of intersections have sufficient space for a tram to wait between the stop and the intersection.

    @gseeney says:
    December 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    That shouldn’t be necessary as long as the light cycles are the same time as the headway or less as the light time should help keep the services separated. That means that when they go to 2 minute headways, they should go to 120 second cycles as a max. Not too much of a change from 140 seconds, and also far off at this stage.

    Andrew responds:

    Many intersections are not 67m wide and most stops in the Central to CQ are either directly after or directly before a set of lights depending on which direction the LRVs are going. So it risks intersections being blocked. The braking time, doors opening, load/unload and doors closing used was 45 seconds for the 45m LRVs. For the 67m LRVs it will be more but nowhere near 46% more (the increased length). So it is highly likely in the scenario you have painted that either 2nd LRV waits clear of the intersection and MISSES that traffic cycle or it blocks the intersection to right turning traffic, pedestrians and cross traffic.

    Putting in the maths (C’mon QPP say its wrong!). Maybe the distance is 6m not 7, or 8m not 7m – it does not make a meaningful difference in the result +/- 0.68 seconds.

    Consider a 50m wide intersection, 7m clearance (for pedestrian crossing and safety margin before) pedestrian crossing and two 67m LRVs waiting to cross the intersection to stop at the platform.

    So the first LRV has to clear the pedestrian crossing and safety distance on the north side, the actual intersection gap, the south side pedestrian crossing and safety distance, the gap from this to the platform and end up nearly at the end of the 70m platform – say at the 69m mark.

    So total distance to travel = 7 + 50 + 7 + 3 + 69
    …………………………………..=133m
    Time = 0, Lights go green.

    LRV accelerates at max rate of 1.3m/s to reach speed limit of 10kmh (2.78m/s) so 2.1385 seconds of acceleration and by 3 seconds has covered 5.36m then as it approaches the stopping point a little over 40 seconds later it brakes over the same time frame.

    All up it takes just over 50 seconds for the LRV to complete the 133m journey.

    T = 51 seconds – driver applies ‘parking brake’ and then opens the doors.

    In this example it took 24 seconds to travel the 64m ( 7 + 50 + 7) assuming it accelerates at the maximum safe operational rate and then went at max speed of 10kmh. But this is for the front of the train reaching the far side of the intersection NOT the entire LRV length..

    The rest of its length still has to clear the intersection ie it still has 67m to go. So for the entire LRV’s length to clear the intersection takes just over 48 seconds. So for 48 seconds out of the 120 second cycle is taken up with one LRV crossing – there can be no right hand turns N/S during this period which would coincide with the N/S pedestrian crossing phase.

    Now the 2nd LRV has edged forward the 67m + plus the 2m gap it had left behind the front LRV to be waiting short of the traffic intersection safety margin prior to the north side pedestrian crossing.

    The figures produced at the internal TfNSW meeting held on Dec 2 declared that the braking time, dwell time and subsequent acceleration time along the George St length took 45 seconds per stop. As it takes under 3 seconds according to the numbers I have used for each braking/acceleration time then that leaves 39 seconds dwell time at the platform.

    Given one driver has to check it is safe to close the doors along its entire length (unlike with heavy rail there are no train guards or station attendants). So that may slow things down.

    So at T + 90 seconds the LRV can begin to leave the platform and will take just over 26 seconds to do so. Time is now T + 116 seconds. This is with no delays involved.

    With traffic lights on a 120 second cycle for all phases there is no way two LRVs running in the same direction can get through in the same phase to a platform just after the intersection. It actually leaves a 4 second margin for the next cycle to commence.

    The original EIS allowed 10 seconds to cross each intersection.

    That was for 45m long LRVs. For the back of the LRV to clear the intersection it had to move 45m from behind the stopping line, the 3m gap to the crossing, the 4m crossing width, and then the 50m intersection width. A total of distance of 102m for the back of the LRV to clear the intersection whilst the front only had to travel 57m.

    Using the acceleration and intersection widths above generates a time of 38 seconds. Please check my figures.

    ==> Waiting at traffic lights will not work. With a 120 second cycle the total of all N/S phases (including N/S pedestrian crossing, left hand turns, straight through and right hand turns) would have ended between T=55 and T=78 depending which intersection you are looking at. The wider the E/W distance the longer the pedestrian crossing phase.

    Either way with the best the 1st LRV can leave the platform at T = 90 suggests waiting so two can go through will not work and you will just get cascading time issues.

  107. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @Simon – December 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    AR, I noticed that you didn’t answer what they should do to improve PT use at UNSW.”

    So much to do so little time.

    What day was that mentioned on? I missed it.

    Have you had a chance to looked at any of the UNSW Travel Survey & Campus Counts going back to 2003?

    I provided the links to enable those interested at looking at the real issues the ability to see where I have obtained the hard figures I quote. Each year has a slightly different aspect they expand the info about – that’;s why you need to go through a few of them to get a better picture. TfNSW did not.

    In the peak hours the UNSW Travel Survey & Campus Count states that 69% of travel to UNSW is by bus. I think another 11% is walking and it was 3-5% by bicycle. So around 83to 85% is not by car/taxi. Sure that leaves 15-17% to get out of cars/taxi in peak hours but again the problem that is not being looked at is the other vehicle access to the city/central – that is the cause of congestion/delay issues.

    Someone earlier picked on the subset of staff who were much lower users of public transport rather than the total UNSW use of public transport?

    Why was that?

    From 10 minutes of searching it looks as if UNSW has the highest rate of public transport/walking/cycling access of any major destination in NSW. I stand to be corrected.

    UNSW is not the problem.

    Did you know Randwick LGA has the highest use of public transport of any Local Gov area in NSW?

    So, once again, the congestion for the city is not sourced from Randwick, just a lot of land that developers want rezoned to 20+ storeys is though.

  108. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney says: December 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    The reference for the 50% bus termination figure from the Inner West is at page 127 here: http://www.sydneylightrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/Bullseye/handlers/DownloadMediaFile.ashx?file=~/Bullseye/media/Sydney-Light-Rail/EIS/CSELR_EIS_Volume_2.pdf?ext=.pdf

    Thanks for prompting me to find the reference in the EIS for the peak number of northbound services (to City) for all stop buses. In 2010 it was 135 all-stop buses per hour that are to be eliminated including 12 M10 and M50. There are other routes on top of this.

    Pg 40 of the Nov 2013 EIS (or pg 62 of the 628 page PDF version). The figures you used

    “The bulk of existing bus services within the south east CSELR corridor are CBD All Stop services (135 trips per hour) which operate to the CBD throughout the entire day. This includes the existing Metro Bus Routes M10 and M50.”

    The ‘patronage’ figures are severely understated as it was taken as the observed people on the bus taken at Elizabeth St.

    If you are from the area you would know that significant numbers of people get off the CQ bound buses at Anzac/Cleveland/Lang, Sydney Boys/Girls, Flinders St, as well as the two Oxford St stops at Taylor Sq (for St Vincents, The TAFE etc) and near Whitlam Sq for the 35,000 office jobs within 400m of that stop.

    In the numbers you put together on Dec 11 (you’re to be commended for the best effort of anyone to date BTW) you however said that there were just:

    *** Randwick to City ***

    30 services eliminated in AM peak.

    2190 crush capacity (vs 3495 light rail capacity on branch)

    *** Kingsford to City ***

    43 services eliminated

    3139 crush capacity (vs 3495 light rail capacity on branch)

    or a total of 73 services to the City.

    vs the EIS talking about just All Stop services at 135 per hour am peak.

    Will you now admit you were mistaken and pro-rata increasing your numbers from 73 to 135 services would mean a capacity of (2190+3139) x 135 / 73 = 9,855 passenger per hour capacity.

    But that was using 60 as the standard bus capacity not the 70 that Sydney Buses states it is.

    At 70 passengers the capacity becomes 5,932 x 135 / 73 = 10,970.

    Day one capacity (9 years after the bus count figures were taken from) for the LR is 6,900.

    Neither 9,855 nor 10,970 go into the 6,900 LRVs.

    In the 17 12 2014 Media Release it states that the Day one fleet will be 30 trains. That is 30 of each 33m long LRVs which are to be coupled together to make 15 67m vehicles. They are not purchasing 60 of the 33m LRVs.

    So 15 double coupled. With a claimed round trip (without any turnaround/changeover time) of 64 minutes that is 15 / 64 x 60 services an hour = 14.0625 services an hour or a max capacity of 6,469 passengers an hour.

    Your suggestion that they just buy more vehicles has one additional problem – nowhere to store them as the spare room at the stabling yard in Kensington has been used up by increasing the LRV lengths for example day one stabling required for 20 @ 45m = 900, now 30 @ 33m = 990. The future fleet size, to be able to carry the numbers (over much more time consuming journey times).

    At the 80 minute round trip time you suggested (much closer to real world I suspect but still maybe optimistic) the numbers become:
    15/80*60 = 11.25 services an hour or 5,175 capacity vs just the all-stop buses of 9,855 to 10.970 currently.

    To achieve the 15 services an hour would need 20 LRVs double coupled sets or 40 of the 33m LRVs.

    To achieve 9,855 capacity (what the all stop buses provided back in 2010 not what it has grown to today) would need 28.6 services per hour or 57 of the 33m LRVs.

    To achieve 10,970 capacity (what the all stop buses provided back in 2010 not what it has grown to today) would need 31.8 services per hour or 63 of the 33m LRVs.

    The stabling yard capacity was sufficient for 30 @ 45 LRVs = 1,350 metres of LRV storage.
    With 63 @ 33m would require 2,079 metres of LRV storage. They do not fit.

  109. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    @gseeney

    BTW the UNSW Travel survey and campus count in 2005 said it was 160 northbound services to Central/CQ along Anzac Parade in the morning peak. This was before the M10 and M50s existed and although not certain, I do not think the 390, 391 nor 392 existed then either but cannot find any info either way to verify. So that makes it 172 northbound possibly plus the 390, 391 & 392.

    A challenge for you perhaps?

    OPERATIONAL SPARE CAPACITY

    Another aspect not examined is the lack of any operational spares in any of the fleet size and passenger capacity figures. Examining half a dozen LR operations (that I found details on) suggests that the normal margin for spare LRVs for maintenance, breakdowns etc is one ‘spare’ for every 8 in service at any one time.

    To have 30 (15 x 2) in service would suggest a total fleet size of 34 needing storage for 1,122m
    To have 57 (28.6 x 2) in service would suggest a total fleet size of 65 needing storage for 2,145m
    To have 63 (31.5 x 2) in service would suggest a total fleet size of 72 needing storage for 2,376m

    Which makes the storage capacity just another problem.

    No use buying them if nowhere to keep them – of course all these extra LRVs cause more of a capital cost blowout and operational cost blow-out.

  110. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    ULTIMATE FUTURE CAPACITY

    Just using the 135 northbound all-stop service figure from the EIS.

    If all of those ‘ultimately’ became the 115 passenger capacity articulated buses then their potential capacity would be 15,525 passengers per hour. This figure does not include any UNSW or Sydney Boys/Girls Express Capacity.

    The CSELR is claimed (but not capable of) at 13,500 ultimate future capacity around 2028/30.

    The buses could reach that in 2015/16 if needed (lead time for purchase contract). By my observations 1 in 4 buses used in the South East on these routes already is articulated.

    It does not take a $2.1bn plus capital cost to achieve that outcome. Less than one year’s interest cost on it in fact.

    Also the cost of replacing the rails is not discussed in the EIS or elsewhere. Shared road LR rails need to be replaced far more frequently than the rails on dedicated corridors.

    The EIS does state though that the rails will be regularly ground down to minimise as much as possible the noise coming from the worn rails – to maintain an even surface. This also contributes to shortening their in-service life.

  111. Simon says:

    gseeney, thanks for that link. If indeed 87.5 buses terminate at Rawson Place and 87.5 continue through to Circular Quay via Elizabeth St, and we remove from Elizabeth St 33 buses via Foveaux St, 27 via Taylor Square and 45 from via William St, we have a net reduction in numbers of buses of 17.5/hr on Elizabeth St, at the cost of a significant reduction in access to the northern CBD for southside bus users. I would say that price is too high and that is why we aren’t doing this already. Intra mode fare integration reduces the price but not enough in my view.

    One other point is that I cannot see how there are 33 buses/hr via Foveaux St. I only see a couple each of 339, 374 and 391 routes in the busiest hour and the 376 doesn’t start running inbound until around 9am at Central. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that before.

    AR, 10km/h top speed would be outrageously slow.

    Even if you limit it to 20km/h, and I would say that there would be no point in building it if you did even without the impact on bus services, and had 0.5m/s/s braking and 2s (sluggish) reaction time, you can stop from 20km/h in under 31m. The 165m of two trams + spacing could traverse a 15m intersection in 32.4s at 20km/h. Throw in acceleration @ 1.3m/s/s and that only slows it by under 4.3s while deceleration @ 0.5m/s/s slows by under 12s. I really cannot see how AR could say that two trams could not traverse an intersection in a single traffic light cycle except for because of the outrageously slow 10km/h speed.

    AR: “Many intersections are not 67m wide”.
    Good point, a number of the blocks are not wide enough to have two trams stop in them without fouling intersections at one or both ends. Perhaps they will permit fouling the Campbell St intersection such as by having northbound traffic lanes on either side of the tram tracks. Or just ban right turns out of Campbell St (more likely). But neither strategy really works for the World Square stop unless they foul one of the pedestrian crossings at either Goulburn or Liverpool Sts. These stops may have lower use and therefore not be in the critical path although I wouldn’t be putting my house on that one.

    When did I ask about your plan for increasing pt use to UNSW? December 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    So you are saying the current situation is acceptable. I would say that the relatively low use by staff shows that PT is pretty much only used by people with little to no other alternative. It’s actually lower by employees than Parramatta or North Sydney and similar OTOH to St Leonards, Chatswood or Bondi Junction. The CBD is around 75% PT.

  112. Simon says:

    For the record, my own count of buses removed from Elizabeth St @ Martin Place northbound 8-8:59am and replaced by the tram services is as below:
    X39 3
    373 10
    377 4
    376 6
    374 7
    339 12
    391 5
    392 5
    394 6
    L94 4
    396 3
    397 2
    399 2

    I contend that all of the 339, 374, 376 and 394 services have no reason to go beyond Liverpool/Elizabeth Sts in service. In all of these cases an alternative single seat service is provided via either the Eastern Distributor or Taylor Square and these faster services could be ramped up in frequency to compensate.

    I make the total number of services referred to above to be 69, 31 of which I would remove right away. 34 when you include my belief that the X39/X40 should be a single route via the Eastern Distributor.

  113. gseeney says:

    Out of those services X39 and 339 will continue to run post light rail implementation. There are also railway square bound services that will be removed (393, 395) as well as the metrobuses. My count comes to 87 (but yes, only the above services – 54 of them – will be removed from Elizabeth St)

  114. Simon says:

    Only if you believe the info from T4NSW. I would say that they just forgot about the 339/X39. I don’t take its omission seriously.

  115. gseeney says:

    I tried to post a reply earlier correcting some of Andrews mistakes in the few posts above, but it didn’t appear after 2 attempts posting it. It may be caught up in moderation, but if it doesn’t show up I also posted it here: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=120075205#post120075205

  116. gseeney says:

    The 339 It will be the only Foveaux/Albion St service that will remain, so I suspect that is why they left it. Also why they have left the 372 I suspect – it will be the only remaining Cleveland St service to run – and the 374, running to Edgecliff so that there is at least a service on Anzac Parade and Flinders St as far as Taylor Square.

    Think of the parallel with the 380 and how it runs beyond Bondi Junction because it serves the stops closer in.

    Also remember that it is clearly stated that this will all be subject to community consultation before implementation – so a lot will probably depend on the political situation at the time!

  117. Simon says:

    I would refer you to the Sydney Light Rail Future document which clearly shows that all services via Foveaux St are to be removed. I think retaining the 372 on Cleveland St is a lack of courage, as was creating the X40 rather than just sending all the AM X39s via the ED.

  118. @shiggyshiggy –

    “December 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM
    80 comments and counting.

    A new record?”

    The current 118 comments, 119 including this one, is just under the 121 comments made for this thread:

    https://transportsydney.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/this-week-in-transport-30-march-2014/

    It’s clear the NWRL and CSELR (being the 2 major public transport projects underway) stir the passions of people with a strong interest in public transport. Hence all the comments.

  119. michblogs says:

    “I like the sat images just near the link I posted, which shows the light rail system’s alignment is now grade separated at most road crossing, while the heavy rail service up to LA is not. Only in America I guess.<<"

    The tram has a high frequency and the train runs only a few times a day, so won;t create as much obstruction to cars.

  120. michblogs says:

    “Capacity is the key here.”

    I disagree. Speed/time is the key. These trams will be pathetically slow. Slower than buses.

    A metro line to Kingsford would run to the CBD in 9 minutes. That’s a game-changer for productivity and accessibility. These slow trams, are not.

  121. michblogs says:

    “and near Whitlam Sq for the 35,000 office jobs within 400m of that stop.”

    where did you make that figure up from ?

  122. michblogs says:

    “Interesting. The CC as a concept just doesn’t work because of the slowness of the trains and their infrequency (both on the CC and the lines it connects to)”

    Yeah, right. It is 6 minutes from Central to Circular Quay on the train and 17 minutes on the tram.

    I rarely use the city circle either, mostly because it is too expensive. I’d use it a lot more if it was cheaper, or could be used in conjunction with another ticket.

  123. michblogs says:

    “The Sydney Grammar Schools representative has stated that in reality there are over 2,000 students using the 610 service in the 42 minutes. ”

    A very dubious claim. Sydney Boys High School ( not Sydney Grammar ! ) has 1200 pupils. Sydney Girls High School has 940 pupils. Say 2200 total.

    So you are claiming 90% of the students catch a bus to central. That’s not plausible. Many of them live in the eastern suburbs, why would they go to Central ? Some of them can walk to school. Many of them are dropped off by their parents, particularly in the morning.

    Do people just make these false claims, and everyone just believe it ?

    Remember that 1000 people catch a bus twice, that gets counted as 2000 customers.

  124. michblogs says:

    “Who needs buses along Cleveland St, which is a traffic nightmare.”

    It’s a traffic nightmare, because there are no buses.

    Public transport from Glebe/Annandale/Sydney Uni/Camperdown/Newtown towards Randwick/Kensington/Kingsford/Coogee are very poor, and have been for a century. So people drive. That;s why Cleveland St is a traffic nightmare.

  125. michblogs says:

    ” Someone earlier picked on the subset of staff who were much lower users of public transport rather than the total UNSW use of public transport?

    Why was that?”

    The staff I know at UNSW live at Marrickville, Dover Heights, Lane Cove and some place down past Eastgardens, Banksmeadow ?

    They drive there, because public transport would take them four times as long.

  126. michblogs says:

    “If people think punters would prefer to sit for 1/2 hour in a bus in a traffic jam to getting somewhere on a comfortable tram on a reserved route, they have no knowledge of human/consumer behaviour.”

    You are delusional !

    I’d much rather “sit on a bus for 1/2 an hour in a traffic jam” where I can read my magazine or look out the window at the passing parade, than STAND five to the square metre on a tram also stuck in a traffic jam, WHICH IS NO FASTER THAN THE BUS.

    And that’s before adding the extra time to walk to the stop, which is further away, and the extra time to wait for the tram, which runs less frequently than the bus does, and without having to stand for goodness-knows-how-long at ANOTHER bus stop to wait for the bus for the last 2 km of my journey.

  127. Simon says:

    michblogs wrote: “Public transport from Glebe/Annandale/Sydney Uni/Camperdown/Newtown towards Randwick/Kensington/Kingsford/Coogee are very poor, and have been for a century. So people drive. That;s why Cleveland St is a traffic nightmare.”

    Alright, but I was obviously referring to Railway Square via Cleveland St services which do not serve the market you are referring to. I do wonder if there should be such a route or if you should just ramp up the 370 and ask many of the people you are referring to to interchange at Central. You can’t have a route for everyone.

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