They plan to -
|MAX Light Rail map|
- Build an Airport Rail Link with stations at the Domestic and International Terminals, and Forrestfield, for $1.9 billion
- Provide free off-peak public transport to carers at a cost of $1.2million (an extension of the free seniors public transport)
- Build a 560-bay multi-storey carpark at Edgewater Train station, for $47 million
|Airport Rail Link|
I also think the light rail is a good idea. The Alexander Dr corridor is far from heavy rail lines, and Mirrabooka is a major regional centre. The route to Victoria Park currently is the busiest bus corridor in Perth (albeit via St Georges Tce), and QEII is also an important centre.
Light rail is much cheaper than heavy rail in those corridor (since there is no reserved right-of-way, heavy rail would almost certainly be in tunnel, as elevated rail would be very unpopular), and can be a good selling point. It can bring people to Perth, and like Metronet, improve property values in areas such as Mirrabooka.
AIRPORT RAIL LINK
Most big cities have airport rail. Airport rail will help bring Perth into the big-city league, and make transport easier for residents of Perth taking a plane, tourists, business travellers and residents of Forrestfield and the general Foothills area. It will increase Perth's profile.
A multi-storey parking garage at Edgewater will help relieve parking pressures, while not taking up too much space. Edgewater is a good spot as it lacks feeder buses, increasing the need for parking.
Since the Victoria Park route is busiest, it should go ahead before Mirrabooka.
AIRPORT RAIL LINK
On the other hand, airport rail links are expensive, and some people believe they should not take funding from other, more useful public transport, just to join an abstract 'big-city league'.
As I've said before, excessive station parking is a problem. It is expensive to provide (especially in multi-storey form), takes up space (although to a lesser degree in multi-storey form), and makes walking to stations difficult and undesirable. If the problem is that Edgewater has no feeder buses, they can be provided for less than extra parking.
The total cost of these promises will be about $3.75 billion. Let's see what costing we will come up with ourselves.
Light rail - 22km
Surface heavy rail - 4 km
Underground heavy rail 4km
Using figures explained in the previous, Metronet, post, as well as $20 million per km for light rail, this will come to -
$20 (22) + $25 (3) + $250 (5) + $47 +1.2 million
$440 + $75 + 1250 + 47 +1.2
= $1814.2 million or $1.8 billion
This is less than half the official costing! You could nearly build both this and Metronet for the $4.4 billion or so Treasury said just Metronet would cost. While contingencies are necessary, this needs to be within reason, and I think that the total cost of Liberal public transport should not exceed $2 billion.