Actually: Not Monorail, that should say : Bus.

Just when i thought it was safe to dip my fishy fingers back into the water of the war on the waterfront, a new challenge comes along. Yes: its the proposed Transport Spine interim review, and it is proposing 8 options for consideration. You may have read about it here in the DomPost “Subway Proposed“, or here “8 Options” or possibly here or even here in the Scoop reports.

We’ve even previewed it here a couple of years ago: The Syntax of Public Transport and Tram Stop and in a post called Tunnel Vision. That last one noted:
“We haven’t got much info on the latest NZ costs, but some comparisons on overseas costs in year 2000 US$ went something like this:
Norway $ 3 million / lane / km
Sydney $ 15 million / lane / km
Boston $ 47 million / lane / km
Tokyo $ 230 million / lane / km”

But back to the spiny study.
The eight options being presented for Wellington are:

• Two high quality on-street bus options along a central alignment (essentially the Golden Mile) or along a waterfront alignment (essentially following the Quays), with both options then continuing south along Kent/Cambridge Terraces, through to Adelaide Road. (Dompost states this will cost $0.1m to $25m a kilometre)

• Two bus rapid transit options along the same two alignments as above. Bus rapid transit involves buses running in an entirely separate space on the road from other traffic. (Dompost states this will cost $0.1m to $25m a kilometre)

• Two light rail options along the same two alignments as above. (Dompost states this will cost $12m to $141m a kilometre)

• A heavy rail extension underground along an alignment to be determined. (Dompost states this will cost about $105m a kilometre)

• A heavy rail extension at street level along a waterfront alignment. (Dompost states this will cost about $105m a kilometre)

To which the most logical retort would seem to be: why the heck would you consider light rail or heavy rail?

I need to sit down and have some time to actually read the report, something that the DomPost has evidently not even tried to do yet. I’m not an expert, but something tells me that heavy rail undergound would have a vastly different cost than heavy rail at grade, and also light rail costs above and below ground are likely to be very different. Obviously, light rail is also probably going to come out somewhat cheaper on grade, than if it was underground. And buses are being positioned as being the cheapest thing since sliced bread. More reading required. Back Soon ! thankfully, no one is mentioning a MonoRail at all…..

Except, of course, in the Stuff comment section. My God, those monkeys writing there are a right wing barrel of know-it-all fascists. Some sample comments from the 106 comments so far:
Kennan #106 11:47 am May 01 2012
“Another dumb idea from some idiot high paid planner or immigrant engineer who doesn’t understand Wellington is on a earthquake fault ready to let loose….”

jarrod #70 08:59 am May 01 2012
“lol what are they talking about there are all ready enough subways, we need more burger kings”

Cess #63 07:51 am May 01 2012
“Heavy rail along the waterfront????!! Noooooo!! Are they CRAZY?? This idea should be shot down in flames before it gains any traction amongst the woolly woofters….”

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