Public Transport is not a cost but a necessity. One should not nor should they any longer think of public transport as a cost to the taxpayer. This argument is long gone. The argument now is how well can we run the service to ensure maximum productivity return and therefore adding not cost but economic value.I find It a bit hard to refer the Overland as Public Transport ! (It's a struggling tourist train) Given V/Line run parallel fully Independent public transport services.
Such has been the argument in many other countries for public transport. Locally look at the success of Vline. We need investment in the lines beyond the current big 4 or big 5 lines for this productivity to take shape and start to deliver more benefit.
Until we as a state start thinking like this we will continue to go backwards.
What is really required now when it comes to Public Transport of an inter-state variety is to have a national rail passenger body (like amtrak) which delivers and maintains services for the benefit of the country not the individual states.
and this there is the problem. What is the train, tourist, PT or both?
If its PT, its run by GSR, warning sign No#1 as they are drip fed funding, 2y, 1y, 3mth what ever. Just a bucket a cash, are they required a frequency outcome which is what other Private PT operates are required. where timetables are dictated as condition of contract. The state funds the service, the fares go to the state etc. NSW previously (13 years back) tried to cut the Brisbane XPT to 4 x week, Qld who co funds it said No, we fund 7 x a week, no less!
Bevans says PT is a necessity, agree it is, but if the train is not PT then the train isn't. A two day a week service is not PT, Mt Isa, Charlieville and longreach have 2 days a week service. Kalgoolie has 10 x a week, Rocky 7, Moree/Armidale 7, Canberra 21, even Griffith has now 2 per week. Does a city the size of Adelaide 8h from Melbourne deserve just 2 a week? Is it even worth the effort? What are you actually trying to achieve in doing so?
Others will claim about the air option, blah blah blah blah to adnausem. Yes, so do the bulk of above. How many flights between Canberra and Sydney per day? The train is not even fast, its bloody slow compared to driving 50% longer, yet 3 trains a day fill 3-4 cars per trip!
I also agree with Don's comments about the SA Premier, I'd pull the funding too! The current arrangement is a mess, but that doesn't mean I agree with terminating the service.
The numbers are no doubt certainly there, run it 6 days a week (ideally 7, but this needs more rolling stock) in both directions. If you can fill the Canberra XPL, WA Prospector, Qld RTT, NSW NW services, Ararat, Marybourgh you will fill a 3-4 car V/locity.
- 7 days a week service needs 5 driver cars and 4 trailers or use N class sets.
- Funding is per route km in each state.
- Time tabled meet with Ararat V/locity.
Whats in its for Vic?
- Western Vic has a rail service, a real rail service
- Likely cheaper than funding GSR
- Bonus points for the Vic govt, you bring in a daily service Ballarat to Bendigo at same time
Whats in its for SA?
- Admittedly not as much as SA, but many a Sth Aust heads to Mel for various reasons, reference back to Qld funding XPT.
- A few rural towns on route to Mel have easy and daily access to either city.