Interesting read. https://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2019/03/03/suburban-rail-loop-mistake-prevented/
I do agree there are other intiatives higher ranking than the suburban rail loop.
And I agree a grid of high-capacity transit is needed.
But I disagree that the other higher intiatives are not happening because of SRL happening. They may be delayed, but not completely ignored.
In the Rail Future report, these projects are already on the governments agenda.
Like the Melton/RRL electrification (although in early studies, still reckon will happen soon)
The rail duplications/extensions
The light rail to Rowville.
Metro 2 Tunnel is the only major project not yet onto the agenda, but it will be announced within 5 years, it's been approved (not commited) on both sides of politics. This is the next priority after Metro 1.
And yes future tram extensions and bus extensions are welcome, and more rail lines too, but these are medium term options that still can happen, depending on whether the government will commit to it.
Yes we need to order much more trams. Ordering 10-20 at a time is slow. Should put in a huge order of 100-150 new high capacity trams the F class trams.
I am afraid of the lack of co-ordination of planning Victoria Infrastructure. While the SRL could be a net negative now, or when it opens. SRL would probably be worth a benefit in future time. Yes it's getting built early, and I guess people rather have it available early than later. Even though that wouldn't be the most viable way of doing it. As you know Politics doesn't provide you the most efficient transport plan, they try to push projects that benefit their votes.
My opinion is while the SRL is a good project in princible, it should of been in the transport planning in the beginning, there was no plan in place other than the PTV plan back in 2012. And several other loose bits of documents of proposals. If SRL is on the agenda, then I guess just let the busy Eastern section get built and the Airport link get built. Those sections would be alright. The RRL section can be done easily in conjuction with electrification.
The northern section should be put on hold (just build the Doncaster to Boxhill link). And build the Metro 2 instead as that would essential help the northern suburbs get that rail link to Wollert.
Even if the SRL is only partially built, it will still be benefitial. I don't think the whole section can be built by 2050, but maybe push the completion later so that higher priority projects can be delivered earlier. While still building the most important parts of the SRL.
That's my view on the matter.