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Light Rail Business Case - Hobart to Glenorchy

A second business case examining the potential re-introduction of a passenger rail service in Hobart was completed in 2012. It followed the 2011 Hobart to Claremont Light Rail Business Case by ACIL-Tasman, which demonstrated that the proposal did not present the basis for a submission to the Commonwealth Government for implementation funding.

That Business Case was then subject to a Peer Review process by AECOM, which also incorporated critiques of the work done in 2011. Among the findings of the Peer Review was that a shorter rail route, between Hobart and Glenorchy only, was likely to return a higher Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) and, therefore, likely to present a stronger basis on which the State Government could argue for external funding assistance.

A shorter route between Hobart and Glenorchy could be considered as Stage 1 of a northern suburbs light rail service.

Accordingly, ACIL-Tasman was engaged to develop a new Business Case for the Hobart to Glenorchy route on the existing rail corridor.  That Business Case took account of feedback from stakeholders about a number of parameters that have been used to derive the final set of BCRs. In undertaking its analysis, ACIL-Tasman also took account of the various issues raised by AECOM in its Peer Review of the Hobart to Claremont study.

The light rail service modelled in the new Business Case utilises electric power, to be supplied to light rail vehicles by overhead wires.

A number of scenarios were tested, each using a different number of light rail stops between Glenorchy and Hobart. It was proposed that the light rail service would terminate at Elizabeth Street, between Davey and Macquarie streets. In Glenorchy, the service would terminate adjacent to the intersection of King George V Avenue and Peltro Street.

The service would be supported by high frequency bus 'feeder' services, which would deliver passengers to light rail stops. This element is crucial, because it allows the effective catchment area of the light rail service to be greatly expanded.

The Business Case considered a range of "monetised" benefits and costs to establish a BCR. It also identified a range of non-monetised benefits and costs, and considered the general nature of the impact of each of these on the overall Case.

The highest BCR was obtained when the speed of the service was maximised by providing only three stops, at Glenorchy, Moonah and Hobart. At a discount rate of 7 per cent, the BCR obtained for this scenario was 1.12. The BCR was found to fall marginally as each additional station was added, with the 6-stop model producing BCR of 0.86 (7 per cent discount rate).

The outcome of the new Business Case confirmed the finding of AECOM (in its Peer review) that a stronger BCR would result from the testing of a shortened service.  This is dependent on a range of assumptions applied in the modelling, some of which may be open to challenge.

The Light Rail Business Case - Panel

The Light Rail Business Case - Hobart to Glenorchy was developed in consultation with stakeholders, which included former members of the Community Advisory Panel (Panel) convened to develop the original 2011 Light Rail Business Case. That Panel was chaired by Dr Stewart Williams from the University of Tasmania and included the following members:

  • Mayor Tony Foster - Mayor of Brighton
  • Mayor Adriana Taylor - Mayor of Glenorchy
  • Mr Leyon Parker - Manager Transport Services, Hobart City Council
  • Mr Hadley Sides - Chief Executive Officer, Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority
  • Ms Emma Riley - President Planning Institute of Australia, Tasmanian Branch
  • Mr Toby Rowallen - Secretary, Future Transport Tasmania
  • Ms Heather Haselgrove - Chief Executive Officer, Metro Tasmania

2011 Light Rail Business Case

Further Information about the 2011 Light Rail Business Case: