Light rail costs blows out 250% in NSW!

The SMH reports:

The cost of Mike Baird’s signature public transport promise for western Sydney has ballooned to more than $3.5 billion – $2.5 billion above what has been budgeted, secret government documents show.

So the original cost was one billion dollars – the same as costed for in Wellington. A few politicians reckon they can get it done in fact for half that – $500 million. While in NSW the costs of the proposed there have increased from $1 billion to $3.5 billion.

Ratepayers have been warned.

Separate documents, meanwhile, show the project will deliver questionable benefits. If a project’s benefit cost ratio is less than one, a project is expected to deliver less benefit than cost.

A business case dated May 2015 shows a maximum benefit cost ratio for light rail lines around Parramatta of 0.73.

An addendum dated July 2015 reports range benefit cost ratios from 0.66 if only transport benefits are included, potentially rising to 1.06 if “wider economic benefits” are included.

That is better than Wellington where the BCR is 0.05 on a bad day and 0.10 on a good day!

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