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Parramatta Light Rail Feasibility Report
The Parramatta Light Rail project is recommended to be implanted within the defined locations to improve the general infrastructure that leads to economic growth. This report provides an extensive insight into the project. It is captured in this report that the “Business Connect program” for the transport for the NSW section will be responsible for linking various business activities directly to the Department of Industry. The introduction of several business entities in the Sydney CBD means that people will have to cover reduced distances to access the proposed light rail services. The proposed light rail system will positively impact the tourism sector as there will be improved transport in the Sydney town and the neighborhoods. This is due to the fact that the city has numerous tourist attraction sites, hence improved accessibility will lead to improved revenue resulting from a large number of both domestic and international tourists. Besides, the recommended light rail will increase employment opportunities to both skilled and unskilled labour. Despite the positive impacts linked with completion of the project, the Parramatta Light Rail is projected to be associated with different emerging issues such as traffic congestion, negative perceptions, and air pollution.
Parramatta Light Rail Feasibility ReportIntroduction
In the primordial times when urban centres were developing, roads were the primary mode of transport. However, as these urban centres developed, the pressure on roads became high such that they were unable to accommodate the ever-growing population. The region of Western Sydney is a case study that illustrates how the current heavy rail transit, road, and ferry systems have failed to deliver an efficient means of transport. Therefore, the proposal of the Parramatta Light Rail project marks the basis of managing the traffic congestion and furthermore provides the line of influencing the social, economic practices of the region. The purpose of the report is to provide an outline of the Parramatta Light Rail project that targets to improve people’s movement in the interior and from end to end of the Parramatta CBD.
BackgroundIn the context of Hamilton city, the associated impact of light rail on health, environment, and social-economic of the Parramatta CBD can be deduced. According to Topalovic, and krantzberg (2012), light rail transit project in Hamilton indicates excessive support for the health, environmental, social and economic benefits. The view of Parramatta CBD indicates that the light rail project will have a positive influence on business as observed in the case study of Hamilton. Nevertheless, (Debrezion, Pels, and Rietveld (2007) outline some of the negative influences that are associated with light rail transit which must be considered by the Parramatta project team to get it successful.
According to the research conducted by Currie, Ahern, and Delbosc (2011), the findings stress on the benefits linked with the provision of services that are characterized with high level as the core driver of the light rail transit ridership. There are certain variables identified that are associated with light rail transit. The likes of speed, employment density, service level, rail integrated ticketing, and track segregation variables were denoted in the empirical analysis conducted across the regions of Australia, North America, and Europe. At the moment, some benefits cannot be experienced until the project is operational. Therefore, as put by Hess and Almeida (2007), light rail transit is unique and will definitely influence the transport of the Parramatta CBD and its suburbs.
According to Pucher and Buehler (2009), bike transit has been a great alternative transport means, and its integration in the public transport means a lot as far as traffic is concerned. The mode has health associated benefits. The analysis outlines how the transit has been integrated across the world continents. The case study of San Francisco indicates how the mode has been embraced with the set site of the “Bay Area Rapid Transit” (BART) which provides the parking for the bikes. The parking eased traffic congestion as denoted by Shaheen (2005). The Parramatta Light Rail project must be a supplement to realize its effectiveness.
In the world of engineering, the environment has been given priority, and any project is approved prior to checking its carbon and water footprints. The carbon footprints can be obtained based on the materials used during the development of the building that releases CO2 into space. The emission by each construction material and the operational item does depend on the standard emission derivative. The water footprint outlines the volume of the water that can be consumed as far as human activities are concerned. The water footprint is described under three elements of green, grey, and blue which forms the image of the water as outlined by Egan (2011). Normally, carbon emissions and water emissions are prejudiced by the variables of the volume of the light rail and track, the construction material, their density plus mass among others. The commonly considered processes in determining the footprint analysis are transporting and processing of the used material. For example, SageGlass do use sunlight which reduces the entire building’s energy consumption (Giljum, Bruckner & Martinez, 2014).
According to Bottoms (2003), the light rail system has its origin in France as far as Western Europe is concerned. The technology has been fostered in the states of the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, plus Italy. The implementation of light rail is taking place in small cities in Western Europe meaning its associated benefits are great thus such appraisal. Light rail has proved to be an alternative to the common transport mode automobile as it is associated with the benefits of enhancing and promoting mobility, environment, quality of life among others (Olesen, 2014).
Parramatta CBD’s present planned and proposed people movements
Parramatta is presently under the use of the transport modes which have been overwhelmed with the growing population. The means of transport by road, rail as well as ferry are all experienced within Parramatta CBD. The region has a set of the road network which is approached and connected from all directions of the city. The road network is connected with a ferry terminal plus a heavy rail corridor. The operations of the ferry and rail highly subjected to runoff water floods alongside the tidal extremes that are experienced within the section of upper reaches found on the Parramatta River. Next, to the system, there is a road by-pass corridor (M4) plus a rail bypass corridor which provides a connection between Western Line and Strathfield.
The NSW Government had made an announcement in the recent about the proposed Parramatta Light Rail Project. The project is “based on the point that the population” of the Parramatta region is growing and it gives the project team with the opportunity to assess and examine the population trends in western Sydney. The planned approach of transport is further aimed at influencing the people’s movement within the Parramatta CBD, and the entire metropolitan area which will have an experience of the Parramatta transport corridors. The planned light rail project is aimed at replacing the heavy rail transit in consideration of the beneficial variables associated with light rail transit.
The NSW Government announcement of the proposed project of developing the Parramatta Light Rail Project came as a result of the burgeoning growth of the Parramatta’s Central Business District (CBD) located in western Sydney. The proposal is aimed to act as the footprint for the future transport development of the section with the concern of improving people’s movement within the Parramatta CBD.
The Parramatta Light Rail project proposed a networkNSW Government has initiated the Parramatta Light Rail as an infrastructure project which aims to deliver efficiency to the growing city of Sydney. The projected two stages of the scheme outline the route designed to be operated by the train. The initial stage will provide a connection of Westmead to Carlingford which will pass through the Parramatta CBD and Camellia. The connection will be characterized by a two-way track which will cover 12 kilometres. The linked stations to the route that connects to the Parramatta CBD are “Westmead Precinct, Parramatta North Growth Centre, the new Western Sydney Stadium, the Camellia Town Centre, the New Powerhouse Museum and Riverside Theatres, the private and social housing redevelopment at Telopea, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse and three Western Sydney University campuses.” The subsequent stage 2 covering 9 kilometres will provide the connection of Parramatta CBD to the sections of “Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park.” The connection gives a heavy boost towards accessing the sites of booming sport, entertainment as well as the employment hub.
Parramatta Light Rail Engineering Technical EmpowermentThe basis of proposing this Parramatta Light Rail was to improve the business activities in coordination with time as the primary resource for economic development. The engineering sector always requires the provision of a plan that is approved by both the established legal bodies and adjacent influenced public. In response towards getting the project empowered, the transport for NSW which is concerned with the project got four place managers. These managers have been delegated with the responsibility of engaging in talks with the business community to acquire exclusive knowledge for better understanding of the businesses’ operations. The aim is to limit the impact to the businesses once the construction phase is initiated by “Parramatta Light Rail team and the Transport for NSW” kicks off.
Since the engineering part of the project is less associated with the businesses activities rather the technical part of the project, the transport for NSW section will link the underlined businesses’ activities directly with the local Department of Industry through a “Business Connect program.” The program shall provide some eloquent advice and necessary support that will enhance the businesses activities during the span of before, during as well as after the design and construction of the light rail.
The current location of businesses is adjacent to the road which is the primary means of transport within the Sydney CBD. Initially, the distance between the buildings and the road was large but due to the advancement in population and business activities has reduced drastically. It will, therefore, require the use of fortified materials such as steel, but the associated water and carbon footprint release of such materials is an issue. The project empowerment depends on the coordination of the scheme stakeholders and other associated sectors which will ease the technical part of the Parramatta Light Rail project.
Strengths and weakness of this transport proposalThe Parramatta Light Rail project proposal provides certain significant benefits to the community and the overall city of Sydney. Nevertheless, there are various identical weaknesses that need to be addressed for the success and effectiveness of the project. Primarily, the Light Rail project will impact highly on the tourism sector within the locality of Sydney and its adjacent locations. Many visitors will be brought into the corresponding region as the proximity to the attractive core sites within the city will be fostered as denoted from the case study of Macao, China (Wan & Li, 2013). Once the access to places such as the new Powerhouse Museum as well as the cultural precinct found on the Parramatta River is facilitated, many people of different culture and ethnicity would visit the sites. The tourism sector is not limited but as denoted by the route of the Parramatta Light Rail which cuts across the vibrant Parramatta Square, the notable city cafés plus the restaurants situated alongside the Church street will provide the best visitor experience. Therefore, the Parramatta Light Rail project stands strongly to empower the economy of the city.
Subsequently, the primary concern of the government is to ease the movement within the CBD and control the traffic. Apart from the rail getting many visitors into the stipulated region, the other target of the project is to facilitate the residents, visitors and workers moving around the city and the adjacent existing communities. The stretch of the rail is to provide an exclusive connection to the key social amenities sites of the city such as the new Western Sydney Stadium, schools; Arthur Phillip High School alongside the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse among others. Institutions which would have failed to flourish or gone explicitly will be redeveloped as the light rail route will encompass them within its map or line of operation.
Also, the Parramatta Light Rail project will prove the infrastructure of the region because it will replace the heavy rail which is associated with much effect to the surrounding due to the induced tremors to the environment (Du & Mulley, 2007). The cost of managing a light rail is limited compared to the heavy rail. Therefore, the project will transform the various areas of the region which shall include the likes of “Westmead Precinct, the Parramatta North Growth Centre, the Camellia Town Centre, the Telopea Precinct, and Western Sydney University campuses at Westmead, Rydalmere and Parramatta CBD.”
However, the Parramatta Light Rail network project will impact the fauna and flora. The parking trees will be affected during the stage one of designing the project. It means that the environment of the Sydney CBD and the Parramatta alongside the Carlingford will be inhibited due to the destruction of nature. The future emerging issue that shall get projects by the project is the management of the air pollution. The emerging question is to whether the project will affect the trees and the corresponding response outlines how the transport for the NSW will strive to minimise the loss of trees. The effect has been noted to happen during the design phase. Thus, the project will demand further environmental conservancy mechanism to retain the great atmosphere of the region. The project will replace the heavy rail connecting Camellia and Clyde which demand exclusive adjustments. Much property will be lost, and the government will have no obligation but to compensate as stipulated by the land governance. Therefore, certain issues shall be emerging and will need to be responded and adjusted.
The Parramatta Light Rail project associated emerging issuesThe engineering associates of the Parramatta Light Rail project among other stakeholders shall have the responsibility of considering carefully and critically the emerging issues that are associated with the project roll-out prior to its release and construction. Initially, the government has an obligation to make sure that the public is fully involved in the project to get it operational fully. However, there are aspects that arise and must be examined and resolved rather integrated into the project plan.
The emerging issues surrounding the Parramatta Light Rail transit project include but not limited to property values and development, perception, air pollution, traffic congestion, solvency alongside the public preference. Such light rail will impact the value of the nearby properties, for instance, the residential property (Debrezion, Pels & Rietveld, 2007) positively. However, according to engineering point of view, properties such as buildings should be at least 100 meters away from the rail and thus pose a challenge to the “Parramatta Light Rail team.” Therefore, as much as the value of the property will be improved much redevelopment will be required hence the designing of the light rail transit route must consider the aspect towards managing the project acceptability and impact to the surrounding.
In connection with the issue, air pollution emerges as the key environmental outstanding claim that the project team must consider. Proponents of Parramatta Light Rail project have given the positive report that the project will reduce air pollution drastically due to the reduced number of vehicles on the roads as argued by Chen and Whalley (2012). However, the claim does not give a clear substantiation behind public acceptance to use the rail. The issue is well connected to the public preference between the rail and the road. The substitution of the road transit with the rail transit will improve the practice of managing air pollution, but if the mechanism does not work, then the rat of air pollution will be high due to emissions of hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide gases. As the proximity of the town is improved, it is obvious that there will be an increase in traffic congestion thus being a dream to manage air pollution. However, the combination of rail, road, ferry and air buses transits does ease traffic congestion it only requires to balance the projects developed in a manner that their corresponding operational management is easily done.
The households of the middle and high class will definitely prefer road transit over the light rail transit in whichever case. Due to the factor of independence, the project team must examine the perception of the citizens on the acceptance to switch to light rail because the city already has a rail system and people are going much for private automobiles. The rail transit is limited in a manner that it must stick to the designated track thus failing to be flexible as compared to the road transit as denoted in the research conducted by Baum-Snow and Kahn (2000). Therefore, the Parramatta Light Rail team has the task of designing to rail track to meet flexibility and efficiency.
The other issue is job creation such that employment is created at the development stage and operational stage. The project team must determine the best way of balancing the jobs to manage the taxes paid for the rail transit. In relation to the aspect, the issue of solvency arises such that the Parramatta Light Rail transit will be operational with the subsidies obtained from local sales taxes imposed plus the government and federal grants. Therefore, a deeper examination and assessment should be done to get the project going without charging the light rail passengers highly to meet the incurred costs.
3.0 Feasibility Proposal
The implementation of the Parramatta Light Rail project will rely on water from two main sources. To begin with, the process of constructing the light rail system in the Parramatta will require a large amount of water to ensure the project succeeds. However, the presence of the Parramatta River in the locality will prove to be a significant factor in ensuring there is enough water for the project. On the other hand, there is a need for the availability of clean water that can be used by the staff and other workers for either drinking or cleaning. This category will rely on the supply of Sydney Water in the town.
Light rail construction is a demanding process that requires heavy investments regarding the structures to be used for various purposes. Some of the structures to be used in the Parramatta Light Rail project include elevated structures, at-grade facilities and special structures that serve designated purposes. For instance, the Stabling and Maintenance facility located at Camellia site will be essential in not only storing but also maintaining the light rail vehicles that will be involved in the operation.
3.3 Parramatta CBD constructions
The Parramatta CBD infrastructure was developed using a simplified design such that buildings are not close to the land set aside for transport purposes. The area is connected with roads, but due to the overwhelming population, the region does experience traffic congestion; thus access to exact buildings becomes tricky. The existing social amenities such as the new Sydney stadium are situated appropriated were the provision of light rail will foster its accessibility. The building within the CBD was constructed based on the approved design plan, and they have a unique architecture just by the appearance. Alongside the road network, there is tree parking meaning the buildings are distanced. Based on the case study of San Francisco, the construction of the building within the Parramatta CBD has a unique foundation that is capable of sustaining minor tremors generated by the light rail.
Transport in the Parramatta CBD is marred with traffic congestions. This is one of the main reasons that the proposal for the construction of the light rail was based on while coming up with the solution to curb the congestion. However, the engineers and other unskilled labour will rely on public means in the form of road transport to reach the working destinations. Also, the road will prove to be an important infrastructure in transporting the construction materials to the working stations.
3.5 Geotechnical engineering
Geotechnical engineering for the Parramatta Light Rail project will employ the “Enabling Works” strategy. This will include but not limited to the relocation of all underground utilities and landscaping. Precisely, the department will be responsible for providing necessary advice regarding the impact of the topography of the desired site for the rail construction.
The Parramatta Light Rail project aims at improving the citizen movement within the Parramatta CBD based on the point that the region is growing fast. The current state of the transport sector does not meet the population, and the light rail stands to provide a simplified connection to the key amenities found within the region. The report provides an exclusive analysis of the project feasibility in reference to the initial executed similar light rail project.
ReferencesBaum-Snow, N., & Kahn, M. E. (2000). The effects of new public projects to expand urban rail transit. Journal of Public Economics, 77(2), 241-263.
Bottoms, G. D. (2003, November). Continuing developments in light rail transit in western Europe. In Proc., 9th National Light Rail Transit Conf (pp. 713-728).
Chen, Y., & Whalley, A. (2012). Green infrastructure: The effects of urban rail transit on air quality. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(1), 58-97.
Currie, G., Ahern, A., & Delbosc, A. (2011). Exploring the drivers of light rail ridership: An empirical route level analysis of selected Australian, North American and European systems. Transportation, 38(3), 545-560.
Debrezion, G., Pels, E., & Rietveld, P. (2007). The impacts of railway stations on residential & commercial property value: A meta-analysis. The Journals of Real Estate Finance & Economics, 35(2), 161-180.
Debrezion, G., Pels, E., & Rietveld, P. (2007). The impact of railway stations on residential and commercial property value: A meta-analysis. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 35(2), 161-180.
Du, H., & Mulley, C. (2007). The short-term land value impacts of urban rail transit: Quantitative evidence from Sunderland, UK. Land Use Policy, 24(1), 223-233.
Egan, M. (2011). The water footprint assessment manual. Setting the global standard. 31(2), 181-182.
Giljum, S., Bruckner, M., & Martinez, A. (2015). Material footprint assessment in a global input‐output framework. Journals of Industrial Ecology, 18(5), 792-804.
Hess, D. B., & Almeida, T. M. (2007). Impact of proximity to light rail rapid transit on station-area property values in Buffalo, New York. Urban studies, 44(5-6), 1041-1068.
Olesen, M. (2014). Making light rail mobilities. DESIGN RESEARCH EPISTEMOLOGIES II, 157.
Pucher, J., & Buehler, R. (2009). Integrating bicycling and public transport in North America. Journal of Public Transportation, 12(3), 5.
Shaheen, S. (2005). Smart parking management field tests: A bay area rapid transit (bart) district parking demonstrations.
Topalovic, P., Carter, J., Topalovic, M., & Krantzberg, G. (2012). Light rail transit in Hamilton: Health, environmental and economic impact analysis. Social Indicators Research, 108(2), 329-350.
Wan, Y. K. P., & Li, X. (2013). Sustainability of tourism development in Macao, China. International Journal of Tourism Research, 15(1), 52-65.
AppendixesAppendix 1: Parramatta Light Rail preferred alignment – Stage 2
Appendix 2: Artist’s Impression – Sydney Olympic Park
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Parramatta Light Rail Feasibility Report PAGEREF _Toc520834567 h 31.0Introduction PAGEREF _Toc520834568 h 32.0Background PAGEREF _Toc520834569 h 32.1.Parramatta CBD’s present planned and proposed people movements PAGEREF _Toc520834570 h 52.2.The Parramatta Light Rail project proposed a network PAGEREF _Toc520834571 h 62.3.Parramatta Light Rail Engineering Technical Empowerment PAGEREF _Toc520834572 h 62.4.Strengths and weakness of this transport proposal PAGEREF _Toc520834573 h 72.5.The Parramatta Light Rail project associated emerging issues PAGEREF _Toc520834574 h 93.0 Feasibility Proposal …………………………………………………………………….12
3.1. Water ……..…………………………………………………………………….……12
3.2. Structures ………………………………………………………………………..……12
3.3. Parramatta CBD constructions ………………………………………………………..12
3.4. Transport ………………………………………………………………………..…….13
3.5. Geotechnical engineering …………………………………………………………..…13
4.0Conclusion135.0References PAGEREF _Toc520834576 h 15Appendixes PAGEREF _Toc520834577 h 17Appendix 1: PAGEREF _Toc520834578 h 17Appendix 2: PAGEREF _Toc520834579 h 18
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