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Old April 3rd, 2007, 10:26 PM   #1
yin_yang
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MISC | Types of transporation ownership

can anyone point me to some positives/negatives of the privatization of transporation systems (public transporation, roads, ect...). having trouble getting resources for a presentation tomorrow...

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Old April 3rd, 2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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Dude...you're screwed...
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 11:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee Hinnov View Post
Dude...you're screwed...


If you're going to talk about privatization of 'public transport', first you should look at exactly what that means.

Are they selling the whole thing off, lock, stock & barrrel? Are they selling the operation, but not the track?
Do the buyers have any public obligations?

Something similar happened here. the former state-run rail and tram authorities were sold off by a conservative government: but they sold off the opportunity, not the risk. In all honesty, the same people kept working for the place. Perhaps they had new managers.

The Government of the time divided the previous services up between a number of operations which were supposedly, 'competing". I always found this a strange idea ... it basically meant, if I didn't like the service provided at my local railway station, I could walk twenty kilometres over to the other side of town, and catch the train into town from there instead. The same went with the trams.

Anyway, the government that did this to us lost office, and, will have been out out of power for twelve years next time we get to vote. Curiously, one of the companies they privatized our public transport to ... "National Express" ... decided that neither its tram or its train businesses here were sufficiently profitable, and spat the dummy. In other words, the Government- not the one that had sold the thing off in the first place, but their adversaries- had to rescue our metropolitan train and tram services. The same recently happened to freight services here that were privatised ...

We had a state election last year. It was interesting hearing the party who had privatised our railways now promising to build new lines ... but they lost. Both parties pledged to buy back the freight services that had been sold off ... and that's what'll happen.

The simple fact is: sell off some of these services to your mates (even after you've spent a lot of public money renovating stations, etc. ) ... they'll still shut them down if they can't make a quid. But by then you'll be out of office, and you can attack the guys who care about delivering a service, rather than lining their pockets.

Last edited by Yardmaster; April 3rd, 2007 at 11:25 PM.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 05:33 AM   #4
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Huh o_O ?
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Old April 4th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #5
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Here in Vancouver, we are building a 19-km rapid transit rail line to the airport for CAN$2 billion.




The funding partners are the Federal Government of Canada, Provincial Government of British Columbia, Greater Vancouver Regional Transportation Authority (Translink), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and a private company (SNC-Lavalin).

Currently, British Columbia is on a huge building boom with an unemployment rate of only 3%. Many housing and infrastructural projects are being built and are in need of materials and labour, thus they are competing each other for it. The effects: labour and materials costs have skyrocketed. China's boom is also absorbing a lot of materials in BC.

The deal with Quebec based SNC-Lavalin was to build a 19 kilometre, 16 station, 15,000 pphpd automated rail line for $1.71 billion. This includes SNC's contribution of $300 million towards the line, which it will later regain and profit from over a 35-year contract to maintain and operate the Line. In addition, SNC is responsible for designing and building the line - it is also responsible for all financial overruns from construction. Since the signing of the contract, the project has inflated from $1.71 billion to a little over $2 billion (inflation of labour and materails) - which SNC is responsible for.

Though the project is now more than 1/3rd complete and is generally ahead of schedule, inflation which is the responsibility of SNC is causing the company to scale back on certain things. For example, the last stretch of guideway 400 metres from Richmond Centre and YVR Stations are now single-tracked as suppose to double tracked to cut costs. In addition, the people who wrote the contract did not specify platform lengths and made a big mistake..... platforms will be only 40-50 metres in length.

The Line must achieve a ridership of 100,000 people per day. If it does not, it will lose money.....which is the responsibility of SNC (10%) and Translink (90%). Translink is a public company and insisted on being in charge of the fares for the new line, thus is responsible for 90%.

The great thing about SNC Lavalin (private sector) being involved with this project is without their financial committment, the project would never have been built. It is also currently ahead of schedule. The bad news is the Line was advertised to "last for 100 years" when it will actually probably only meet the needs of Vancouver for 20-30 years by building 50 metre platforms. Platforms are not extendible beyond 50 metres due to expensive track switches, steep turns, and expensive powerful tunnel fans located just after stations.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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Does anyone from Sydney want to mention the Airport line that was built for the 2000 Olympics? I'm not the greatest expert on it, but I do know it was built privately and has since become one of the city's biggest white elephants. Ticket prices to the stations are expensive, but it was probably the best option possible for the line to be built and stop the Olympic budget from blowing out more than it did.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.x View Post
Here in Vancouver, we are building a 19-km rapid transit rail line to the airport for CAN$2 billion.

What is that place labelled "OMC" between Marine Drive and Bridgeport stations?
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Old April 4th, 2007, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yin_yang View Post
can anyone point me to some positives/negatives of the privatization of transporation systems (public transporation, roads, ect...). having trouble getting resources for a presentation tomorrow...
Oh my! Go to Metro Manila and see the wonders of privately run transit agencies. Low and behold!!!!



See all those buses at the side? They are all privately run and are constantly competing for passengers (bus drivers get commission). That LRT line is also privately run and all those transportation modes are competing with each other. The positive result is an ultra speedy transit systems wherein people can have choices of their mode of transportation depending on their needs (and budget) but my God! Those bus drivers are CRAZY its better to stay away from the bus lanes!!!!
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Old April 4th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #9
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Judging from the traffic jams those privately owned PT-companies don't seem to make the difference, either...
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Old April 4th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #10
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In the never ending battle between bus and rail, rail clearly wins!!!
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Old April 4th, 2007, 09:45 PM   #11
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Privatization of public transportation here would be a nightmare.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #12
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Yea...
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Old April 5th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Oh my! Go to Metro Manila and see the wonders of privately run transit agencies. Low and behold!!!!



See all those buses at the side? They are all privately run and are constantly competing for passengers (bus drivers get commission). That LRT line is also privately run and all those transportation modes are competing with each other. The positive result is an ultra speedy transit systems wherein people can have choices of their mode of transportation depending on their needs (and budget) but my God! Those bus drivers are CRAZY its better to stay away from the bus lanes!!!!
This could easily be KL as well...except they are slowly moving away from unfettered privatization....some bus companies are starting to consolidate...and there is now a government linked bus operator (rapid) providing seriously improved bus services (rapidKL)

as another example...privatization killed (absolutely) killed public transportation in Penang (in Malaysia). Penang used to have a combined system...municipal government on most routes and a few private operators on trunk lines...sadly, the municipal government got out of the bus business and then the federal government decided to be smart and brought in a huge number of minibuses that had just been removed from the streets of Kuala Lumpur....

Today they seems to be going the other way...that same government-linked company (Rapid) will operate a bus service (called RapidPenang).

There was another useful article posted here about the impact of privatization in Manchester http://society.guardian.co.uk/localg....html....which was so much like what was happening in Penang and KL...that I had to write about it....http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/58538

From the info I have...privatization is only acceptable if there is a heavily regulated system with oversight from the government. The "public" side controls the routes, fares, and schedule, frequency, and maintains oversight, while the "private" buys the buses, operates the buses, maintains the buses, and maintains service quality.

That approach is working in the UK (TfL), HK (various companies), Singapore (Land Transport Authority), and a few other places....

Cheers, m
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Old April 5th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Privatization of public transportation here would be a nightmare.
It's impossible. I know, especially for long distance bus and train, they were private to begin with, but they found it impossible to turn a profit, so government took over.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc View Post
What is that place labelled "OMC" between Marine Drive and Bridgeport stations?
That's the Operations & Maintenance Centre: the trainyard and computer control hall.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #16
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There have been a lot of attempts to get privatization of public transportation systems in the west. They are almost always extremely problematic. Britain is a good example of a total failure. In the east, a lot of private railways can be found, but most of them started privately. It should be noted that usually these profitable private railways are involved in other business combined with their core railway business and that this is a key to the profitability of the railway itself. One huge success story in privatization of public transit occurred with Japan National Railway (JNR), today 6 different Japan Railway companies divided by Region (JR East, JR West, JR Central, JR Kyuushuu, JR Hokkaidou, and JR Shikoku), plus Japan Railway Freight (JRF). JRF is a failure, but JR East and JR West do very well due to the lucrative Osaka and Tokyo areas (they got one each), and JR Central also turns a profit but only because of the Tokaido Bullet Train that runs between Tokyo and Osaka, which it owns (and that one line, the busiest and most profitable in the country, is responsible for over 85% of its revenue).

JNR had accumilated such a huge debt the government was totally crippled by it due largely to politically-motivated and ambitious over-expansion of the bullet train network. They had no choice but to privatize it. Half of the JRs were designed in such a way as to accomodate the fact that they are unlikely to ever turn a profit (Shikoku, Kyuushuu, Hokkaidou). Today, the profitable 3 JRs continue to do very well and have made great improvements and continue to improve continuously. The JRs are still paying off the debt left over by the government now 20 years after privatization.

While the privatization is a success from a finance and business perspective, it was not popular among the people. JR East alone discontinued 83 unprofitable train lines permanently as its first move.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.x View Post
Here in Vancouver, we are building a 19-km rapid transit rail line to the airport for CAN$2 billion.





Though the project is now more than 1/3rd complete and is generally ahead of schedule, inflation which is the responsibility of SNC is causing the company to scale back on certain things. For example, the last stretch of guideway 400 metres from Richmond Centre and YVR Stations are now single-tracked as suppose to double tracked to cut costs. In addition, the people who wrote the contract did not specify platform lengths and made a big mistake..... platforms will be only 40-50 metres in length.

The Line must achieve a ridership of 100,000 people per day. If it does not, it will lose money.....which is the responsibility of SNC (10%) and Translink (90%). Translink is a public company and insisted on being in charge of the fares for the new line, thus is responsible for 90%.

The great thing about SNC Lavalin (private sector) being involved with this project is without their financial committment, the project would never have been built. It is also currently ahead of schedule. The bad news is the Line was advertised to "last for 100 years" when it will actually probably only meet the needs of Vancouver for 20-30 years by building 50 metre platforms. Platforms are not extendible beyond 50 metres due to expensive track switches, steep turns, and expensive powerful tunnel fans located just after stations.
I really hate it when they cut corners like that !!!!!

Do it right the first time!! This lack of long-term thinking I think has been naturally selected into Americans and has now spread to Canada!--always looking out for the short-term money making or savings instead of the long term benefit and posterity. This otherwise looks like a great new project!

Nate
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Old June 12th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #18
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Privatisation in Public Transport

From what I have read on this site as well as elsewhere, it seems that the privatisation of public transport has been seen as a mistake by many. My question is, therefore, very simple: Was it?

How did your region or nation go about privatising its public transport infrastructure? Is the entire system privatised or are services just contracted out to private operators?

What benefits has your region recieved as a result of this? Has it improved the viability of public transport service in your area?

What have the drawbacks been?

Would you recommend privatisation of public transport for other cities?

Thanks for your help.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #19
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London Underground has had a "Private Public Partnership" since 2003 which basically (I think) means companies maintain the infastructure whilst the government owned company (TfL) operate it... How it has gone, i'm unsure of... but judging from the press it seems to be a heap of shyte. However, the press are usually OTT anti-government anti-everything so I would hardly call them a reliable source.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #20
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^ i believe the London Docklands Railway is operated by Serco.


Here in Vancouver, SNC Lavalin is building and operating a new automated rapid transit rail line to the airport, Canada Line. SNC Lavalin is partially funding the project and is responsible for all construction overruns (their contribution is now $700 million) while the public sector is funding $1.3 billion of the $2 billion project. Part of the deal is to let the public sector be responsible for fare prices, and part of the fares would be returned to SNC Lavalin over their 35-year contract to operate the line.

The problem is we're not getting much out of the project in regards to design, because they've already paid $400 million in overruns (cutting back). Stations are very simple and platforms are very short: 40/50 metres long. The contract is to build a line with an ultimate capacity of 15,000 pphpd.
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