Playing With Trains At The Taxpayer's Expense
Common sense has been replaced by emotion in the debate about railways, ACT MP Penny Webster said today.
"Rod Donald is drumming up hysteria and ignoring the facts. This is populist, feel-good nonsense.
"People love trains, but they don't get on them.
"Only a handful of commuters use the Bay Express (average: 45 passengers), the Southerner (average: 52 passengers), the Geyserland (average: 33 passengers), or the Kaimai (average: 30 passengers).
"A 180-tonne passenger train needs more than twice the amount of fuel as a coach for journeys of more than 200 kilometres - with the low numbers of passengers travelling in trains, they simply are not efficient.
"Rod Donald is yet again playing on emotion and attempting to relive his youth by playing with trains.
"If he truly thinks the Southerner is a goer, he should raise the money for it himself. It is easy to be grandiose with taxpayer money, but apparently far harder to apply common sense and acknowledge the facts," Penny Webster said.