|Where the metal hits the park|
The Transport for NSW brochure, Sydney's Light rail Future, has a page of stick figures to demonstrate that the average bus can hold up to 60 people while cattle cars could hold up to 300 people. I won't insult your intelligence by reproducing this diagram. The diagram is misleading - buses only run at capacity if the driver threatens to stop the bus if people do not move to the back of the bus. But we will give O'Farrell the benefit of the doubt and assume he will have guards with electric cattle prods on buses to force people to the back of the bus. Even so, you need 5 buses to carry enough stick figures to feed the insatiable maw of a cattle car.
We are told that trams will be arriving and leaving every 2 or 3 minutes during the morning peak, so buses would need to be turning across the tram tracks, from Avoca Street into Belmore Street (or visa versa) every 24 or 36 seconds, in concert with the existing traffic in Avoca Street, in order for the tram service to carry commercial passenger loadings. The only additional passengers from the other stops on the route during the morning peak would be race horses, swans and Swans football players excused from the early morning training session.
The ability of cattle cars to transport large volumes of people cheaply is not in dispute - this was established in 1939 and the early 1940s. The problem has always been in rounding up people to to herd onto them and disposing of people at the other end. At Circular Quay people can be disposed of only to Luna Park, Taronga Zoo and Manly.
The Transport for NSW tram Project fails spectacularly in integrating efficiently with the bus services. The business model requires the tramway to cripple the Public Bus Services in order for it to be commercially viable.
Now do you believe Transport for NSW is deliriously incompetent.