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More NSW transport blowouts as northern beaches bus project cost doubles

Oct 24, 2016News

The Sydney Morning b-lineHerald reports: The cost of a planned bus corridor through Sydney’s lower north shore and northern beaches has almost doubled after government authorities neglected to consider the cost of buying land.

The bus service to the northern beaches – once called “Bus Rapid Transit” but, with services not expected to be particularly rapid, now called “B-Line” – is expected to progressively open from next year.

But documents obtained by Fairfax Media show the steady escalation in the costs of the project, and doubts about the level of benefits it will deliver.

The project, as announced in the Northern Beaches Transport Action Plan of 2014, was expected to cost $305 million. That was an increase on an earlier budget of $222 million.

But the project’s cost has since risen to almost $600 million. On numbers announced in the July budget, the program will cost at least $512 million.

An “assurance review report” of the bus program’s business case, prepared last year, sheds some light on why costs of the project have continued to increase.

(Photo: An artist’s impression shows a new B-Line style bus driving past a new stop at Brookvale, NSW Government.)
Full Sydney Morning Herald story here, with interactive map of proposed bus stops.