I don’t know about you but I’m still in shock over the fact that Galway is not going to get its Gluas, the light rail network which we were all sure was going to be built and be up and running by Christmas. None of us ever screamed ‘pipe dream’ at the time it was mooted, out of good manners and the way we were brought up, but ya have to say that the viability of such a system was never really a runner. Anyway, we in the media are never ones to really laugh out loud at these ideas at first hand anyway because give us an artist’s impression showing shiny happy people in a new building or train and we’re eating out of the developers’ hands.
Excuse the cynicism (it comes with the job ), but let’s be realistic here, Galway was never really in the running to have the guts of a billion euro spent on it just so that the relatively low number of commuters could make their way in and out of town with the few bags of shopping. There might be nine million bicycles in Beiijing, but there just aren’t enough people in Galway city and environs to justify this service.
It’s back in the news this week because a City Council Comm-It-Teeeee were told and left stunned by all accounts on Monday that the Gluas is a non-runner, is dead in the water, well down the tracks. The shock and awe which the councillors experienced came after they were told that two things would have to happen if Gluas was to be any way viable. Immediately after swine would take to the air, the city population would probably have to double or treble and the cost of the trains have to drop by the same amount. If those two things happened, then we’re probably looking at having it up and running by Christmas again.
In fact, one wonders why people even had to commission a report into the viability of such a system. In fact it is probably a bigger shock to discover that it took a year, yes a full year for the Public Transport Feasability Study to present the report. Why was that? Was the printer not working? Could they not hold the laughter in long enough? You would think that a question such as “Is a billion euro train system for Galway city a runner.” should only need the amount of time it takes to say “arragh, let me see. No”. The train would have cost €700 million while the bendy buses will cost just a quarter of that. These are the buses with the rubber middle that allows them to turn corners sharpish.
So we’re going to get bendy buses which will snake their ways around the streets of the city, effectively servicing two streets at a time. Bendy buses where ya could be messing down the back and the driver wouldn’t see ya. You could get on in the Square with your can of spray paint, sit at the back and as the bus goes around Moon’s corner, you could spray “John Terry is a w...: and be back in your seat by the time the bus straightens up again and heads down Eglinton Street.
Now, isn’t that much more fun than being on a Gluas.