Red Rapid Route 200 on Flemington Road

Strong community support for a rapid transit corridor between Gungahlin and Civic has been recorded in a new survey with two-thirds of Canberrans showing support for either light-rail or bus rapid transport, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, said today.

“Canberrans have sent a clear and positive message that action must be taken to reduce congestion and provide a more sustainable transport option along this corridor, but there are mixed views on which option is preferred,” Mr Corbell said.

“Around two-thirds of the population believe Light Rail Transit or Bus Rapid Transit should be introduced with only one in eight indicating that the current arrangements are acceptable.

“While Light Rail Transit was chosen over Bus Rapid Transit by 68.5 per cent of people surveyed before knowing the cost of each project, this figure fell to just under half (45.8%) with the preference for Bus Rapid Transit rising to about the same level (46.5%) once the likely costs were revealed.”

The random telephone survey of a thousand Canberrans was conducted by an independent consultant and found that environmental benefits were the strongest reason given by those preferring Light Rail Transit (32.3%), with others citing they had positive light rail experiences elsewhere (23.7%), thought they were more comfortable, offered a smoother ride (9.9%), were better/easier/safer to access/egress (8.6%) and were more reliable (8.4%) as other top reasons.

A familiarity with bus transport (26.8%) was the main reason given by those who preferred Bus Rapid Transit, along with the reason it will be cheaper to build and maintain (14.9%), will be quicker to build and implement (14.3%), will be compatible with existing systems (10.3%), could move around obstructions (9.7%) and was less
intrusive (8.5%).

“The survey also found that public transport improvements in the City to Gungahlin corridor were supported across the whole city: Inner South (60.6%), Woden-Weston (61.2%), Tuggeranong (61.9%), Inner North (65%), Gungahlin (70.0%) and Belconnen (70.3%).”

Mr Corbell said more than 750 people attended information sessions about the project over the past three weekends at Dickson, Civic and Gungahlin and a further 560 people had completed an online survey.

“I welcome this strong support from the Canberra community for improved transit options and essential input that will contribute to planning this long-term project for the ACT. The Government will consider feedback in its entirety at the end of May.

“There is still time to comment and I encourage Canberrans to write a submission, fill out the online survey at www.timetotalk.act.gov.au or email their comments to transportplanning@act.gov.au by Friday 25 May 2012.”