Canberra’s light rail and bus network will be run by a single agency from next year.
To manage Canberra’s growth, reduce congestion and protect our liveability, we need to improve our public transport system. Transport Canberra’s role will be to ensure smooth integration of bus and light rail into a convenient, efficient, affordable and reliable network.
It will be responsible for redistributing more than a million bus kilometres freed up when the first stage of light rail begins running. It will be responsible for integrating buses with light rail, ensuring a single ticketing system, a central contact for information and coordinated timetabling.
The establishment of the new agency is part of the ACT Government’s Public Transport Improvement Plan, which is designed to make sure we have a convenient public transport network to manage congestion and make Canberra easy to get around as our population grows. Transport Canberra will keep the buses in public hands.
Under the plan, changes and innovation will begin in the bus network right away. The introduction of free wifi on buses will start this year. In 2016, there will be a trial of a system where weekend bus services are complemented by an on-demand taxi service to pick up commuters from suburban stops and take them to join a major bus route. Bike racks will be added to more buses in the first half of 2016.
“Transport Canberra, as a single transport agency merging both ACTION and Capital Metro, will ensure integration between buses, light rail and other transport modes. It will deliver a seamless and convenient multimodal public transport network,” Minister Shane Rattenbury said.
“Transport Canberra’s mandate is to deliver the ACT Government’s vision of a quality public transport system that is convenient, efficient, affordable, reliable and integrated. The Public Transport Improvement Plan commits to creating a Canberra-wide public transport system that is a genuine alternative to driving.
“The Plan also promises substantial new investments in public transport services and innovations. This means more convenient public transport services for all Canberrans. It is also a smart and proactive response to Canberra’s future challenges, such as population growth, pollution, congestion and energy security,” said Mr Rattenbury.
Included in the statement is the Government’s commitment to Stage 1 of the state-of-the-art light rail service which will operate in the busy Gungahlin to City corridor.
Buses, taxis and active travel will also play a critical role and the government is committed to improve ACTION’s coverage across the city as early as 2016.
To drive these changes forward, Transport Canberra will be established to ensure the successful integration and implementation of public transport in Canberra. It will begin operating next year when light rail contract negotiations are complete.
People can find out more about the ACT Government’s transport improvements at www.transport.act.gov.au