A ‘City Loop’ promised with bus service tweaks

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ANDREW Barr has announced a $17 million investment in the ACT Budget 2016-17 for new transport services, including $10 million for 20 new buses.

“The new investment includes a new, free City Loop bus service in Civic, an electric bus trial, new bus services in Weston Creek and Molonglo, a new Park and Ride facility in Wanniassa, improvements to the Woden bus interchange and a new bus depot in Woden, all of which are part of our plan to improve our public transport system so it becomes more convenient, efficient, affordable and reliable,” Andrew said.

“The City Loop will start on 4 July 2016 to coincide with the new Transport Canberra agency. Transport Canberra will be responsible for integrating buses with the new light rail, developing a single ticketing system and new coordinated timetabling, active travel upgrades and transport innovation. The City Loop is one of the ways the ACT Government is making public transport more frequent and easier to use, with a strong focus on the customer.

“The new service will provide a convenient link to highly-frequented areas of the CBD such as the City Bus Station, Canberra Centre, Braddon precinct, Northbourne Avenue, the Australian National University and New Acton precinct.

“The City Loop will provide a convenient ‘turn up and go’ weekday service for commuters and will connect with high frequency Red and Blue Rapid services and buses to the Parliamentary Triangle. The service will support local businesses and help Canberrans travel around popular areas in the CBD for free.

“In addition to the City Loop, the ACT Government will invest $900,000 for an electric bus trial. The buses will be used on regular route services, on and off peak, across the bus network. The trial will enable the ACT Government to assess the viability of using electric buses within the bus network.

Minister for Transport and Municipal Services Meegan Fitzharris said the ACT Government is improving transport for Canberrans, wherever they live. The free Transport Canberra City Loop is another way the ACT Government is funding better public transport. The service will be frequent and free, and allow people to get from one part of our city to another in a really convenient way.

“Further demonstrating our commitment to exploring sustainable forms of public transport, we will also run a 12 month trial of up to three electric buses. This is a great initiative and one I think Canberrans will be really excited about,” Meegan said,

“The Budget will offer better services in our growing suburbs to make it even easier for people to choose public transport, including:

  • The establishment of the new, free Transport Canberra City Loop to connect commuters travelling in Canberra’s CBD;
  • $10 million over two years to deliver 20 new buses as part of the ongoing fleet replacement program;
  • $3.5 million over four years for improvements to public transport services in Weston Creek and the Molonglo region. This includes a new all-day direct service called the Weston Line providing improved connectivity between Woden, Cooleman Court in Weston and the City. To meet increasing demand, Wright will receive increased coverage and frequency and the Route 83 and Xpresso 783 services will be extended to include Coombs. These new services will help make public transport a more convenient option for commuters;
  • $1.5 million for the design and construction of a new Park and Ride facility in Wanniassa;
  • $300,000 for improvements to the Woden bus interchange to provide a better bus station for the Woden town centre;
  • $900,000 for a 12-month trial of up to three electric buses on regular on- and off-peak route services; and
  • $775,000 for the design of a new bus depot in Woden to cater for growth in the bus fleet and meet the future needs of bus transport in the ACT. An amount has been provisioned for the construction component.

“These significant investments are part of the ACT Government’s commitment through Transport Canberra to improve our public transport system so it is more convenient, efficient, affordable and reliable – a genuine alternative to driving,” said Minister Fitzharris.

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  1. Buying 20 new buses may allow the new timetable planned for last October to be implemented, assuming they mean additional buses. I think ACTION is being starved of funding to pay for Light Rail.

  2. Clearly the groundswell of opposition to the exorbitantly expensive 12km of tram service has the ACT Government rattled, so now just before an election they promise all sorts of upgrades to bus services across Canberra to try to maintain support. They have had 4 years to improve the bus service, but instead of expanding the bus lane system and running more express buses during peak times, they’ve spent most of that time, not to mention the wasted resources, trying to con us on the supposed benefits of Rattenbury’s red rattler tramline. Too little, too late – about time we jettisoned this mob.

  3. The City Loop bus has been tried before and it didn’t work. With no timetable the average wait for a bus is 8 minutes and you can walk to your destination in less time. Why waste our new buses when they don’t yet have enought of them to implement last October’s proposed timetable. That timetable had many improvements.

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