Potential plans to push bus interchange underground

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action bus in the civic bus interchange

THE City Renewal Authority is looking into moving the City Bus Interchange underground. 

A tender has been issued for a feasibility study to determine whether an underground facility would be a practical long-term option for the city centre.

City Renewal Authority chief executive officer Malcolm Snow says the study will explore the potential costs, benefits and challenges of replacing the existing street-level bus interchange with an efficient underground facility.

“A modern, integrated underground bus interchange offers a wonderful opportunity to significantly improve the way public transport users access and experience Civic,” Mr Snow says. 

“It would also allow us to use the site of the current interchange as a more attractive, lively and people-friendly space.

“For this project to move to further stages we need to make sure that an underground bus interchange would meet the needs of the public transport network, and improve the experience for users, as Canberra continues to grow over the coming decades.

“This study will help define the project scope of a potential underground interchange, taking into account economic, physical and social factors such as cost, transport network benefits and improved urban renewal outcomes.

“Determining project feasibility is a very early stage in the process and future stages would require significant community engagement with city workers, residents and businesses, public transport users and the wider Canberra community.”

For the bus interchange, the City Renewal Authority is considering two sites on the City Hill corners of London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue.

“Creating a new bus interchange under one, or both, of these sites could help manage the future growth of Canberra’s public transport network while providing better street-level urban design outcomes for Civic,” Mr Snow says. 

“While the proposed release of those two blocks is still some years off, doing this planning work now allows the government to make an informed decision on a project that could significantly shape the revitalisation of our city centre.”

The study will also look at possible delivery models, recognising that an underground facility would need to be designed and built as part of any new integrated development that occurs on the block above it.

The tender for the feasibility study closes on Thursday, December 13.

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