A new single agency, Transport Canberra, will oversee the territory’s light rail and bus network from July 2016 when light rail contract negotiations are complete, putting an end to any speculation that ACTION may be privatised.
There will be no change to the ACTION and Capital Metro brands at this time and Minister for Capital Metro Simon Corbell remains the spokesman for the light rail project in the interim. However, it was Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury and Chief Minister Andrew Barr who made the announcement today.
“Transport Canberra, as a single transport agency merging both ACTION and Capital Metro, will ensure integration between buses, light rail and other transport modes,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“It will deliver a seamless and convenient multi-modal public transport network.”
Mr Rattenbury said the government’s Public Transport Improvement Plan, of which this latest development was a centrepiece, would lead to the creation of a “Canberra-wide public transport system that is a genuine alternative to driving”.
The new body will be responsible for redistributing more than a million bus kilometres freed up when the first stage of light rail begins running. It will also initiate a single ticketing system, a central contact point for information and coordinated timetabling.
The Government also announced it would introduce WiFi on ACTION buses and add bike racks to few remaining buses without them in coming months.
For more on ACT Government transport policy, see www.transport.act.gov.au.