Excited Canberrans welcome ‘the day Canberra grows up’

Lachlan Roberts 20 April 2019 58

Chief Minister Andrew Barr flanked by Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris at the light rail launch at Gungahlin Place on Saturday morning (20 April). Photos: George Tsotsos.

“It’s so smooth!” “It’s very quiet isn’t it?” “It’s going faster than expected!”

These exclamations might not have described the two-year construction of stage one of the light rail corridor but as locals experienced their first ride on a light rail vehicle, the long wait was forgotten in the excitement.

A throng of Canberrans gathered at the official launch of the light rail at Gungahlin Place on Saturday morning (20 April) as musicians played and circus acts entertained the queues.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that the significant occasion was “the day Canberra grows up” and said the territory’s public transport system now befits the growing city.

“As we continue to grow, Canberra’s transport needs will also grow, which is why it is important that we are investing in Canberra’s transport infrastructure now,” Mr Barr said.

“There have been many sceptics and many critics along the way but we are delighted to be here today to celebrate with the Canberra community the launch of the first stage of light rail.

“It has been a couple of years of construction and disruption, but a project that has gone incredibly smoothly when compared to similar projects in other cities.

“Meegan [Fitzharris] and I are delighted to be here today to fulfil the promise we took to the 2016 election. It is a great day for Canberra and it’s a great day for public transport.”

Queue times will be updated every hour via this link so you can plan when you head into the City or Gungahlin to experience your first light rail trip in Canberra.

Locals can enjoy free public transport on Sunday (21 April) before the light rail will run as normal from Monday 22 April with your MyWay card. The whole network will then be free from 29 April for a month when the new bus network is launched.

Bring your gold coins to raise money for local Canberra foundation Hands Across Canberra, who are collecting funds to support vulnerable Canberrans and to provide grants to over 200 local community service organisations.

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58 Responses to Excited Canberrans welcome ‘the day Canberra grows up’
Anthony Carroll Anthony Carroll 1:06 pm 20 Apr 19

Good luck to the southside for th enext stage. Us northeners are glad to see the back of it.

    Chris Bennett Chris Bennett 6:55 pm 20 Apr 19

    Us North Westerners will have to wait 10 years to see anything useful

Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 2:13 pm 20 Apr 19

I would quite like to visit my grandchildren in a Gunghalin suburb but I can’t get the journey planner to help plan the journey.

Maria Greene Maria Greene 2:19 pm 20 Apr 19

stupid outdated overpriced inefficient technology AND they stuffed all the southside buses for no good reason. We are ruled by IDIOTS and the other mob are incompetent. Time to move to another state

    Anne Willenborg Anne Willenborg 4:16 pm 20 Apr 19

    Maria Greene don’t hold back, just tell’em what you think of them. I think we should all move to New Zealand 😊

    Nathan Edwards Nathan Edwards 8:01 pm 20 Apr 19

    Maria Greene Farewell!!!

    Gonnie Kelly Gonnie Kelly 8:24 pm 20 Apr 19

    Maria Greene See ya no one is holding you back

    Paul Rutherford Paul Rutherford 10:37 pm 20 Apr 19

    Maria Greene please do, 😉

    Simon Argall Simon Argall 11:43 pm 20 Apr 19

    Maria Greene 🖐

    Ann Parkinson Ann Parkinson 1:45 pm 22 Apr 19

    Totally agree, Maria Greene.

Suzanne Tunks Suzanne Tunks 2:38 pm 20 Apr 19

Congratulations! Thanks for thinking of the future and investing in this. I can’t wait to take my daughter for a ride 😊

    Anura Samara Anura Samara 4:35 pm 20 Apr 19

    Suzanne Tunks it's great. We've just come back from Gungahlin.

Scott Applebee Scott Applebee 2:47 pm 20 Apr 19

So did the govt get the "10,000 people expected to see the tram on it's first day" stat right or was it as inflated as the number of "potential commuters" are? 😂😂

    Lara Zangl Lara Zangl 6:26 pm 20 Apr 19

    Actually they expected 30000, got just over 25000, and yes they'd have to count for Max occupancy safety purposes due to the crowds, all lined up down hibberson to catch a ride.

    Paul Rutherford Paul Rutherford 10:44 pm 20 Apr 19

    Scott Applebee yes they got it right - again. 😂😂😂.

    Kate Carey Kate Carey 10:45 pm 20 Apr 19

    😂😂😂😂 fail Scott Applebee!

Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 3:50 pm 20 Apr 19

Hahaha Canberra grow up thats funny

Juliane Samara Juliane Samara 4:41 pm 20 Apr 19

Thanks to the ACT Government for having vision and diligence...don’t stop now!

    June Kirk June Kirk 7:01 pm 20 Apr 19

    Juliane Samara so you don’t know the history of why it came about, nothing to do with vision, it was about being able to form government by giving in to the Greens!

    Paul Rutherford Paul Rutherford 10:31 pm 20 Apr 19

    June Kirk you mean the troglodytes in the Liberal Party didn't get their way and have been having one of their silly little hissy fits ever since? 😂

    Juliane Samara Juliane Samara 11:48 pm 20 Apr 19

    It was in the original plan for Canberra. Takes vision to be able to take the idea and turn it into reality. I am grateful that my children and great grandchildren will benefit from it.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 12:30 am 21 Apr 19

    June Kirk right because the Greens would have formed government with the liberals instead.......

Lori Press Lori Press 5:10 pm 20 Apr 19

Megan Press lets ride it in for a night at moose?

David Jackson David Jackson 10:20 pm 20 Apr 19

Thanks for destroying my children’s future in having to pay for this antiquated piece of overpriced infrastructure. All because labor bowed down to the idiot greens. And how many economists told them the cost didn’t stack up?

    Paul Rutherford Paul Rutherford 10:36 pm 20 Apr 19

    David Jackson says a Liberal 😜😜😜😜

    Simon Argall Simon Argall 11:43 pm 20 Apr 19

    David Jackson Liberals ran local election primarily on the light rail campaign. They lost...... by a lot......by the way :)

    David Jackson David Jackson 12:20 pm 21 Apr 19

    Doc Rutherford I’m actually in the centre but I can also do basic maths and can see what this train wreck is going to cost the ACT ratepayers

    David Jackson David Jackson 12:21 pm 21 Apr 19

    Simon Argall I see that you live in Bungendore so you don’t even get to have an opinion as your not paying for it

    Simon Argall Simon Argall 10:57 pm 21 Apr 19

    David Jackson wrong, and why shouldn't I have an opinion, even if I was still in Bungendore I can still have an opinion weather you agree with it or not 🖒

    David Jackson David Jackson 12:12 am 22 Apr 19

    When you start paying for it then I’ll start to listen

    Simon Argall Simon Argall 7:27 pm 22 Apr 19

    David Jackson I live in Narrabundah and pay rates. Won't need it don't mind it. Time will tell, not you :)

    Bek Clark Bek Clark 4:08 am 24 Apr 19

    David Jackson that’s awful good you can do basic math - have a look at the population projections - perhaps you can do complex cognitive reasoning too? Perhaps.

Nick Brightman Nick Brightman 11:51 pm 20 Apr 19

Silvana. You’re in this article. (Photos)

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 12:09 am 21 Apr 19

I think the cap says "Make Canberra Great Again"

Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 9:35 am 21 Apr 19

Blimey, a bit of work to be done on the timetable!!! A half hour wait at 8 pm to get on to go to Gungahlin! One went by with out of service on it but wait, wait, wait.....

Max Ciacia Max Ciacia 2:20 pm 21 Apr 19

Shame our local bus stop gets cancelled next week. 26 local school kids can no longer get bus to school.

    Adrian Gab Adrian Gab 8:56 am 23 Apr 19

    Max Ciacia yep, it's a great way to artificially inflate tram passenger numbers

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 4:20 pm 21 Apr 19

I got 3 free rides..

Andrew Dudley Andrew Dudley 6:40 pm 21 Apr 19

Had a bunch of fun riding it from civic to Gungahlin, loved all the festivities ❤️🚇🎉

Adrian Gab Adrian Gab 8:59 am 23 Apr 19

Google trackless trams. What a waste of money.

Bek Clark Bek Clark 4:09 am 24 Apr 19

This must be what it felt like when cars started to outnumber horse carts - there would have been plenty of naysayers then too

Pun totally intended

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