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Fitzharris promises seven new rapid bus services

By Charlotte Harper - 29 August 2016 31

Meegan Fitzharris

If re-elected in October, the ACT Government will expand the Rapid Bus Network from two services to nine over the next four years, requiring the purchase of 80 new buses, hiring of 80 new drivers and design of a new Northside depot at a cost of more than of $100 million.

Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said today that the first additions to the rapid bus network (see map below), in 2017, would be the extension of the Blue Rapid to Lanyon, completing the Blue Rapid link from Kippax to the Lanyon Valley, a new Green Rapid from Woden to the City via Manuka and Barton, and the Black Rapid from Belconnen to Gungahlin.

Two of the routes, to be added in 2020, would service Canberra Airport (one from Tuggeranong and the other from Belconnen).

Ms Fitzharris said today that the Government’s Rapid Bus Network would integrate high frequency buses with the first and future stages of light rail as well as other regular and peak express services.

“Transport Canberra has been working hard to analyse our MyWay data and customer feedback including through the Transport Canberra survey to develop a clear plan for the rollout of our rapid network,” the Minister said.

“These improvements to the Rapid Bus Network will be on top of our plans to deliver light rail, trial electric buses, reform our ticketing system, build more Park and Rides and Bike and Rides, regulate innovative new services like ride sharing and car sharing, smart parking and autonomous vehicles.”

During 2015-16 Blue Rapid services carried more than 4 million passengers, and the Red Rapid carried more than 1 million passengers.

Ms Fitzharris said the new Rapid Bus Network would be supported by an additional $55 million investment for services, at least 100 new jobs, and $51 million for the 80 new buses and the design of a new depot in the north of Canberra.

She said rapid services for post-2017 rollout would include:

Woden to City via Weston Creek (2018)
Belconnen to Watson via Dickson (2018)
Tuggeranong to City via Erindale (2019)
Lanyon to Airport via Barton (2020)
Belconnen to Airport via City (2020)

The Labor Minister said the services would be phased in so that the Government could ensure integration with walking and cycling infrastructure and Park and Ride facilities, and that services were direct and took people where they wanted to go.

“It will also ensure that we can reallocate the 1.2 million bus kilometres that will be freed up by the first stage of the light rail network,” Ms Fitzharris said.

ACT Government rapid bus plan

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31 Responses to
Fitzharris promises seven new rapid bus services
rommeldog56 12:33 pm 30 Aug 16

chewy14 said :

Yes, it was definitely no secret that the bus option provided far more value than the Tram, it was even in the government’s own business plan.

The interesting thing to see in the article is that the way the tram was being justified was not as a transport project but as a value capture project along the route and that one obvious way of doing so would be a direct levy for it’s construction to those along that route who benefit the most.

Instead we have the government utilising every ratepayer’s money to fund a huge windfall gain in property price rises to those who live along the route.

Good for some hey.

Well said.

chewy14 12:26 pm 30 Aug 16

Garfield said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

rommeldog56 said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

Right. That would be like the “facts” and assumptions in the ACT Govt’s business case for the Tram ????

You mean like the fact that “Locking in record low interest rates for 30 years makes building them now a bargain.” – that’s a quote from the Canberra Times btw.

Or the fact that the Liberals have admitted we will need it in only 20 years time, but they just don’t want to build it right now (maybe in 10 years they would though? who knows).

Or the fact that we could have an ACT wide network connecting all the major locations and still have it all cost less than 1% of the overall ACT budget?

Those facts?

Would you stop lying on the Liberals having said Canberra will need light rail in no more than 20 years. What they said was IF its needed in 20 or 30 or 40 years the ACT government will own the plans.

You should have a look at the Canberra Times this morning. They’ve obtained a report under FOI that says in 2013 the government knew that rapid buses provided more than twice the value to the ACT taxpayer than the tram. The tram is a political child of the marriage between Labor & the Greens after the 2012 election.

Yes, it was definitely no secret that the bus option provided far more value than the Tram, it was even in the government’s own business plan.

The interesting thing to see in the article is that the way the tram was being justified was not as a transport project but as a value capture project along the route and that one obvious way of doing so would be a direct levy for it’s construction to those along that route who benefit the most.

Instead we have the government utilising every ratepayer’s money to fund a huge windfall gain in property price rises to those who live along the route.

Good for some hey.

dungfungus 11:15 am 30 Aug 16

Maybe it’s a long bow to pull but could it be that now all vestiges of Capital Metro have gone this bus plan and the front page story in today’s Canberra Times (Buses beat tram:report”) are signs that the whole light rail project will be scrapped before the election?
There are still costings to be revealed and remember there was an escape clause in the “business plan” that allows the government to withdraw “honourably” if the cost is deemed too high (it already is).
On top of all that we have the familiar sorries that happen with all light rail projects namely the disruption to business activity during and after construction http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/southern-courier/kensington-shop-owners-say-theyre-forced-to-close-or-move-while-businesses-in-kingsford-brace-themselves-for-the-light-rail/news-story/5a0c5cc85907048ff9eb7cc4c61a24ed.
When construction starts between Canberra City and Dickson all parking on the roads adjacent to Northbourne Avenue will have to be abolished to create clearways for detoured road traffic.
To abandon the project now is the only sensible thing left to do.

rommeldog56 8:02 am 30 Aug 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

Or the fact that the Liberals have admitted we will need it in only 20 years time, but they just don’t want to build it right now (maybe in 10 years they would though? who knows).

Or the fact that we could have an ACT wide network connecting all the major locations and still have it all cost less than 1% of the overall ACT budget? Those facts?

The “build it now” argument : No. This is not a national infrastructure project that will spur on national economic development – like the Snowy Mountains Scheme was to do. It is not necessary now. Also, when the ACT Gov’t takes control of it in 20+ years time, it will no doubt need refurbishment if it is to continue in use. IMHO, all this tram will do is to move commuters Gunners to Civic in roughly the same time as a rapid bus will do. Oh, and get drunks back to a tram station in Gunners after a night out, so they can drive home from there of course.

The 1% of the budget was spin and was discredited both on here and elsewhere. The ACT Auditor General said that the total cost would be about b$1.7+ (ie. the amount of Ratepayers money that will be paid to the consortia) – and that’s just for the 1st 12 Ks of track !

Garfield 7:59 am 30 Aug 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

rommeldog56 said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

Right. That would be like the “facts” and assumptions in the ACT Govt’s business case for the Tram ????

You mean like the fact that “Locking in record low interest rates for 30 years makes building them now a bargain.” – that’s a quote from the Canberra Times btw.

Or the fact that the Liberals have admitted we will need it in only 20 years time, but they just don’t want to build it right now (maybe in 10 years they would though? who knows).

Or the fact that we could have an ACT wide network connecting all the major locations and still have it all cost less than 1% of the overall ACT budget?

Those facts?

Would you stop lying on the Liberals having said Canberra will need light rail in no more than 20 years. What they said was IF its needed in 20 or 30 or 40 years the ACT government will own the plans.

You should have a look at the Canberra Times this morning. They’ve obtained a report under FOI that says in 2013 the government knew that rapid buses provided more than twice the value to the ACT taxpayer than the tram. The tram is a political child of the marriage between Labor & the Greens after the 2012 election.

gooterz 12:12 am 30 Aug 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

pajs said :

gooterz said :

Please reelect us so we can do something we should have already done. Libs map is much better this just focuses on the north side. 2/10

Um, 4 of the 7 new routes are Southside…

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

Are increased rates facts? or facts of life?

gooterz 12:10 am 30 Aug 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

rommeldog56 said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

Right. That would be like the “facts” and assumptions in the ACT Govt’s business case for the Tram ????

You mean like the fact that “Locking in record low interest rates for 30 years makes building them now a bargain.” – that’s a quote from the Canberra Times btw.

Or the fact that the Liberals have admitted we will need it in only 20 years time, but they just don’t want to build it right now (maybe in 10 years they would though? who knows).

Or the fact that we could have an ACT wide network connecting all the major locations and still have it all cost less than 1% of the overall ACT budget?

Those facts?

30 years ago we assumed we’d have hover boards and flying cars. Instead we got some weird ‘hoverboard’ and google cars. 20 years from now we’ll likely know whats happening with the peak fuel and Electric cars will be much more common. However I still think people are going to want to sit down in 20 years from now!

For those playing at home:
Gold Line

“Gold Line is the name given to the common route operated by routes 2 and 3 between the City, Parkes, Barton, Parliament House and Deakin. Between 7 am and 7 pm weekdays, these route combine to provide a 15-minute frequency along the common route corridor”

“Green Line is the name given to the common routes operated by routes 4 and 5 firstly between the City West district, City Bus Station, Russell, Barton, Kingston and Manuka; and secondly from Woden Bus Station to Canberra Hospital and Goyder Street, Narrabundah. Between 7 am and 7 pm weekdays, these routes combine to provide a 15-minute frequency along both of the common route corridors.”

-Wikipedia

These were already routes that were previously taken away. or at least not marketed as rapid services anymore.

The pink, purple and purple both follow the same paths such that there is only 3 separate paths for a tiny bit of the journey. So realistically they are just one service. Which makes these routes particularly unlikely to actually be around long. They’ll just merge them together.
There are no routes between Woden and Belconnen or Molonglo and Belconnen or Molongo and Tuggeranong. The Purple rapid service doesn’t stop anywhere but Erindale between Woden and Tuggeranong.

None of the routes go down Parkes way. Or stop at the Arboretum, Western foreshore.

I can’t help but notice that light rail makes the bus maps particularly hard. It would make much more sense if light rail was the centre route ringed by bus services that drop off at the edges.

Barton and parkes have a bottleneck of 6 rapid services. Why light rail wasn’t approached there is just crazy.

All in all they’ve switched the Gold and Green line routes for one line that extends to western creek. Which is a whole new area. So there is zero actual increase in bus services. The only other change is the route to Erindale, of which there is nothing there to get excited about. There is no park and ride and no bike facilities.

Likewise for Lanyon and Coolemon court.

Fact. Action ridership is going down
Total vehicle kilometres travelled Kilometres
2013-2014 : 28,770,581
2014-2015 : 25,603,699

Despite there being more people in Canberra there were less trips in 2014-2015 than in 2013-2014
another year on decrease of 1%.

The Libs said they would scrap Light rail and do more buses. Now Labor is saying they’ll also need more buses. So what is the point of the light rail?

I’m glad the Map looks like its done in the metro style.

Anyone who isn’t blind will also see that with increased buses, decreased trips and fares that the prices will increase too.

rommeldog56 10:58 pm 29 Aug 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

You mean like the fact that “Locking in record low interest rates for 30 years makes building them now a bargain.” – that’s a quote from the Canberra Times btw.

To address just one of your absurd “facts”. Anyone who thinks u can lock in record low interest rates over a 30 year contract is delusional. Anyone who actually believes that spin from the ACT labor/Greens Gov’t simply should not be voting – because they are far too gullible.

This is an international consortia we have contracted with. Hell would freeze over before they – or any other supplier – would sign a contract locking in record low interest rates for 30 years. The concept is laughable. Make the contract public for all to see.

Mordd - IndyMedia 10:14 pm 29 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

Right. That would be like the “facts” and assumptions in the ACT Govt’s business case for the Tram ????

You mean like the fact that “Locking in record low interest rates for 30 years makes building them now a bargain.” – that’s a quote from the Canberra Times btw.

Or the fact that the Liberals have admitted we will need it in only 20 years time, but they just don’t want to build it right now (maybe in 10 years they would though? who knows).

Or the fact that we could have an ACT wide network connecting all the major locations and still have it all cost less than 1% of the overall ACT budget?

Those facts?

rommeldog56 8:54 pm 29 Aug 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

Right. That would be like the “facts” and assumptions in the ACT Govt’s business case for the Tram ????

oh_ 8:27 pm 29 Aug 16

I really like it. It kinda looks like an ‘overground’ metro system which is what it should be for usability, clarity, simplicity etc. What would make it even better is if it came with bus lanes in congestion spots, as well as better supporting infrastructure like quality bus stops with digital displays and signage, more places you can lock up a bike, etc.

Mordd - IndyMedia 7:57 pm 29 Aug 16

pajs said :

gooterz said :

Please reelect us so we can do something we should have already done. Libs map is much better this just focuses on the north side. 2/10

Um, 4 of the 7 new routes are Southside…

Don’t be too harsh, he’s just doing what the Liberals do with the tram, making up the “facts” that suit their point of view.

pajs 1:51 pm 29 Aug 16

gooterz said :

Please reelect us so we can do something we should have already done. Libs map is much better this just focuses on the north side. 2/10

Um, 4 of the 7 new routes are Southside…

gooterz 1:02 pm 29 Aug 16

How many will catch the bus from Gungahlin to Belconnen then to Civic likely be quicker and they can sitdown or avoid a transfer in the city.

Why is there no coverage of the ‘safe schools’

gooterz 10:25 am 29 Aug 16

Please reelect us so we can do something we should have already done. Libs map is much better this just focuses on the north side. 2/10

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