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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).

The Canberra Liberals announced their own plan to add six new routes to the Rapid Bus Network earlier this year, arguing additional rapid buses were a better option than light rail.

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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Fitzharris promises seven new rapid bus services
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Masquara 1:34 pm 18 Sep 16

chewy14 said :

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…

And, of course, for some who don’t live but have invested along the route – like Shane “Feeney” Rattenbury …

Masquara 1:31 pm 18 Sep 16

Looks as though Labor is running scared on the light rail issue …

gazket 10:14 pm 10 Sep 16

it takes 2 + years to get a new bus route ? wtf

bennygrocott 1:34 pm 02 Sep 16

Love this .

greenbamboo 9:32 am 02 Sep 16

Belconnen to Airport! Oh that would be so amazing. The number 10 is what I have to catch from civic and the frequency is every hour. Its so annoying. If I miss it even for a second, ill have to wait a whole hour. I really hope this new bus comes soon.

gooterz 2:01 pm 31 Aug 16

Genie said :

I have 2 questions.

1. Why is it going to take upwards of 3 years to commence a bus route to the airport?

2. Why are the Gungahlin to City Red Rapid buses being discontinued just because of light rail ? The price of a ticket better remain the same.

1. Because it’ll end up being a platform for the next election. They don’t have to cover the cost now. Libs will get criticised for not doing it when they get in.

2. Ticket prices are going to increase with or without light rail as patronage is decreasing and costs increasing. If they kept buses they admit that people don’t want a tram.
People still wanting the rapid route proves that having to change transport modes in civic deters people from public transport.

I like how everyone jumps on to criticise my first posts on this and claim there are no facts. Then when it comes to light they all run off and hide.

I wouldn’t mind catching a bus but there isn’t one that doesn’t end up with me spending 3 hours in commuting a day.

I wonder if the new free civic bus isn’t just a cheap way to increase numbers. Putting in a service that people should just have walked to say that action is doing more trips. That’s if people are actually using it.

bennygrocott 11:39 am 31 Aug 16

I really like it

Genie 11:21 am 31 Aug 16

I have 2 questions.

1. Why is it going to take upwards of 3 years to commence a bus route to the airport?

2. Why are the Gungahlin to City Red Rapid buses being discontinued just because of light rail ? The price of a ticket better remain the same.

TuggLife 12:15 am 31 Aug 16

Well, it’s a pretty map, but these things always do look pretty on paper. Unless you live in eastern Tuggeranong, in which case, sucks to be you.

The Athllon Drive stops are confusing. A new Park & Ride for Wanniassa was promised in this year’s budget. This plan looks like two stops are to be installed on Athllon Dr between Sulwood Dr and Drakeford Dr (there’s currently none), but that the Park & Ride is the southernmost one of the two. Does that mean the Park & Ride isn’t going to be near Wanniassa shops (but rather closer to Greenaway)? Installing a Blue Rapid stop at Wanniassa shops, with no additional parking, is going to be a mess.

gooterz 10:31 pm 30 Aug 16

Mordd said :

gooterz said :

Wouldn’t the loss of the tram be based on the commuters and ticket sales?

More commuters means slightly less loss. (except in the case they can cut services due to lower demand they might save a bit there).

Are they locked in to todays interest rates? Or yesterdays. The reserve bank just recently cut interest rates. I’m glad we get todays as they were higher last week.

Its only saving money(maybe) if interest rates increase. If we head into debt in other area’s we’ll have to borrow at a higher rate to cover the costs. Where as if we didn’t just blow it all on light rail we would avoid borrowing.

Since the interest rates are negotiated, as part of the negotiations before the contract was signed, the month to month fluctuation of the reserve bank published rate has little impact on this really, they are not the same things and I think you know that.

Would depend on the currency of the agreement.
If the AUD goes down is it related. Its also quite possible that the rate is a function of the official interest rate. If Australia goes though high inflation in the next 20 years (which is likely) then the consortium loses out.

Alas all these what if’s could be put to bed if the now signed agreement was made public. Perhaps it’ll be made public after the next election by the libs when they get into power.

Mordd 9:13 pm 30 Aug 16

gooterz said :

Wouldn’t the loss of the tram be based on the commuters and ticket sales?

More commuters means slightly less loss. (except in the case they can cut services due to lower demand they might save a bit there).

Are they locked in to todays interest rates? Or yesterdays. The reserve bank just recently cut interest rates. I’m glad we get todays as they were higher last week.

Its only saving money(maybe) if interest rates increase. If we head into debt in other area’s we’ll have to borrow at a higher rate to cover the costs. Where as if we didn’t just blow it all on light rail we would avoid borrowing.

Since the interest rates are negotiated, as part of the negotiations before the contract was signed, the month to month fluctuation of the reserve bank published rate has little impact on this really, they are not the same things and I think you know that.

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