Government releases updated bus timetable six weeks before launch

Lachlan Roberts 14 March 2019 107

Transport Canberra said the new bus network will start April 29. File Photo.

After nearly five months since the last Government report on community feedback on the proposed network, the ACT Government has released its new bus timetable before the network becomes operational in six weeks.

Canberrans can now start to plan their trip on the new network before the launch at the beginning of term two on Monday 29 April, with the Government promising one month of free travel on the new bus and light rail network.

ACT Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said the Government does not have an exact date for light rail yet but is confident it will begin either before or at the same time as the new bus network begins.

The Government continues to be dogged by complaints that the new network has reduced people’s travel options in some areas and about fewer dedicated school bus services.

“This is a new era for public transport in Canberra. Our city is growing and that’s why we are investing in a better public transport network to keep Canberra connected,” she said.

“We know this will be a big change for many people, but we hope having a more frequent, faster network every day of the week will encourage more people to catch public transport.”

Ms Fitzharris said the release of the timetables and route maps allows people to start planning their journeys and has provided a new journey planner to make it even easier for people to plan their trip on public transport.

The new network was completely redesigned using data from the MyWay ticketing system and is made up of shorter, more direct routes, with services designed to connect at interchanges across the city.

Ms Fitzharris said the new network will include 10 rapid routes, light rail, new local routes and more buses servicing schools across the ACT.

There will be services at least every 15 minutes along rapid transport routes from 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday, continuing into the evening with less frequency, with weekend and public holiday service times to be extended to 10 pm.

Canberra Liberals transport spokesperson Candice Burch said the new network will have fewer routes for schools and suburbs, with 59 schools to be left without a dedicated bus service.

“The Canberra Liberals welcome more frequent services along rapid transport routes, however, we remain concerned about the loss of dedicated school bus services, some suburban services, and services for students on the ANU campus,” Ms Burch said.

“Parents and school communities remain concerned about how long their kids’ bus trip will take, and how long children will be waiting at interchanges before or after school.

“We will continue to fight for dedicated school bus services to be reinstated.”

Ms Fitzharris said there will be increased safety across the network, with CCTV cameras on every bus and at all major interchanges, school crossing supervisors at 25 school crossings, improvements to infrastructure around schools and an additional 28 customer service assistants at interchanges.

When the new network begins, additional transport officers, customer service assistants and Transport Canberra representatives will be at major bus interchanges to help customers with the changes and provide timetable information.

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107 Responses to Government releases updated bus timetable six weeks before launch
lilac18 lilac18 7:05 pm 28 Apr 19

It used to take me 30 mins by bus to the city, now it will take 50 to 70 minutes. Ridiculous

gooterz gooterz 8:11 am 07 Apr 19

A new network based solely on myway ignores trying to get new bus users. 80% of 80% of 80% of each new network timetable.

pmact pmact 3:59 pm 06 Apr 19

Just checked the new network to see what my best options are to get to work from Nicholls to Woden – 1hr 4o minutes – Not happening

    gooterz gooterz 8:12 am 07 Apr 19

    With a free return trip in 1:30 minutes from start of travel.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 2:56 pm 07 Apr 19

    Definitely too many losers under the new network.

    Plenty of winners were created at the expense of those suburbs and areas that Canberra Transport targeted to make their public transport commute much worse.

    The head of the new Bus route design has never been man enough to come out and face the people and explain why he took their existing Bus away or why he decided to re-route it miles out of the optimal way.

    JC JC 6:24 am 08 Apr 19

    Every suburb that had a xpresso buses looses (except for a couple of deep Tuggeranong suburbs). The other losers are the ones who straddle satellite town boundaries and that were serviced with buses that served both those towns. So Nicholls which had buses to Belconnen and Gungahlin and yes Kambah which had buses to Woden and Tuggeranong.

    As for your last statement pretty certain the government has spoken about the intent of the new network and why some buses were taken away. Wether you agree with that is a different matter.

    Me personally I agree with the intent because the biggest bus issue has always been the time suburban buses meander through the suburbs. Though o don’t agree fully with the new network especially the loss of xpressos.

    Oh and OP what is the current commute time Nichols to Woden? I just googled it and got 1h25 give or take a few minutes.

    Maya123 Maya123 2:16 pm 08 Apr 19

    These examples are why I bought a house near to where I worked; not across town. Then when I applied for new jobs they had to be walking, cycling or an easy bus route from home.

    chewy14 chewy14 5:06 pm 08 Apr 19

    Have you ever thought that might not be practical for a lot of people considering the price of houses and where the vast majority of employment is in the ACT?

Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 2:03 pm 22 Mar 19

I’ll give the new network a go (as an occasional bus user), but it looks to be worse than my existing bus service. I’m not sure of the rationale behind the changes.

Michael Drew Michael Drew 1:39 pm 22 Mar 19

I can't wait. I so excited.

geetee geetee 8:57 pm 19 Mar 19

Having looked at the timetables, I’m less than thrilled that my most common routes (formerly a 10 or 20 minute ride on one bus) will now be 30-40 minutes on up to three buses.

As yet, no reply from the Minister (or staff) on my email to her office.

tim_c tim_c 4:47 pm 18 Mar 19

Current network: I leave home one hour before I have to be at work, and the trip requires one change (ie. two buses).
New network: I have to leave home one hour and 50 minutes before I have to be at work, and the trip will require two changes (ie. three buses).
I assume that’s what they mean when they say “more buses in the new network”. It would only take an extra 10 minutes to walk the whole way!

ffisher ffisher 11:28 am 18 Mar 19

Our kids&neighbours still have a school bus service but they now have to be at the bus stop 38 mins EARLIER than before, seriously how is that an improvement.
Starts at 7.10 am so in the middle of winter a bunch of young kids are going to be walking to and waiting at a bustop in about minus 7 degrees, let alone what time they will have to actually get up to be their by 7.10.
SHAME on the ACT Government selling out kids and ratepaying/taxpaying citizens so they can pay for their train to nowhere.
Woefully inadequate commuter parking has been provided in Gunghalin.

In our family alone the EXTRA time taken for each of the 3 individuals is from 25 to 38 minutes – extra each way. A new improved transport system, yeah, for whom?

aussie2 aussie2 9:29 pm 17 Mar 19

I find it rather interesting that they still have this media called “Moving Canberra”, yet they are now producing a new network. Out of sync or have I missed something? Of course, it will fail because they did not ask the cohort that travels in each direction. And to add insult, using My Way data only takes into account the converted travel habits, not the other 93%. Good luck Meeghan! When will you learn?

Natalie Brown Natalie Brown 8:12 pm 17 Mar 19

Oh wow, what a joke!

After years of catching a bus to and from work, come the 29th April I will now be driving. 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

Leanne Manunui Leanne Manunui 5:06 pm 17 Mar 19

Transport Canberra management and those responsible for the schedule, bad bad form. Canberra has an ageing population and yet you continue to move the marker for bus stops, first it was 250mtrs then 500mtrs and now 800mtrs is it? For those with mobility issues or children depending on buses to get them to school this is going to cause huge problems. You have no money for new buses so your actually thinking about putting the old buses that were pulled off due to metal fatigue back on the roads, but thats o.k you will just write yourself an exemption as you have done in the past. So wrong.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:53 pm 17 Mar 19

    Leanne Manunui no money for new buses? Except the 30 they purchased specifically for the new network including 10 extra articulated buses.

    And putting old buses back into service? Nup. With the 30 new buses and the ones freed up by light rail there is no need to bring back old buses. And even if they did that would kinda prove that there are more buses required for the new network!

    Leanne Manunui Leanne Manunui 9:14 pm 17 Mar 19

    Ashley Wright with the degeneration of the buses that are already on the road I doubt 30 will cover it but yes the freed up buses will help with replacing those with metal fatigue, from my understanding the articulated buses are limited to particular areas. I dearly hope this doesn't turn out to be like the multi million dollar gas installation in tuggeranong, bit of a white elephant unfortunately. You do seem to be in the know though so can you confirm what the acceptable distance is now? Is it 800mtrs?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:49 am 20 Mar 19

    Leanne Manunui not sure what you are hearing and where it is coming from but it is far from right.

    Btw the articulated buses are a maximum of 6 years old, with 32 dating from 2013 (a couple were delivered nov/def 2012) with 10 of the 11 (blue coloured) ones delivered last year. The other one was delivered in 2017. Now not sure what the issue was but these 11 buses had to be taken off the road recently to fix some issue.

    The articulated buses are not restricted in their use, maybe you are thinking of the 14.5m buses, they are the ones with 2 back axles. They are limited in where they can go, but have been since first introduced in 2010 and this is factored into their rostering.

    Leanne Manunui Leanne Manunui 1:57 pm 20 Mar 19

    Ashley Wright thank you for the correction, its great to know Transport Canberra is keeping on top of things, also good to know the gas buses will continue to be used hopefully for a very long time to justify the cost of the installation. I catch 4 buses a day so will be keeping an eye out for them for a very long time.

    You also said what I have been hearing is far from right, Does that mean the acceptable bus stop distance will remain at 500mtrs? And there is no intention of moving it to 800mtrs?

    Given my initial post of concerns regarding the ageing population and those with mobility issues it would be great to have the confirmation that there is no intention of extending the acceptable distance to a bus stop and will remain at 500mtrs.

gooterz gooterz 3:40 pm 17 Mar 19

Would love to see Liberal promoting themselves on the tram taking up free seats during the free month.

Rob Sanders Rob Sanders 6:15 pm 16 Mar 19

Let's remember this when the next expensive vanity project is announced by this terrible government. The timetable is worse than it was in the 1990s.. somehow!

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 2:51 pm 16 Mar 19

Why exactly doesn’t the government have a date for the light rail start?

    JC JC 9:02 am 17 Mar 19

    Because they need accreditation from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator before they can carry paying passengers.

    To get that they need to be audited and demonstrate they can operate safely.

Giuliana Zuccaro Giuliana Zuccaro 2:02 pm 16 Mar 19

Why did they change the bus numbers going to and from the Town Centre?

Michael Lightfoot Michael Lightfoot 2:00 pm 16 Mar 19

Fifteen minutes longer to get to civic from my local stop than currently.

Nathan Burraston Nathan Burraston 12:46 pm 16 Mar 19

How is it free ? Any property owner in Canberra is levied, rated and land taxed at increasing rates to pay for the bus and future tram which operate at staggering losses. The 'free' rides are well and truly being paid for.

    Matt Burns Matt Burns 7:01 pm 16 Mar 19

    Candice - "Local liberals are concerned about the new network providing less services to suburban areas and schools"

    Also Candice "Roll that network out son!"

Robert Honeybone Snr Robert Honeybone Snr 9:21 am 16 Mar 19

Does that include one months free travel on the trams

Meg Daly Meg Daly 4:26 am 16 Mar 19

It is easy to see that Canberra transport planners do not travel by bus!

Mike Frazer Mike Frazer 12:14 am 16 Mar 19

Going to be a lot of problems with this andvs lot of very unhappy people.

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