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Government releases updated bus timetable six weeks before launch

Lachlan Roberts 14 March 2019 124

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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127 Responses to Government releases updated bus timetable six weeks before launch
Terry Grosvenor-Jones Terry Grosvenor-Jones 9:01 am 15 Mar 19

I'm grateful I was able to retire. Gowrie to Sydney Avenue Barton used to take 20 minutes by bus when I was working (they specifically minimised available parking in the York Park / Windsor Walk area to promote public transport). This new timetable suggests I'd be taking in the scenic delights of Curtin and Lyons for an hour and fifteen minutes each way. Two and a half hours on a bus every day? In a city this small? It's back to the old joke, the longest distance between two points? An ACTION bus route.

Jon Ratcliffe Jon Ratcliffe 8:24 am 15 Mar 19

You screwed me Action. 20mins more each way. Prob drive again.

Sophie Stines Sophie Stines 8:11 am 15 Mar 19

Luke perfect timing for your leave! Unlimited train rides with the girls haha

Ken Byrnes Ken Byrnes 7:55 am 15 Mar 19

Quote: Here’s our wrap of what commuters can expect from the new timetable. A lot of Upset, Putout, Piss off, Mad, People. Lol

Toshak Akita Toshak Akita 2:30 am 15 Mar 19

This is the one millionth new timetable, and still haven't got it right...🤔

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:33 am 24 Mar 19

    Toshak Akita Maybe because it is impossible to get the one that keeps everyone happy

Aj Biega Aj Biega 1:15 am 15 Mar 19

Wow. Checked for my family member who has cancer and has to go to hospital and you took away his way to Canberra hospital. Ffs.

Kathryn Lee Kathryn Lee 11:27 pm 14 Mar 19

So school bus service scrapped, a direct bus from Woden (that was full) which took 25 minutes is replaced with a trip that will take an hour 20 and involve a walk. My daughter has a significant disability and I have been trying to teach her how to catch buses. Think I will teach her how to catch an Uber instead.

    James O'Neill James O'Neill 7:05 am 15 Mar 19

    Kathryn Lee where is she catching the bus to?

    I don't think any of the new services run that long!

    Kathryn Lee Kathryn Lee 1:16 pm 16 Mar 19

    James O'Neill I think the problem is made worse as my daughter has mobility issues and the walk times inserted into the route will take her 4 times as long as the estimate.

    I’m totally ignoring in this comment that transfering from one bus to another at interchange is not skill she processes. I would need to teach her that over several months. Worthwhile doing if the overall trip time for her wasn’t so long.

bj_ACT 11:22 pm 14 Mar 19

I just don’t get the logic of the transport minister choosing which suburbs would be winners and which suburbs would be losers from the new Bus network. Certainly some areas are much better off than others.

Seems to be the outer suburbs with poorer people who have been kicked hard by transport Canberra, so that they can service areas they want to target to get the usage stats up. That’s patently undemocratic.

I’ve complained about how bad the news routes are for many Tuggeranong residents, but I have to add big chunks of Belconnen and western Gungahlin to the loser list.

    JC 5:22 am 16 Mar 19

    Dunlop seems to be a big winner which is a poorer putter suburb.

    And will agree I live in western Gungahlin and the new network is worse for us.

    But realistically could you create a new network that has no losers?

    bj_ACT 9:05 am 16 Mar 19

    Could I create a network with no losers? I’m sure many transport experts could give it a very good shot with the huge extra expenditure the government has committed to the bus network.

    We know you’re consistently the strongest supporter of Canberra Transport on the Riotact, but surely even you can see the level of complaints from residents across about the same 10 suburbs and realise something is amiss with the new routes.

    JC 9:10 am 17 Mar 19

    I see complaints from more than 10 suburbs, it seems across the board. That said I don’t hear too many complaints from Dunlop for example who is a big winner so who knows maybe overall there are more winners than losers and frankly that’s about the best anyone could hope for.

    And I too am someone who has complained and provided feedback. To me the biggest failing is the lack of peak hour express buses and at an even bigger level the lack of the push for park and ride. In fact I think the government should more or less give up on trying to get EVERY to use public transport from the house and get them to big park and rides with frequent transport from there. The light rail being the biggest failing in that regard. Both mitchel and EPIC would be ideal park and ride locations but nope nothing even to the extent I believe light rail will be skipping the EPIC stop except during special events (this is in the contract and also on some of the destination displays on the test trams)

    Other than that I can see what the core issue is with buses in Canberra which is the time they take to meander through the suburbs to get to an interchange so for the most part I don’t mind the idea of changing wn-route from a local bus to an express. Refer to above about park and rides.

    bj_ACT 1:57 pm 18 Mar 19

    Yep I definitely agree with you on having better Park and Ride facilities.

    But the existing Kambah 'Park and Ride' used to have 1 stop and straight up the Parkway direct to Woden, You didn't think this change to re-direct the route through Weston Creek and Cooleman Court and basically double the travel time was a problem. Kambah had Express Busses that have been removed. You now seem to be going against your previous arguments when the new 2019 system was mooted by pushing for better Park and Ride and more Peak hour express busses.

    This is why so many Kambah people (and former kambah people) are complaining on Riotact, Canberra Times, ABC radio etc etc. It's not just Kambah however, its other Suburbs right across Canberra who have the same issues, but some suburbs such as Dunlop and a few in Weston Creek are big winners from the change. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the Suburbs that some key Ministers and Transport Executives live in ;-)

Sarah Tea Sarah Tea 10:19 pm 14 Mar 19

Absolutely disgraceful. Fewer buses, less direct routes, bike trips to connect. Nothing in this article reflects the reality of this ridiculous plan that ignores public feedback.

    Kathryn Ingram Kathryn Ingram 12:07 am 16 Mar 19

    Why did they ask for feedback if they weren't going to listen?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:59 pm 17 Mar 19

    Sarah Tea actually there are more buses not fewer.

    Whether they go where you want when you want is a different issue but undisputed fact there are more buses on the road with this network.

    Sarah Tea Sarah Tea 10:15 pm 17 Mar 19

    Ashley Wright I’m yet to find anyone to benefit from that a undisputed fact.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:26 am 18 Mar 19

    Sarah Tea as I said whether you benefit is not my point. The point is there are more buses and services in the timetable. And not be a small margin either.

    As to who benefits I do depending on where I want to go by virtue of there being an extra route that is closer to me. Though the loss of a direct peak hour bus to the city means I loose the bus I would want to use the most. The loss of the direct and Xpresso peak hour routes to me is the biggest failing in this new network b

    The big winners are those who live on or close to a rapid route. In the Belconnen region Dunlop, Macgregor, Spence, Melba, Florey. Much of Molongolo is also better off. Haven’t looked elsewhere but on frequency of the rapids alone people near them would be cheering.

Steph Buckley Steph Buckley 9:46 pm 14 Mar 19

Julie Peat - direct bus from Lanyon to work

Scott Welsh Scott Welsh 9:17 pm 14 Mar 19

Cool, still 1 hour 20 minutes from Nicholls to the airport (24km). I’ll stick to the motor bike.

Louis Sotiropoulos Louis Sotiropoulos 9:08 pm 14 Mar 19

Ms Fitzharris and her incompetence strikes again. Instead of making it better, they have made it far worse, increasing travel times. Massive fail Ms Fitzharris. Massive

    Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 6:02 pm 16 Mar 19

    Louis Sotiropoulos hmmm her problem is that harris is too big and does not fitz her...

Caroline Parker Caroline Parker 9:00 pm 14 Mar 19

Not another new timetable

Naomi Flynn Naomi Flynn 8:59 pm 14 Mar 19

I don't drive so I'm forced to catch the bus, and I really wanted to be positive about the new network.... and then I checked out the new timetables.

I feel like there will be a lot of over crowded buses with a few school services pulled from the Holt area and everyone expected to get that one bus from Kippax. I also really liked having a few different options with the Xpresso buses and intertown (300's) services, but these options are now gone.

    Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 8:35 am 15 Mar 19

    Naomi, I also don’t drive. I believe that in the capital city, there should be adequate public transport. Maybe when the new network settles down, we will find our way around, but it does not look promising.

Joanne McRae Joanne McRae 8:00 pm 14 Mar 19

Kaleen north residents totally ripped. Off peak travel times to Civic now as much as doubled as we have to change to the tram at Dickson. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to change from bus to tram and unlikelihood of being able to get a seat on the tram.

The number 54 from Belconnen to Gungahlin, via Kaleen, Crace and Palmerston, has been scrapped. I take this bus to visit friends and shop at Crace. It’s a direct service and less than half an hour door to door. With the new timetable I’ll need to change twice and go either to Belconnen Town Centre to Gungahlin Town Centre to Crace, or, to Dickson to Gungahlin Town Centre to Crace. How long is that going to take me?? Needless to say, I’ll be driving the 10 minutes to Crace. And the number 54 route also services UC and Radford. How will that impact upon the kids?

In the so-called “consultation” processes, it was held out as a sweetener that there would be more frequent evening and weekend services. Well, in the case of the Kaleen north service it will still be an hourly service at these times. Great if we just miss the bus at the Dickson interchange. We’ll need to wait best part of an hour for the next one.

The only plus for us is the later services in the evening.

I can see me using my car much more than I do now, sadly.

Russell Hadley Russell Hadley 7:55 pm 14 Mar 19

no good to me, I have to drive. No buses at 5 am.

Lynne Staunton Lynne Staunton 7:33 pm 14 Mar 19

So instead of one bus direct, more or less, now it's at least two. And not direct. Really need to get my license. Or travel with the opposition.

But know the moment light rail was announced that the buses would be screwed.

Penny Gordon Penny Gordon 7:09 pm 14 Mar 19

Another change to the bus network, and again we have deterioration to services in Tuggeranong. Have to give it to Transport Canberra and the ACT Government, at least they're consistent.

Susie Campbell Susie Campbell 6:57 pm 14 Mar 19

TC so wrong on so many levels. The new plan for my daughters direct double bus to and from school now incorporates a 4 km bike ride on a non dedicated bike path but along a major road to catch a bus to woden to then double back. WTF TC you have clearly lost the plot. Tuggeranong aren’t getting a bloody tram for years and yet you have pulled the majority of services from this region in Canberra. Let me reduce my work hours, not pay the mortgage just to get my kid to school 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

Sue Ellen Sue Ellen 6:54 pm 14 Mar 19

Took the opportunity to see if busing it from the burbs in Tuggeranong to Civic was now worthwhile. And yeah NAH! 1 hr 15 mins each way not including waiting for buses. Sorry, I simply don't have a spare 3 hrs a day to commute.

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