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Government releases updated bus timetable six weeks before launch

Lachlan Roberts 14 March 2019 123

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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123 Responses to Government releases updated bus timetable six weeks before launch
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!

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 5:56 pm 16 Mar 19

No wonder they have given me a free pass. They know I can never use it.

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.

Ivan Xie Ivan Xie 1:27 pm 16 Mar 19

Christopher Warren I wish the rapid to Cooleman existed when I had to go there for work 😢

    Christopher Warren Christopher Warren 1:58 pm 16 Mar 19

    Ivan Xie sorry... not in service

    Ivan Xie Ivan Xie 2:37 pm 16 Mar 19

    But now you can get two work with just two buses instead of driving the car ;)

    Christopher Warren Christopher Warren 2:45 pm 16 Mar 19

    Ivan Xie I moved! I live within walking distance now

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.

George Lemon George Lemon 10:05 pm 15 Mar 19

Haha Canberrans keep on voting Labor-Greens

Hadas Katz Yehezkel Hadas Katz Yehezkel 10:01 pm 15 Mar 19

So my 3 daughters that uses the bus everyday to go to school will have to spend more than an hour and two buses instead of 20 min each way. The youngest will have to go to after school care because she won’t be able to walk for half an hour and take two buses by herself, thanks a lot act gov.

Meg Daly Meg Daly 8:31 pm 15 Mar 19

I live in Ainslie and we had a very long fight to retain our current very convenient and regular bus service. And good route! Just a change of number really. But it does seem to take a bit longer to get to Civic. Not sure why?

bj_ACT bj_ACT 6:16 pm 15 Mar 19

A month of free Bus and Light Rail Services for those lucky enough to live in suburbs with improved transport services.

A month of Free services Paid for by those people who have had their bus services downgraded and will have years of slower travel commutes and longer walks to their bus stop.

michael quirk michael quirk 5:19 pm 15 Mar 19

Abandon light raii to Woden and use the funds to increase the frequency,
coverage and comfort of the bus network

aronde aronde 5:18 pm 15 Mar 19

So I did a quick check of the timetables for Belconnen and by my calculations there are 12 buses due to arrive at Westfield station (heading down the hill towards interchange) between 7:34am and 7:40am. Not sure where they will all fit especially if others are running late and arrive at same time? Are they going to be queued back up Cohen St?

Maree Anne Pavloudis Maree Anne Pavloudis 3:39 pm 15 Mar 19

There will be no buses going through CIT Bruce and Calvary Hospital. Where is the inclusion and accessibility? This is a case of discrimination against people with disabilities and the elderly, among others. Where is the access to higher education and health services?

2902 2902 1:22 pm 15 Mar 19

So Light rail will run on Friday and Saturday nights until 1am but all buses finish before midnight? Surely there could be some consistency and have the last bus leave the city at 1am as well

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