The ACT Government has unveiled its new ‘rapid’ bus network two years ahead of schedule, with nine routes ready to connect Canberra’s commuters from 2018.
It also announced that a two-phase consultation on the broader network will start next week. In the first phase, it will be asking Canberrans how they want to connect to the new Rapid network, including looking at how local buses, park and rides, active travel routes and more connect to the Rapid network.
Consultation opens on Friday, 27 October and will run for six weeks.
Canberrans will then have their say on the details of connections, routes and timetables for local services during the second phase of consultation in early 2018.
Minister for Transport Canberra and City Services Meegan Fitzharris revealed the new network while opening the Dickson Bus Interchange last week.
“A new era of public transport in Canberra starts in 2018, making it easier than ever before for all Canberrans to get to where they need to go,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“Our upgraded network will revolutionise the way people use public transport in Canberra, taking cars off the road and increasing patronage across the city.”
She said the first stage of light rail would free up a million bus kilometres. “We are putting those to work to deliver a faster and easier public transport network that will reduce congestion and protect our liveability as our city grows,” she said.
The new integrated transport network will operate seven days a week across nine ‘rapid’ bus routes, which will be operational from mid-2018 ahead of the light rail launch in late 2018.
Rapid buses will connect town centres, suburbs and the city, forming one of the most crucial pieces of Canberra’s future integrated transport network, and run at least every 15 minutes along core transport corridors from 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday.
In 2018, all rapid bus routes will also operate over the weekends, with a general frequency of every 15 to 30 minutes or better, building over time. The new network can be found here.
Some of the key features of the expanded rapid network include:
- All nine Rapid services to be up and running in 2018.
- Tuggeranong and Belconnen commuters to receive Rapid services two years ahead of schedule.
- For Tuggeranong, in addition to the recent extension of the blue rapid to Lanyon, a new rapid will operate from Lanyon to the City via Erindale and the inner south of Canberra.
- For Belconnen, in addition to the new black Rapid, there will now be a Rapid to Watson via the new Dickson Interchange.
- The existing Airport service will also be incorporated into a new Rapid, providing for more frequent connections for locals and visitors.
Transport Canberra’s new Rapid network is built around the following routes:
|R1 (Light Rail)||Gungahlin to City via Dickson|
|R2||Fraser to Fyshwick via Kippax, Belconnen, UC, ANU, City, Barton and Kingston|
|R3||Spence to Canberra International Airport via Belconnen, UC, ANU, City and Russell|
|R4||City to Lanyon via Woden, Mawson and Tuggeranong|
|R5||City to Lanyon via Russell, Barton, Woden, Erindale and Calwell|
|R6||City to Woden via Barton, Kingston, Manuka, Griffith, Narrabundah and Canberra Hospital|
|R7||City to Woden via Molonglo and Cooleman Court|
|R8||Belconnen to Gungahlin via UC Hospital|
|R9||Belconnen to Watson via Bruce, Dickson and Downer|