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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3564 ..


Since 2002, the Stanhope Labor government has introduced a significant number of initiatives, including $22.84 million towards ACTION’s fleet replacement program. Fifty-four new wheelchair accessible CNG buses and 20 new wheelchair accessible diesel buses have been introduced into the fleet. Over the next four years, commencing in 2008-09, the government will also invest $50 million in new wheelchair accessible buses to better meet the expected growth in demand for public transport and accessibility requirements by Canberrans with disabilities. The investment is expected to deliver about 100 new buses and to meet the government's commitment to have 55 per cent of the fleet wheelchair accessible by 2012. Currently, 25 per cent of ACTION’s buses meet disability standards under the DDA, and this is the target level for December 2007 under the act. In addition, 16 new wheelchair accessible buses will be introduced into ACTION’s fleet by the end of next year.

The government will also be investing $20.45 million over the next four years to improve bus services and connections and enhance services in many parts of the city. Proposed improvements, to be introduced in April 2008, this coming April, include: same route directions and route numbers seven days a week; more frequency and less waiting for routes throughout the day; more express services; better spacing of services; better connections; improvements to route design in many suburbs; improvements to services in Gungahlin, the parliamentary triangle and central Canberra and new services for Brindabella Park from Gungahlin, Civic and Woden.

As from tomorrow, the Canberra community will be able to view the proposed network plan by visiting any bus interchange, Canberra Connect shopfront, library, ACTION bus or the ACTION website at www.action.act.gov.au. The government is keen to hear the views of commuters and also those in the community who are considering using the proposed new network services.

Further initiatives have also been funded for the improvement of our bus interchanges, with $1 million being provided this financial year to improve safety, security and maintenance at the Woden and Belconnen bus interchanges. This additional funding will see the installation of security cameras at Woden and Belconnen interchanges. Provision of improved CCTV will better enable enforcement agencies to deter and identify criminal and antisocial behaviour. Funding will see the much needed maintenance work undertaken at Belconnen interchange, in the lead-up to the construction of a new interchange. In addition, 100 additional seats will be installed at selected bus stops across Canberra.

The government has also provided funding of $2.3 million over the next four years for ACT senior and community transport. ACT seniors are now eligible to travel using a concession fare in the peak periods. This initiative will allow all holders of an ACT seniors card to ride on an ACTION bus for half price at any time, including during peak periods. Canberrans aged 60 years or over who are permanent residents of the ACT and not in paid employment for more than 20 hours a week are eligible for an ACT seniors card.

The funding will also allow for the introduction of a community on-demand, wheelchair accessible minibus service to supplement transport delivered by regional


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