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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2452 ..

community’s wants and needs, after extensive consultation. On implementation, the new network delivered an additional 428 new services each weekday.

This was followed by the addition of 16 new compressed natural gas buses, the announcement of funding for a new ticketing system, as well as major investments in repairs and maintenance and safety and security such as CCTV on all buses. Investments announced in 2007-08 included an addition $2 million recurrent and $16.5 million in capital funding.

During 2008-09, ACTION completed the procurement for a new ticketing system worth $8 million. The system, which is expected to be implemented in late 2010, will utilise smartcard technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the service by providing more accurate trip and travel data that will assist with network planning into the future.

In the same year, the government responded to the development of a fleet replacement strategy by providing $49.5 million for the replacement of 100 buses. The fleet replacement strategy highlighted the need for ACTION to work towards the milestone targets identified in the Disability Discrimination Act for accessible buses, which will require the whole fleet to be accessible by 2022. The government responded to this challenge by initiating the 100-bus replacement program but also by providing for continued replacement of buses into the future. Funding of $13 million per annum was provided for this purpose in each of the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years, bringing the total investment in bus replacement to around $76 million over six years.

Out of a total operational fleet of 414, ACTION currently has 140 wheelchair accessible buses, representing 29.5 per cent of the total fleet at the moment. The first of these new buses delivered were state-of-the-art Euro 5 emission compliant buses introduced into Canberra in September 2009, being the first of their kind in Australia. The ACT government procured these buses well over 12 months in advance of the federal requirement for Euro 5 emission compliant buses. These new buses are not only accessible but climate controlled and, where possible, have bike racks fitted.

In 2008-09, the government continued to invest in repairing and maintaining buses, with $450,000 for major unit overhauls designed to extend the useful life of existing buses. Investments in the bus network in 2008-09 included around $33 million over four years for services associated with Network 08 and around $76 million over six years in capital.

In 2009-10, the government continued to invest in ACTION by providing around $2.4 million for capital upgrades, with a focus on safety and security including installing CCTV at interchanges, on buses, and undertaking the relocation of the communication centre from the Belconnen depot to the Winchester Police Centre. The government will continue its focus on safety and security in ACTION in the coming years by improving bus driver seats and retrofitting bus park brake alarms.

In 2009-10, the government also demonstrated its commitment to the provision of sustainable transport for the ACT by developing Transport for Canberra, a sustainable transport action plan. The plan will establish the steps that the government needs to undertake to meet the ACT’s sustainable transport targets as set out in the sustainable transport plan.

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