Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2602 ..
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Miss Burch for her supplementary question. I would say that construction work is always subject to contingencies and uncertainties. We have seen that in a number of construction projects around the city over a space of time. Of course, we are working as fast as we can, through the Suburban Land Agency and the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, to resolve the situation to ensure that construction can get back underway.
Of course, as a local member for Kurrajong I have spent a lot of time in Red Hill. I have paid very close attention to the estate development plan, the work that the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate did with the community to ensure that a really excellent outcome will be delivered on that site. I am confident that that will be the case.
MR GUPTA: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, can you update the Assembly on patronage on the new Transport Canberra network?
MR STEEL: I thank Mr Gupta for his question and note his advocacy at the 2016 election in relation to building a better public transport system for Canberra.
I am very proud to report that, as a result of our new public transport network, which offers more direct services more often, we are seeing more Canberrans making the choice to get out of their cars and use public transport. Our new public transport system is keeping Canberrans connected, and in the eight weeks since the end of the free travel period there have been 2.3 million journeys recorded on bus and light rail services in Canberra. This is a great figure. It means that journeys on public transport are around 8.5 per cent higher over the first eight weeks since the end of the free travel period compared with the same period last year.
Canberrans are increasingly opting to use our public transport network for their commute to and from work. This is evident in the number of people making the switch to public transport, which is easing congestion on our roads and reducing harmful emissions.
Before the introduction of the new network we undertook extensive consultation with the community and heard that Canberrans wanted bus trips to be faster and buses to arrive more often, and we delivered that by creating a hub and spoke model based around 10 rapid services, and which includes the light rail. As I highlighted yesterday, Julie from Conder has seen her commute time cut by 30 minutes as she is able to access a more direct bus service from her home, which means that she does not need to change buses in Woden. She is just one of thousands of Canberrans who are seeing improvements in their public transport commute times.
While I am still working to ensure that our public transport is the most effective and efficient that it can be, I acknowledge that there have been some problems along the way as the new network rolls out. The new network has made some significant