Page 3622 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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MR BARR: ACTION provides a good service for its regular users, and that is why it is so loved by the community. But the challenge remains to make public transport a genuine and easy alternative to driving for more Canberrans. The public transport improvement plan outlines the actions that we are taking to make our bus services better.

We currently have bike racks on around three-quarters of ACTION buses. We will be putting bike racks on all of our buses. We will be replacing our older bus fleet with new, air-conditioned models. We will be trialling a new, on-demand pickup system to complement weekend suburban services in 2016, offering the potential of significantly improved services and more frequent buses on major routes in this off-peak time.

Simply announcing an arbitrary number of additional buses does not solve the problem and shows alarming naivety about how public transport works in the city. Instead, what is required, and what we will deliver, is a fundamental structural improvement to public transport in Canberra. We are creating a modern transport organisation for a modern and forward looking city. Transport Canberra will put the customer front and centre and deliver a world-class public transport system that is convenient, that is efficient, that is affordable, that is reliable and that is integrated. It is very clear who believes in this and who will deliver it for this city.

Transport—light rail

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns the light rail master plan. Minister, the light rail master plan proposes that the Woden to the city corridor is a high priority area for light rail. To get light rail from the city to Woden, trams will need to get around Vernon Circle, over the Commonwealth Avenue bridge, around Capital Circle and down Adelaide Avenue to reach Woden. Minister, what is the cost of getting a tram across Lake Burley Griffin and, furthermore, will you have to remove traffic lanes or walking or cycling paths on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge in order to fit a tram?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones for her question and her excitement in seeing light rail come across the lake to service those important areas. With regard to the cost of light rail travelling across the lake, we have had some early conversations with the National Capital Authority in regard to light rail travelling to the parliamentary triangle, as indicated in the light rail master plan. Engineers report that the two structures that currently carry traffic across the Commonwealth Avenue bridge and the Kings Avenue bridge across the lake have the capability to take light rail across to the parliamentary triangle to service some 60,000 public servants who work in the parliamentary triangle.

With regard to the traffic lanes, those engineering results will have to be worked through. But we are aware that the structure of both the Kings Avenue bridge and the Commonwealth Avenue bridge can take light rail.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

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