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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4090 ..

Investment by the government has provided significant additional infrastructure and services that have enhanced public transport access for passengers and enhanced journey options. Such measures include investing in bus shelter upgrades and a range of access options to maximise the use of walking and cycling and relieve pressures on city centre parking facilities. The government also recognises the importance of a public transport system that maximises choice and provides better access options to meet the needs of all potential users such as bike and ride and park and ride. These facilities provide opportunities to extend the reach of public transport by encouraging a convenient transfer to public transport and reducing overall car travel.

Already the government has provided 19 park and ride facilities across Canberra. Recent survey findings suggest that park and ride is a particularly popular choice for trips along the blue and red rapid corridors where users can transfer to public transport and avoid the cost of parking at their final destination. We have seen quite a dramatic change since pay parking came into the parliamentary triangle with the use of park and ride. I often quote the figures down at the Calwell park and ride. It was very lightly used until pay parking came into the parliamentary triangle and it is now being used very frequently. In many of these locations additional Xpresso and feeder bus services are expanding the attractiveness and reach of the network and providing more opportunities to transfer between services.

Currently over 80 per cent of ACTION buses are fitted with bike racks. In order to maximise the use of existing facilities, ACTION is continuing to explore options to increase the percentage of buses that can carry bikes and increase the number of people biking and riding. There are some challenges across that, especially with the size of some of the ACTION buses. Their length does not support bike racks, but we are doing the best that we can to push them out as far as possible.

Providing a public transport system that is ready for the future also means effectively directing bus resources to where they can best serve passenger needs and improving the efficiency of the network. The introduction of light rail also provides an important opportunity to reallocate bus kilometres freed up by stage 1 of the light rail network. Of course, you do not hear these comments from Mr Coe. Transport Canberra will ensure bus services are planned and integrated with the proposed light rail. It means that many of those services, especially during the first stage of light rail, will be freed up to service other bus locations across the territory. Planning is underway for bus stations at Gungahlin and Dickson to integrate with light rail as well.

Developing the public transport network over the coming decades will necessitate exploring funding and partnership opportunities, such as with the commonwealth government, for high priority light rail corridors. Importantly, the government has already taken steps in investigating the potential for funding contributions from the commonwealth and recently submitted to Infrastructure Australia’s early consideration for key public transport improvements for inclusion within its infrastructure priority list. Such improvements could potentially be combined with large scale urban renewal, including higher density development, which will promote productivity and economic growth around Canberra over the next 25 years.

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