Page 885 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017

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MR STEEL: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Can the minister update the Assembly on the progress of the government’s current public transport initiatives?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Steel for his question. Indeed I can update the Assembly on progress of the government’s public transport initiatives. Key amongst them is improving public transport both for his electorate and right across our city. This Labor government is continuing to deliver on our integrated public transport plan for Canberra.

Construction of our city-shaping light rail project is powering ahead with Canberra Metro making significant progress in construction along Flemington Road between Manning Clarke Crescent and Kate Crace Street and is looking to begin works in Hibberson Street. As a result, the top end of Hibberson Street will be closing permanently to vehicular traffic from Monday, 10 April.

Relocation of utilities continues across the route alignment and this, along with other construction works, does require temporary closure of traffic lanes in order to maintain both the safety of workers and the safety of the public. Work on the relocation of a large gas main between the Federal Highway and the Flemington Road intersection and Antill Street continues and is scheduled to commence later this month or early April, subject to receipt of planning approval.

This government is also continuing to deliver more buses more often, and I am pleased to update the Assembly that five of our 21 new blue Transport Canberra buses have arrived and are progressively being integrated into service. Another four buses will arrive in early April and all remaining buses will be delivered before 20 June this year.

Seniors, pensioners and concession cardholders are continuing to enjoy free public transport at off-peak periods. Since this initiative commenced in January there have been 366,506 trips taken during the off-peak periods that qualified for this free travel.

I am sure Mr Coe will also be pleased to hear that our free city bus loop service continues to be a success, now having carried over 65,500 passengers since its introduction in July last year. Over the past six months, Mr Steel will also be pleased to know, the Weston line has carried 36,489 passengers. That is a doubling since the introduction of the new Weston line.

MR STEEL: Can the minister update the Assembly on the introduction of a new public transport service to Canberra Airport?

MS FITZHARRIS: I am very pleased to report that the first transport Canberra bus commenced service at the terminal at Canberra Airport on Monday morning, providing frequent and affordable public transport for Canberrans and visitors seven days a week. Customers now have access to public transport from the city to Canberra

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