Page 4328 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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commitment to expand the rapid bus network two years ahead of schedule, with nine rapid routes ready to connect Canberra’s commuters from next year.

I was very pleased to announce the early delivery of our rapid bus network at the official opening of the new Dickson interchange last week. In just over a year it will be a very busy place in the heart of one of Canberra’s locations of urban renewal as people travelling to and from work or study, or are out with their family and friends, hop onto a bus or the light rail just across the road. The interchange already provides a hub for bus users and travel centred on Dickson and will be fully functional as a transfer station for both bus and light rail travel when the Dickson light rail stop is operational late next year.

As we know, the first stage of light rail will free up a million bus kilometres of travel and we are putting those to work to deliver a faster and easier bus network that will reduce congestion and protect our liveability as our city continues to grow. We are delivering a complete redesign of our bus network to deliver a faster and easier, seven-day-a-week service for everyone in Canberra. Our upgraded network will revolutionise the way people use public transport in Canberra, help to take cars off the road and increase public transport patronage across the city.

The new integrated transport network will operate seven days a week across nine rapid routes. Rapid buses will connect town centres, suburbs and the city, forming the backbone of Canberra’s future integrated transport network. Rapids will run at least every 15 minutes along core transport corridors from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday to Friday.

Some of the key features of the expanded rapid network include all nine rapid services being up and running in 2018. More Tuggeranong and Belconnen commuters will receive rapid services two years ahead of schedule. For Tuggeranong, in addition to the recent expansion of the blue rapid to Lanyon, a new rapid will operate from Lanyon to the city via Erindale. (Time expired.)

MS CODY: Minister, what improvements and new services will be implemented as part of an integrated public transport system for Canberra?

MS FITZHARRIS: The new rapids will offer more frequent and direct services between town centres and suburbs, integrated with the light rail route under construction and, of course, in planning with the Civic to Woden route. It will allow a seamless transition to connecting services, with nine rapid routes in total. Routes will be straighter and faster between key locations. Importantly, we will deliver what Canberrans have asked for: a better public transport network that runs seven days a week.

One of the major improvements to the 2018 network will be increased frequency and better connections so that Canberrans will be able to just turn up at a bus stop and go where they need to. The new rapid network means that more than half of all Canberra residents will be within 750 metres of a rapid bus service, an increase from 26 per cent last year alone.

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