Page 4329 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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Higher frequency and better connections also mean that passengers will see reduced waiting times when transferring between services. The fare system will ensure that people can transfer between services as well as between light rail and bus without paying any additional fares.

With nine rapid routes in total, the routes will be straighter and faster between town centres. The network will also be simpler and easier to understand. The current network is complicated, with over 90 routes travelling across the city, and route numbering that can be difficult for users to understand. This includes having different route numbers on weekends. Under the new network the bus you catch on the weekend will not have a different route number and it will not go a different way to get you to the same destination. Customers will be able to make the same journeys seven days a week.

Increased frequency, better connections and simpler routes are also a great benefit to visitors to Canberra, and we expect to see, of course, many more of those after today’s announcement by Lonely Planet. They mean that visitors can more easily use the bus network to move around our city and be confident in choosing routes to visit national institutions and attractions.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how will Canberrans be able to have their say on these changes to the integrated public transport system, given that they will impact the way they move around the city?

MS FITZHARRIS: Canberrans have already had significant input into the redesign of our transport network. Indeed, last year the ACT government undertook an extensive consultation with Canberrans and asked them about their top priorities to encourage greater transport use. Our decision to accelerate the implementation of the rapid bus network follows the key findings of this survey and, indeed, as the opposition has noted, the overwhelming response by the Canberra community to public transport at last year’s election.

More than 6,000 Canberrans responded during our consultation period, and their priorities for public transport have informed our redesign. The survey identified the top three priorities to encourage greater public transport use across Canberra: faster trip time and more direct routes, more frequent and reliable services, and increased services at peak and off-peak times. We have resigned the core rapid network based precisely on that feedback.

Now we would also like to hear from Canberrans about how they would like to connect to it, including through local buses, park and rides, active travel routes and more. We look forward to opening consultation this week, and we encourage all Canberrans—those who currently use the network but particularly those who do not—to have their say. Staff from Transport Canberra will also be out and about across the city speaking with current and potential users about how the network can best serve them. Canberrans will also be able to provide feedback through the your say website.

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