Transport consultation reveals Canberrans want more frequent services

Released 20/04/2018

Canberrans want public transport to be quicker and more frequent and get more up-to-date information on services via mobile apps and digital displays.

These are the key findings from the first phase of the ACT Government’s consultation for a new public transport network that will integrate buses with light rail and keep Canberra moving, conducted in late 2017.

Feedback was sought from the community and stakeholders on how best to provide local and suburban connections to the Rapid network and how to improve the overall experience of public transport. People were engaged through pop-up stalls, an online survey and at community group briefings. These are consistent with the 2016 consultation findings.

A total of 678 people filled in the online survey, with 82 per cent of respondents saying they currently used public transport.

Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris welcomed the results of the consultation as planning gets underway to build a better seven-day network.

“As we move towards implementing a seven-day network with services that run to a more frequent timetable every day of the week, we want to make sure we are listening to the community about what will make public transport more attractive and easy to use.

“The first phase of consultation told us that as we move away from a ‘nine-to-five’ lifestyle, people want more services at all times of the day and week. We can achieve this by reducing duplication across existing routes, freeing up more buses and providing more frequent services. Integrating light rail with our bus network will also free up buses and provide more direct services to key destinations.

“62 per cent said they would use public transport more often if services were more frequent, while 54 per cent said they would if journeys were faster.

“More than 60 per cent said they were keen to see more flexible bus services for residents with limited mobility, and 50 per cent said they were interested in demand responsive services for residents who cannot access regular bus services.

“People said they want to get information about planning their transport journey increasingly through digital displays and mobile apps.

“And nearly 80 per cent of respondents indicated they would be prepared to walk further to a bus stop if services were more frequent and journeys were faster.

Canberra’s population is projected to increase significantly over the next 20 years from 400,000 to over 500,000. This next network update will really be the first step to ensuring our public transport system meets the needs of our growing city.”

Minister Fitzharris said the introduction of two new Rapid services last year has already had a great response, with more and more people using the new services every day.

“But while 82 per cent of respondents said they currently use public transport, we know only 7.1 per cent of Canberrans took public transport to work on Census Day 2016. The bottom line is we need more Canberrans to catch public transport. And there is already some good news on that front.

“So far this year Transport Canberra is on target to meet or exceed its target of 18.4 million boardings.

“The Green Rapid from Woden through the Inner South in particular is very popular, and is already one of the busiest routes on the network. In fact we have had 15 of the 20 busiest days on the Transport Canberra network since 2011, so far this year.

“I’m confident that the more we provide frequent, direct bus services across Canberra, the more people will choose to leave the car at home and catch public transport.”

The next stage of consultation on the integrated public transport network will take place in May before a new network is introduced. This will include the detail of the new and updated Local and Rapid routes.

“The second stage of consultation will also consider how school services are delivered and ways to improve timeliness. This follows a motion passed in the Legislative Assembly last week,” said Minister Fitzharris.

- Statement ends -

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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