Canberrans make the most of free public transport


Released 08/05/2019

One week in, more than half a million passenger boardings were made by Canberrans using the new public transport network, as Transport Canberra adjusts services to cater to demand.

“With our month of free travel on buses and light rail, it’s good to see more Canberrans getting out of their cars and using public transport,” said Minister for Transport Meegan Fitzharris.

“In just the first week, we have seen the highest ever numbers of boardings, as well as individual journeys and MyWay cards in use.

“We’ve seen sales of MyWay cards increase four-fold across the board, including for seniors, and there are more school students travelling on the system than ever before.

“Customers are also using public transport more on weekends, with twice as many boardings on Sunday 5 May 2019 as the same time last year. Service reliability on the past weekend was over 95 per cent; that’s more than 3,700 services.”

Minister Fitzharris acknowledged that there had been a lot of community feedback, particularly where individual journeys have changed, and the government was taking that feedback on board.

“As with any update to our public transport network we understand this is a big change in people’s lives, particularly where individual journeys are different.

“We acknowledge that for some existing users this has been a big change to their daily routine, but it’s also been good to see commuters seeking out more information, and giving it a go.

“We’ve offered a month of free travel to help people give it a go and get used to the new network, and it’s good that feedback is showing people, including school students, are already starting to get used to the changes and find a route that works best for them.

“We are also hearing more each day from new and existing users about how the new network has given them added options, and that they are now using public transport more, and in some cases using public transport for the first time.

“We are also giving priority to school-related travel issues, and Transport Canberra have been talking to schools, monitoring services and making adjustments.”

As a result we’ve already made some changes to services, including:

  • Putting on bigger buses for certain services;
  • Adding additional services past schools where there is high demand;
  • Adjusting bus stops near schools; and
  • Adding more light rail services, particularly where some services have proven to be even more popular than anticipated.

Minister Fitzharris said Transport Canberra is actively monitoring services used by school students across the city and engaging with all schools during the transition to the new services.

“We’re keeping in contact with schools to make sure families have the information they need to navigate the new network and work out the best option for getting their kids to and from school.

“Our Transport Officers, Customer Service Assistants and other staff have been out and about, helping people at interchanges and at light rail stops.

“As the month of free travel continues until 26 May, we’ll keep monitoring the system as people settle into travel patterns and get used to the new integrated public transport network.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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