The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) welcomed the announcement on 7 February from the ACT Government that includes a City to Russell extension in the proposal for stage one of Canberra’s light rail network.
Chief Executive Officer of the ARA, Bryan Nye OAM, said the extension along the Constitution Avenue corridor to the growing employment district of Russell would allow for thousands of more commuters to travel for work, study and shopping via the light rail system creating greater environmental, social and economic efficiencies for all of Canberra.
“The Canberra light rail will transform the city’s public transport network, integrating into the existing ACTION bus network, providing greater mobility and accessibility to all Canberra residents,” said Mr Nye.
“It will also save Canberrans a great deal of money, with a recent ARA study showing that under the current ACTION Bus system, Canberra commuters could save an average of $8,844 every year simply by travelling to work by public transport instead of owning a car or purchasing an additional car.
“With a light rail incorporated in to Canberra’s public transport system, the savings would be even greater,” he said.
The proposed 3.2 kilometre extension will be added to the already identified City to Gungahlin route and would provide a direct link all the way from far North Canberra to Russell via the City and Dickson.
“It is clear that the ACT Government has an ambitious vision for the future of Canberra, one that will unlock the potential of Northbourne Avenue and surrounding suburbs through urban redevelopment,” continued Mr Nye.
“Light rail should be at the forefront of every major city’s public transport planning, I therefore commend the Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, for his continued support and vision for this project, which will deliver the changes Canberra needs so it can grow in to a world class national capital city.
“I look forward to the roll out of this transformational project and to the release of the Light Rail Master Plan currently being developed,” concluded Mr Nye.