2023 Sound Stories

Canberra’s public transport: where’s it headed?

Map of Canberra's bus routes colour coded.
Map of Canberra’s bus network

With the recent release of a new bus timetable, and ongoing construction around the ACT, the future of Canberra’s public transport network is uncertain.

In February, Transport Canberra released a new bus timetable, that was supposed to allow for reliable service that factored in the construction in Woden and the city.

Unfortunately, the new timetable has forced many people to change the way that they travel around Canberra.

The Public Transport Association of Canberra says that there has been an overwhelmingly high number of complaints regarding the timetable and construction.

“We’ve got local buses running fifteen minutes late, we’ve got peak hour services not showing up at all”, says Association chairman, Ryan Hemsley.

He adds that places like London Circuit which are undergoing major construction, buses need to be given priority.

The government aims to raise London Circuit by six metres, to make a four-way intersection that is more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, while making space for the light rail to reach Woden.

While in theory an excellent idea to further connect Canberra, the light rail to Woden project has encountered numerous problems.

Mr Hemsley said that there were initially solid plans to make it work and there was a good timeframe.

He says unfortunately, there were issues obtaining the National Cabinet Authority’s approval for the route to Woden, along with “disrupted supply chains”.

“It is now more expensive and more timely to build anything, and that is likely to continue for at least for the near future.”

Mr Hemsley says Canberra’s public transport system is likely to remain in its current state for quite some time, at least until major construction projects are completed.

He recommends that if people are dissatisfied with a service, they let Transport Canberra know, or write to their MLA.