Light Rail, NSW, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), State

Strong results for Stage 1 of Canberra’s Light Rail

The ACT Government’s Light Rail  project is delivering clear and lasting benefits to support the ever expanding Canberra.

A new five year analysis since the introduction of the service reveals the positive contribution light rail has made to Canberra supporting the construction of more housing, increasing public transport patronage and reducing congestion.

Minister for Transport Chris Steel explained the success seen from the project.

“Light rail has delivered billions in additional construction work along the alignment, thousands of new homes and thousands of local jobs,” Steel said.

“It’s clear that this is the preferred mode of public transport that Canberrans wish to use, with more and more people in our city choosing to live along the alignment.

“Business growth along the corridor has also increased with the largest benefit occurring in Gungahlin and suburbs adjacent to the city centre.

“Our first mass-transit system, through the delivery of Stage 1 of Light Rail, represented a vision for Canberra as a connected, sustainable and vibrant city.

“The evidence outlined in this report realises that vision and supports our decision to deliver future stages of the project.”

Some of the benefits seen for Light Rail include:

* $2.3 billion in construction has been given development approval or currently under consideration in suburbs directly adjacent the Light Rail Stage 1.
*    16.5 million passenger trips since the start of operations in 2019
*    6,100 new dwellings along the light rail corridor since 2016
*    18 per cent reduction in the daily volume of motor vehicles compared to 2016
*    43 per cent of passengers on Light Rail have never previously used the bus network demonstrating the power of Light Rail in attracting passengers to public transport

While this report recognises the significant initial contribution of light rail stage 1 to the city, those benefits will continue with the operation and future stages of this service.

The ACT Government has selected the City to Woden corridor as the next stage of its city-shaping Light Rail network, creating a north-south public transport spine for Canberra, which will continue to expand over the coming years, connecting Canberra’s key employment, residential and commercial hubs.

“This is evidenced by a clear appetite by both business and the community to deliver this important city-shaping project, that provides thousands of local jobs, supports the construction of more homes, removes congestion from our roads and encourages more people to take public transport,” said Minister for Transport Chris Steel.

“We will continue to invest in this important city shaping infrastructure that will benefit Canberrans for generations to come.”

Link to report.