Light rail to transport Canberra into the future

Today is an exciting day for the sustainable future of our city with the release of the business case for the ACT’s light rail project, ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury said today.

“We’ve been talking about building light rail for over two decades and now, thanks to the Greens-Labor Parliamentary Agreement, we are seeing the project come to fruition,” said Mr Rattenbury. 

“Light rail is an effective solution to Canberra’s growing traffic congestion, but it is about so much more than just transport.

“Light Rail is about safer, cleaner, faster and more efficient transport. It will be a transformative project that will bring benefits to the Canberra community both during construction and well into the future. 

“The current average travel time from Gungahlin to City by car can be 45 minutes in peak hour; this is expected to increase to roughly 57 minutes by 2031.  Capital Metro is expected to have an average travel time of 25min, less than half the time projected for car travel in the future.

“The Gungahlin stage is just the first stage of a Canberra wide network, with further work already being done on a possible extension to Russell. A light rail master plan is being developed that will outline a broader Canberra light rail network.

 “The business case released today outlines the details for the project, including the first stage, planning for future routes and extensions, the model by which the project will be established as well as specific costing details, including the cost benefit ratio.

 “The business case recommends a public-private partnership, with a 3 year construction period on the Gungahlin line commencing in 2016, with operation set for 2019. 

“A public-private partnership will utilise private sector innovation and experience in the project’s development and management while ensuring Government oversight of the project in relation to key factors such as fares, route setting and other KPIs to ensure it is a genuine public service. 

“The project has benefit cost ratio of 1.2, with economic benefits for the city of almost $1 billion in today’s dollars.

“Canberrans want a city that is easy to get around, has low congestion, clean air and more sustainable transport options – light rail will achieve this, and so much more.  This will be a transformative project for Canberra, and Canberrans should be excited about what this project will mean for our growing city.