$132.5M Government Funding for Canberra Light Rail

canberra-light-rail-stage-2

Image: Transport ACT Gov

The Australian Government is funding $132.5 million to construct Stage 2A of Canberra’s Light Rail.

Stage 2A will add 1.7km of track and three stops south, extending the line operating ‘wire free’ from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park. The first section to undergo construction will be the rail extension from the city to Woden.

Stage 1 of the Light Rail has already provided significant benefits to the region with hopes that Stage 2 will have similar results once the line is extended, creating a north-south spine for a city-wide Light Rail network.

The Light Rail has already seen more Canberra commuters choosing public transport, with a survey revealing that 43 per cent of survey-takers had never used public transport before catching the Light Rail.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack stated that government funding of the Canberra Light Rail has made the project possible.

“Extending the Light Rail will create jobs and bust congestion in the ACT by improving public transport and pedestrian and cyclist safety,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is what the Australian Government’s $110 billion investment pipeline is all about – getting Australians home sooner and safer whilst boosting local economies as we bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

ACT’s Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, mirrored Mr McCormack’s statements by emphasising the importance of the Light Rail for the community.

“The Commonwealth’s support for the project is welcomed, and it follows in the footsteps of the financial support received for stage one of the ACT’s Light Rail network,” Mr Barr said.

“The project is critical to the territory’s Jobs and Economic Recovery plan, and I look forward to working with the Commonwealth on progressing the approvals for the entire Stage 2 project.”

ACT Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, added that Canberra’s Light Rail would produce great results for local jobs, transport and the economy.

“Whilst this project will be very disruptive during construction, it will deliver long term transport and economic benefits for our city, with better quality, mass transit, powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity.”

Construction on Stage 2A of Canberra’s Light Rail is projected to commence in 2022, with an additional 2,500 – 3,000 passengers a day expected within the first year of operation.

Source: Media Release 

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