Image source: Canberraairport.com.au
In Canberra, ACT, a light rail network has been planned to link the City Centre and the expanding area of Gungahlin.
The ACT Light Rail Project is estimated to cost around $700 million, and should be completed by 2019. Stage one of the project, Capital Metro, is the first stage of what will be a city-wide upgrade to public transport infrastructure which is sorely needed in Canberra now and in the future. With a high amount of Government spending on road infrastructure in the last decade, Canberra has one of the highest rates of car-dependence in Australia, and the known challenges of urban sprawl are being addressed in this public transport initiative, in an effort to maximise city living and allow transport options to be available to all residents of the city.
This first stage of the light rail project will include a 12km stretch of median-centred rail line from the city centre along Northbourne Avenue, out to Dickson and then terminating in Gungahlin, with a total of 13 stops along the way. The project includes the design and construction of light rail vehicles and will make connections with existing bus networks. When completed, the rail line is projected to increase public transportation usage from 15% to 30% by 2031, easing congestion in the busy streets of Canberra.
This project is part of a larger allocation of $20 billion in transport infrastructure made by the ACT Government, and will create around 3500 jobs during peak construction phase. It is also estimated to provide around $1 billion in benefits to the state over a 30 year period. For more information about this project, go to www.actlightrail.info.