Media release from Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister Barr and Meegan Fitzharris MLA Transport Minister
20 April 2019
Canberra was abuzz with excitement as light rail officially launched today with approximately 25,000 people hopping on board for a free ride.
The formal event wrapped up at 4pm, but services will continue to operate to timetable, so the total number of passengers on launch day will continue to grow.
Ten vehicles were deployed on the day, running 130 trips and covering 1,560 kilometres.
The City and Gungahlin terminals came to life with live music, kids’ entertainment and barbecues for people waiting to ride. Typical waiting times were between 15 – 25 minutes and passengers were excited and well behaved, with no major incidents to report.
More than 8,500 sausages were cooked during the launch event and a team of 190 friendly volunteers were at hand to provide information on using the light rail and updates on the future of light rail construction.
The day was a great success, with people of all ages trying out the light rail for the first time. We saw the community at its best: embracing a new opportunity with enthusiasm, safety and courtesy for their fellow passengers.
Following the launch, additional light rail features will be phased in over the coming weeks. This means the finishing touches to landscaping and road surfaces will continue and final permanent balustrades will be installed at intersections. Any other minor issues that need work will be fixed by Canberra Metro at no cost to the Territory.
Minister for Transport Meegan Fitzharris said the passenger experience will keep getting better as drivers get used to taking passengers and journey times and frequency continue to improve.
“Thank you to everyone who came out today for a great celebration of our city.
“The Gungahlin to City route is the first stage of a broader program to connect Canberra’s town centres.
“The launch turnout shows how invested the community is in the future of Canberra. While light rail is a new concept for many people, the positive feedback we’ve received tells us that we are on the right track in improving the connectivity and liveability of our city. Canberra is now better connected with the light rail route from Gungahlin to City, and this work now continues with the second stage of light rail – City to Woden.”
Free travel continues on all public transport today and tomorrow Sunday 21 April – with paying services starting on Easter Monday 22 April. From 29 April all services will be free again for a month across the new network of light rail and more buses, more often.
For information on using light rail or to stay up to date with the City to Woden project visit transport.gov.au