Transport Planning in Canberra

HomeTransport in CanberraTransport Planning in Canberra

Canberra’s bus network has historically provided both feeder and inter-town public transport services in the ACT. Following the advent of self-government in 1989, successive service cuts crippled patronage growth and public confidence in the system’s ability to deliver fast, frequent and reliable services.

PTCBR believes that an integrated light rail and bus network is best placed to serve the current and future transport needs of Canberra, with high-capacity light rail connecting Canberra’s town centres, supported by frequent feeder bus services.

When light rail was introduced in 2019, over one million bus kilometres were made available from buses that used perform the Civic-Gungahlin rapid bus service. As future stages of the light rail network are rolled out, more bus kilometres will be redirected towards providing frequent feeder services across the rest of Canberra.

Current bus routes and timetables can be found at the Transport Canberra website.

Historical bus information can be found at the ACTBus website.

Over the course of successive planning regimes, corridors have been preserved in Canberra’s urban fabric for use by high-capacity, fixed-line public transport. Together, these corridors form the inter-town public transport network, connecting each of Canberra’s town centres. Despite promises of busways as early as the mid-1970s, for over a century the corridors existed as little more than lines on a map.

After a decade of lobbying by ACT Light Rail, the ACT Labor Government in 2012 announced that if returned at the 2012 Assembly Election, they would build the Capital Metro light rail along the inter-town route between Gungahlin and the City. This policy was supported by the ACT Greens.

Following the election of an ACT Greens/Labor Government in 2012, rapid progress was made in preparing a business case, reconfiguring government transport agencies and signing contracts to construct and operate the first stage of light rail between Civic and Gungahlin. These moves were supported by the ACT community at the 2016 ACT general election, during which a second stage of light rail running from Woden to the City was announced.

In addition to the work on the first stage of light rail, in 2015 the ACT Government released a Light Rail Network Plan. This report drew largely from work conducted for the 2012 Transport for Canberra plan, which itself was derived from the 2009 Strategic Public Transport Network Plan by MRCagney. Both reports derived their routes from the inter-town corridors.

Recent transport planning studies

Transport for Canberra 2012

Moving Canberra 2019-2045: This was a draft strategy circulated for consultation, but never formally adopted by the ACT Government

ACT Transport Strategy 2020

Zero Emissions Transition Plan 2020

ACT Transport Recovery Plan 2021

ACT Transport Recovery Plan Refresh 2022

Can Bus 2017
Canberra’s Rapid Bus and Light Rail Network (July 2020)