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Media Release: Meegan Fitzharris MLA. 30 November 2018

Canberra’s new and bigger bus network will be introduced in April 2019, ready for the start of term two, with a month of free travel planned for all public transport users. This date gives the community, especially school students and their families, certainty around when the new bus network will commence.

The new network will begin on Saturday 27 April, with school services starting when term two begins on Monday 29 April. Timetables will be released in early March. The timetable for all dedicated school bus services will ensure all these services arrive in time for the beginning of the school day, consistent with the longstanding policy.

Transport Canberra will provide a month of free travel for every journey on the new network when a passenger uses a MyWay card.

Minister for Transport Meegan Fitzharris said the start date will give travellers, and especially students and families certainty and enable schools to prepare for the new network during term one rather than in the busy end of year period.

The current bus network will continue in term one next year.

“We have already released the updated network, following extensive consultation, to give the community a chance to become familiar with the new bus routes,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“By starting the new network before the start of term two we can give passengers, especially parents and school students, certainty to plan their journeys for both the beginning of the 2019 school year and for term two onwards.

“Starting the new bus network for term two will also assist with the introduction of light rail. Given the complexity of this kind of major infrastructure project and the need for third party accreditations that are beyond the government’s and the Canberra Metro consortium’s control, we have decided to start the new bus network in term two to minimise disruption to commuters as much as possible.

“We expect light rail to be operational in early 2019, but the exact date is yet to be confirmed.

“We usually make changes to our bus network during school holidays to minimise disruption to students. By starting the bus network for term two, we can provide certainty to students while minimising any risk of disruption when light rail begins.

“Canberra will be better connected under the new network, which delivers the first stage of our light rail network together with more buses more often. This will make public transport a genuine alternative for Canberrans who currently drive.”

Route maps for the entire new network, including maps and services for every school and at a suburb level, are already available online: https://www.transport.act.gov.au/getting-around/new-network

More information and enhanced customer service will be rolled out in early 2019 ahead of the start of the new network. Timetables for the new network will be released in term one 2019.

Parents and students should continue to use the current timetable for planning travel on their first day of school in 2019

A new journey planner, which was one of the improvements the community asked for in the recent transport network consultation, will be available before the new network starts to make it easy for Canberrans to plan their journey.