The New Integrated Public Transport Network

What is the New Integrated Public Transport Network?

The ACT Government is introducing a new public transport network that delivers simpler, more frequent, and more reliable bus and light rail services. The new network is designed to make public transport a more attractive choice for Canberrans, and encourage more people to leave their cars at home and catch a bus or light rail.

The network is based around:

There will also be some additional services for commuters and school students that operate only on weekdays.

Why are things changing?

As our city grows, more Canberrans lead varied lives, with many not conforming to the traditional nine to five lifestyle. The new integrated public transport network supports this, with more frequent services running seven days a week that continues to grow along with our city.

Delivering a new network is a critical first step towards ensuring our public transport system meets the need of our growing city and gives Canberrans the chance to leave their cars at home more often, while ensuring our city remains accessible for people who rely on public transport.

The new public transport network will also enable seamless connections between buses and light rail, including preparing Canberra for the planned Light Rail Stage 2 connection between the City and Woden and future extensions to other parts of the city.

When will the new network commence?

The new network will begin on Monday 29 April 2019, with school services starting when term two begins on Monday 29 April.

Light rail services are expected to start ahead of the new network.

How can I plan my journey? How long will my trip take?

You can use Transport Canberra’s improved online TC journey planner to see what your journey will look like in the new network.

Remember to enter a date on or after 29 April 2019 to see results for the new network, this also applies if  you are planning a trip to school, enter 29 April 2019 onwards.

You can also find individual timetables and maps for each route here.

How often will my bus run?

There will be services at least every 15 minutes along Rapid transport corridors from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and frequently at other times, such as evenings and weekends. Most local services will run every 20-30 minutes at peak times, and every 30-60 minutes during the day, in the evening and on weekends.

You can use Transport Canberra’s improved online journey planner to see what your journey will look like in the new network.

How early and late will my bus run?

The new network is designed to make it easier to use public transport for more than just getting to work in the city on weekdays. To make it easier for Canberrans to leave their cars at home when they go shopping, run errands, catch up with friends and family or attend sports matches and events on weekends, many bus routes will start earlier in the morning or run later at night than they do currently.

Services will run from at least 6.30am until midnight Monday to Saturdays, and until 10pm Sundays and public holidays.

You can use Transport Canberra’s improved online journey planner to see what your journey will look like in the new network.

I use an Xpresso now - how will I get to work in the new network?

Customers who currently use an Xpresso will be able to use Rapid or local services, depending on the specific trip they are making. Additionally, there are a number of peak bus routes for Tuggeranong that are designed to provide fast journeys for customers in this area to the City and Barton during peak times on weekdays.

You can use Transport Canberra’s improved online TC journey planner to see what your journey will look like in the new network.

What is different from today’s network?

The whole public transport network has been completely redesigned based on rich data from the MyWay ticketing system showing how customers use the existing bus network. Some of the key differences from today’s network are:

  • bus and light rail services running together as part of an integrated public transport network.
  • a seven-day network, with the same routes every day of the week, whether you are going to work on a Tuesday or going out on a Saturday night.
  • more frequent services, especially on the 10 Rapid and bus light rail routes
  • shorter, more direct routes, with services designed to connect at interchanges across the city

How was the network designed?

The new integrated public transport network has been designed based on what Canberrans told us they wanted from bus and light rail services:

  • Faster, more direct services
  • More frequent services
  • Better services in the evenings and on weekends

As part of the design process, the Government consulted extensively with Canberrans about the new network and received more than 13,000 pieces of feedback. Based on this feedback, the Government made 37 changes to 58 routes, as well as adding 78 additional school services each school day. You can read more about the consultation process here.

Why are all the route numbers changing?

The new network has been designed from the ground and to deliver on the following principles:

  • simplicity and legibility

The current network has complicated route numbers that make it difficult for new customers to understand how to use the network.

Simplifying the route numbers will make it easier for more Canberrans to choose public transport.

  • a 7 day network needs the same numbers

The current network has different numbers on weekdays and weekends for a lot of the routes. People in Fraser need a 14 or 314 during the week and a 907 on weekends.

The new network routes are numbered in the following way:

  • Rapids: 1 - 10
  • Regular Bus Routes: 18 - 81
  • Peak Bus Routes: 100 series

The new network means that everyone travels on the same route every day of the week, making it easier for people to use public transport all the time.

While we understand that changing the route numbers can be difficult for a lot of our existing customers (and our drivers!) Transport Canberra is doing a range of activities to ensure the change is as easy as possible including launching a new TC Journey Planner and providing customer assistance staff in our major stations.

There will also be new signage being rolled out across the network as we get closer to the start date on Monday 29 April 2019.

Connection and Accessibility

Why do I have to change buses?

The Canberra community has told us that they want:

  • quicker trip times and more direct routes;
  • more frequent and reliable services; and
  • increased services across on and off-peak times.

To provide more frequent and reliable services, it is necessary to remove long, winding bus routes which work their way slowly from the outer suburbs to the town centre or city.

In the new network, passengers will instead be able to access more frequent local services which will connect with direct Rapid services at town centres all day, every day. This approach will provide a consistent, reliable network which provides passengers with greater flexibility in their transport options all through the week.

Will there be more buses?

The ACT Government has committed to growing and renewing the Transport Canberra bus fleet. The first 40 of an additional 80 buses have been delivered and will be used to deliver the new network from 29 April 2019.

The new buses also include 10 additional high capacity articulated vehicles, to help ensure that more capacity can be delivered on the busiest service corridors.

Additionally, the introduction of light rail services between Gungahlin and the City means that the buses running along this corridor can be reallocated to other parts of the city. This is equivalent to having a further 40 buses in peak times to increase services in existing suburbs and provide new routes for growing areas.

The growth of the fleet will be possible through the recommissioning of the Woden Bus Depot, adding to the current Belconnen and Tuggeranong sites.

The fleet growth will be used to provide more services in existing areas, as well as ensuring that the Government can provide services to new suburbs.

How will I get to the Alexander Maconochie Centre?

Transport Canberra is planning to introduce a service for visitors to the AMC, which will likely be operated in smaller vehicles. More information will be available ahead of the commencement of the new network.

Fares and Ticketing

Will this affect fares?

No. Customers will pay the same fares they do today.

MyWay will be fully integrated across Canberra’s public transport systems, ensuring that passengers only need one ticket and pay one fare to travel on the public transport network.

There will not be a transfer penalty or premium fare for use of the light rail service.

For more information about fares and how to get a MyWay card, visit transport.act.gov.au/tickets-and-myway.

Will there be a free travel period?

Yes. For customers using a MyWay card who tap on and tap off, all travel on buses and light rail will be free from Monday 29 April 2019 to Sunday 26 May 2019. Ordinary fares will be charged from Monday 27 May 2019.

In order to travel for free, customers will need to make sure they:

  • have a MyWay card.
  • tap on when they get on a bus or get to a light rail stop.
  • tap off when they get off a bus or at a light rail stop.
  • have a positive balance on their MyWay card.

Customers who do not have a MyWay card will need to buy a single ticket from a bus driver or ticket vending machine. Additionally, customers who do not tap on and tap off for their trip will be charged a default fare.

Will I be able to use the same MyWay card on both buses and light rail?

Yes. As part of integrating public transport system for the ACT, you will only require one MyWay card which you will able to use on both light rail and buses paying one ticket, one fare.

Schools

What does this mean for my child’s school?

You can use Transport Canberra’s improved online journey planner to see what journeys to school will look like in the new network.

Remember to enter a date on or after 29 April 2019 to see results for the new network, this also applies if you are planning a trip to school, enter 29 April 2019 onwards.

You can also find specific information about routes and timetables for bus and light rail services to and from each school here.

What is changing for Canberra school transport?

In order for the new network to run efficiently and effectively, dedicated school services need to be redesigned or integrated to complement the general public transport network and create more frequent, reliable and integrated mixed-use routes.

While the number of dedicated school services will be similar to what Transport Canberra runs today, the way we run school buses will change. School bus routes will generally be shorter to reduce the time it takes students to get to school, and they will provide more opportunities for students to connect to local and Rapid services. Additionally, local and Rapid services have been designed to provide good access to as many schools as possible across our city.

Does this mean school children will now be expected to travel with adults they do not know?

Like in most cities, students will use variations of the general public transport network, mixed-use routes and dedicated school routes. 60% of students who travel to school by bus are already using the general public transport network.

Will this mean students will pay more to travel by bus?

No. Students will continue to pay the same fare to travel to school on Transport Canberra bus services, whether they are using a dedicated school service, light rail, a Rapid or local bus or multiple different services.

The ACT Government will continue to offer reduced fares for all ACT school students, and free travel to and from school will continue to be available for eligible students through the Student Transport Program.

Additionally, all customers tapping on and tapping off with a MyWay card will travel for free from Monday 29 April 2019 to Sunday 26 May 2019. This means that students will be able to travel for free to and from school for the first four weeks of Term 2, provided that they have a MyWay card and tap on and off for each trip.

Will supervision be provided at major stations for students making connections?

Yes. Transport Canberra will provide customer service staff at major interchanges in the City, Woden, Belconnen, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong to assist students with making connections to and from school and navigating the interchange. Customer service assistants will be on duty from 7am to 11am and from 2pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.

All major stations are also supported by CCTV to assist us to monitor children for improved safety and buses and light rail vehicles are fitted with CCTV which can be reviewed in the event of any incident occurring

Find out more about what Transport Canberra is doing to keep school students safe on public transport here.

What else is the ACT Government doing to make it safer and easier for students to walk and cycle to school?

We are working to make it as convenient and safe as possible for school aged students to walk from home or public transport to and from their schools.

The ACT Government has introduced a School Crossing Supervisor program to 25 schools across Canberra, including five schools with new supervised crossings in 2019. The ACT Government is also delivering the Active Streets for Schools program to 25 schools in the ACT, with an extra 50 to be rolled out. This program includes infrastructure improvements, such as better footpath connections, new pram ramps and the relocation of bike storage facilities.

What will happen if my child misses the bus?

As part of the introduction of the new network, more schools will be served by Rapid and local routes, which will run frequently in peak times when students are travelling to and from school. In most cases, if a student misses their bus, they will be able to catch the next one.

Where students miss a dedicated school bus, they may be able to catch another service from the same stop. Students will be able to plan their journey on the go using the new [journey planner](link to journey planner) or they can ask a bus driver or customer service assistant at an interchange to help them.

What is active travel?

Active travel is one of the easiest and most time efficient ways to ensure children receive the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Whether it involves walking, riding a bike, scooter or skateboard, catching public transport, or even a combination of each, active travel is a fun, safe and healthy way to travel to and from school.

Will students need to make connections?

Yes, as today, many students will make connections as part of their trip to school. Around 30% of students who get to school by public transport change buses on a typical school day.

The design of local and dedicated routes aims to generally provide access within school priority enrolment areas for public schools. For non-Government schools, services have been designed based on how students currently use the bus network. Students travelling to schools outside their priority enrolment area or a long distance across the city may need to make a connection at a town centre of other major location.

Students can use the new journey planner to understand how to make connections to get to school, and will be able to ask a customer service assistant at key interchanges for help.

Will this impact the delivery of Special Needs Transport (SNT)?

No. The Special Needs Transport Program is independent of the overall network design and will continue to operate as it currently does.

Feedback

How can I provide further feedback regarding the new network?

The new integrated public transport network is starting on Monday, 29 April 2019. You can find out about how you can use the new services using the TC Journey Planner or other timetable and route information.

Transport Canberra always welcomes feedback on public transport services. You can provide feedback via the Transport Canberra website, under www.transport.act.gov.au/contact-us/feedback. This feedback will be considered as part of the development of future changes to services and timetables.