Project History

The idea of light rail in Canberra has been discussed for many, many years.

The idea of light rail, in its current form, started when the community commented on the transport options for Canberra, including on the early plans for a light rail link between the City and Gungahlin, for the Transport for Canberra Plan. Consultation also took place in 2012 on the rapid transport options for the Northbourne corridor.

Following this, ACT Labor committed to ‘plan, finance and develop the first stage of a light rail network for Canberra’ in the lead up to the 2012 election. This election commitment estimated construction would commence in 2016.

In July 2013, the ACT Government established the Capital Metro Agency to deliver light rail for Canberra. The Capital Metro Agency was responsible for ongoing planning, design and delivery of the first stage of a possible Canberra-wide network.  The Agency has now become a part of the new transport agency, Transport Canberra.

Following the establishment of the Capital Metro Agency, the team have delivered on some key milestones:

MilestoneIndicative Date
Release of Request for expressions of interest and approval of business caseOctober 2014
Submission of expressions of interestDecember 2014
Shortlist of selected respondentsMarch 2015
Request for proposal periodApril to September 2015
Submission of priced proposals for Gungahlin to CitySeptember 2015
Recommendation of preferred respondentFebruary 2016
Contract closeEarly May 2016
Financial closeLate May 2016

Canberra Metro, the preferred consortium, have been appointed the successful consortium to build, maintain and operate the first stage of light rail for Canberra.

With more than 220 years of combined experience in systems engineering, light rail operations and maintenance, and providing 2.2 billion passenger journeys each year across 14 countries, Canberra can be confident that the consortium will deliver this transformational project.

The Public Private Partnership with Canberra Metro will allow the ACT Government to draw upon the expertise and technical infrastructural knowledge of high class consortium, and support Canberra’s trade, investment and local business.

The next milestone for the project will be the commencement of construction with light rail up and running by early 2019.


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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.