WODEN to the City via the Parliamentary Triangle has been selected as the preferred route for the next stage of a Canberra's city wide light rail network, connecting the north and south of our city, linking employment and cultural hubs and creating a public transport spine from Gungahlin to Woden.
In a joint statement last week, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Transport and City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris, Planning Minister Mick Gentleman and Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said the decision follows preliminary investigations and extensive community consultation on the priority corridors for the next stage of light rail.
"Making Woden to the City via the Parliamentary Triangle the next stage of the light rail gives us a north-south spine for our public transport network, which rapid and local buses will feed into and from which we can extend into the next priority stages of the core light rail network: Belconnen, the Airport and further into the Parliamentary Triangle," the Ministers said.
"It will also continue the renewal of Woden, which is already being led by relocating more than 1000 ACT Government employees into the town centre."
Ms Fitzharris said connecting light rail all the way from Gungahlin to Woden would be a city-building project and would alleviate congestion across the north and south of Canberra.
"We have always said light rail would be a city-wide public transport project. Now that the first stage of light rail, from Gungahlin to the City, is under construction, we can consider where it will go next.
"We've consulted with the community, and with almost 210,000 Canberrans projected to live, work or study within one kilometre of the Woden corridor by 2041, it makes sense to extend light rail over the lake, through the Parliamentary Triangle and into the bustling Woden town centre."
Mr Gentleman said extending light rail to Woden confirms the ACT Government's vision and commitment to developing a city-wide light rail network starting with this north-south spine.
"It is all part of our plan to develop an integrated public transport network that is convenient, efficient, affordable and reliable – a genuine alternative to driving," the Minister added.
Mr Rattenbury described stage one of the light rail network, which will link Gungahlin to the city, as just the start of the government's light rail plans.
"It is critical that we don't stop now and the light rail network continues to grow as planned, serving more Canberrans. This next step is very important, and once we have the spine of the network running from Gungahlin in the north to Woden in the south in place, we will be in an excellent position to expand city-wide," he said.
The other priority corridors identified through community consultation were to Belconnen, the Airport and further into the Parliamentary Triangle. These will form the next stages of the city wide light rail network.