Tasmanian Government outlines options to improving public transport in Hobart's northern suburbs

THE Tasmanian Government last week revealed the recommended options to boost access to Tasmania's busiest public transport corridor between Hobart and Glenorchy, which will inform the draft Transit Corridor Plan to be released for consultation by April 2013.

Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim said the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources together with Metro Tasmania, Hobart City and Glenorchy City Councils, has developed options to make it easier for people to use public transport between Hobart CBD and Glenorchy.

"The Main Road between Hobart CBD and Glenorchy has always been a vital public transport route, and the Main Road Transit Corridor Plan will guide decisions on how road space can be sensibly shared to create better and more efficient public transport, walking and cycling trips," Mr McKim said.

The Minister said the aim is to improve the reliability of public transport along Main Road, increase bus frequency, reduce travel times, improve the overall experience for passengers and link Tasmanians to jobs and opportunities in a way that boosts social equality and reduces disadvantage.

"We also want to make it easier for people to travel on buses to and from Glenorchy and Hobart CBD so congestion can be minimised, and more people are encouraged to shop in these major business centres," Mr McKim said.

"Importantly, the proposed options complement a northern suburbs light rail proposal, which we're expecting to put forward for Australian Government funding consideration under additional Nation Building 2 (NB2) funding rounds this year."

Mr McKim said investment on the Main Road Corridor will build the overall market for public transport in Hobart's northern suburbs, some of which may be ultimately transferred to the rail corridor.

"It's also critical that we change how we use land in this part of Hobart, so that development is more supportive of public transport of all kinds, and this paper covers that issue."

Mr McKim said that Metro is already working on some of the recommendations outlined in the options paper, such as improving the frequency and regularity of buses on the Main Road Corridor.

Metro will also review all its services in the Northern Suburbs to ensure that they are simpler and more effective.

According to the report, recommended options for improving public transport on the Main Road Transit Corridor include:

  • Improved frequency and temporal span of bus services;
  • Simplification of Northern Suburb bus services;
  • Better management of the road network;
  • Bus priority measures;
  • Improved bus stop infrastructure;
  • Bus stop optimisation;
  • Increased density and mixed use through infill development;
  • A better urban environment to support and encourage the use of public transport, walking and cycling;
  • Improved cycling connections to the Transit Corridor and Principal Urban Cycling Network;
  • Provision of secure bicycle parking at select locations on the Transit Corridor;
  • Corridor branding and marketing of services; and
  • Improved passenger service information.

The report, 'Main Road Transit Corridor: Stage Two - Identification of Corridor Improvement Options', is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources' Transport website at <http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/> or directly from <http://www.dier.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/84571/Identification_of_Corridor_Improvement_Options.pdf> (PDF: 2.23 MB).

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