Lisa Cox April 18, 2012
Quiet streets ... how light rail might look on Northbourne Avenue.
Peak-hour traffic delays from Gungahlin to Civic could be halved if Canberra had rapid transit along the main commuting corridor, new government modelling shows.
Public transport would also travel 30 per cent faster than general traffic if either light rail or bus-transit options were installed along Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue.
The government will release the study today as part of its analysis of transport options for the Gungahlin to City Transit Project.
Environment Minister Simon Corbell will also announce initial costs for the construction of both light rail and bus rapid transit along the corridor.
The government's modelling shows that bus rapid transit would cut morning peak hour delays for motorists from 16 minutes to eight minutes. The light rail option would reduce that delay even further to six minutes.
Currently, an average trip along the southbound corridor takes drivers 26 minutes during the morning peak, while for buses it's 28. Rapid transit would travel along the route in under 15 minutes, creating an incentive for motorists to switch to public transport.
''What our analysis shows is that we can significantly reduce congestion, improve people's travel times and provide better transport choices for people with either RBT or light rail on the Gungahlin to city corridor,'' Mr Corbell said.
''What it shows is that everybody wins when we give priority to public transport.
''Motorists win and people using public transport win.''
The government started its economic and engineering assessments of the different transport options in August last year.
Today it will unveil new images showing what rapid transit on the corridor might look like, including kerbside buses and light rail along the median strip.
Mr Corbell will also provide the government's early estimates for what each option will cost.
Canberrans will be asked to have their say on the different proposals during a five to six-week consultation process.
''We want people to tell us what they think about the cost estimates and what they think is the best option,'' Mr Corbell said.
Mr Corbell said planning and construction of either rapid bus transit or light rail would be a five to seven-year process.
The consultation period would inform the next steps the government would take.
''This is the most detailed economic and engineering analysis that's ever been done in the city of rapid bus transit and light rail,'' he said.