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Canberra
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Could Canberra’s buses go underground?

The ACT City Renewal Authority (CRA) is exploring the potential of relocating the city bus interchange to an underground facility.

A tender has been issued for a feasibility study, which would look at the benefits of an underground facility, and whether it would be a “practical, long-term option” for Canberra’s city centre. The study will look at an underground facility that is protected from weather and directly connected to the new light rail.

CRA CEO Malcolm Snow said the study would explore the potential costs associated with such a project, and that an underground bus interchange is a “wonderful opportunity to significantly improve the way public transport users access and experience Civic.”

“It would also allow us to use the site of the current interchange as a more attractive, lively and people-friendly space.”

Mr Snow said the project would need to meet the needs of and improve the experience for public transport users as Canberra continues to grow.

“This study will help define the project scope of a potential underground interchange, taking into account economic, physical and social factors such as cost, transport network benefits and improved urban renewal outcomes.

“Determining project feasibility is a very early stage in the process and future stages would require significant community engagement with city workers, residents and businesses, public transport users and the wider Canberra community.”

CRA has identified two potential future land release sites to be considered in the study: on the City Hill corners of London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue. CRA controls both land release sites.

“While the proposed release of those two blocks is still some years off, doing this planning work now allows the government to make an informed decision on a project that could significantly shape the revitalisation of our city centre,” Mr Snow said.

Underground bus interchanges currently operate in both Perth and Brisbane CBDs.

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