Canberrans can look forward to seven new bus routes over the next four years, which should make it easier for residents to travel around the city. In 2015, there were just 17.6 million bus passenger boardings according to ACTION, which was almost a million short of the goal – will this new development bring those numbers up to scratch?
The plan was initially set out in March of this year, when the ACT government promised a new rapid network that strives to make public transport the number one choice. Currently, Belconnen residents can take the Blue Line to other areas in Canberra, or can switch to the Red Line for more destination options. These two routes will be joined by seven new services that will give greater access to areas all over Canberra city.
The existing Blue Line has already been extended to included Lanyon and Kippax, and a new route will allow commuters to bus directly from Belconnen to Gungahlin as early as next year. In 2020, another route will be added that will run from Belconnen, pass through the city, then head to the airport.
Considering that proximity to public transport routes is a fantastic feature for any residential or commercial property, these changes could be great news for the Belconnen real estate market.
Canberra is currently tied for first place with Adelaide in terms of the percentage of people who get to work by car in capital cities, according to 2011 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In 2011, as much as 72 per cent of employees drove to work in a car on Census day, yet only 7 per cent travelled by bus. A further 4 per cent walked, and 3 per cent rode a bicycle. Compare this to Sydney's figures from the same year, where just 53.7 per cent of people drove to work, but 14.3 per cent took a train or a bus.
With the current new plan promising fast and frequent travel every day of the week and more buses on the roads, these options may encourage more people to choose public transport to get to work. There have already been improvements since 2001, as bus travel rose from 6 per cent to 7 per cent according to ABS. Considering the ACT government has already invested more than $1billion into transport infrastructure since 2001 (including the Red Rapid and Blue Rapid bus lines), some of these changes may already be a response to improved public transport options.
Should you be interested in Belconnen apartments or homes near public transport, give the team at Ray White Belconnen a call to hear about exciting property opportunities.