Email from GCC to Yerrabi MLA’s 22 August, 2017

On behalf of the GCC Executive Committee, I am writing concerning the provision of public transport to newly established suburbs in the Gungahlin area.
When the question was put to Transport Canberra at the GCC public meeting on 14 June 2017 about the provision of bus services to new suburbs currently under construction (Moncrief, Taylor and Throsby), the response indicated that this issue would not be addressed until network changes surrounding Light Rail becoming operational. Whilst the GCC appreciates:

  • the current fleet is at capacity and that this issue will not be remediated until Light Rail becomes operational; and
  • the economic drivers to defer the provision of a bus until such a point as sufficient demand is demonstrated so as to reduce the economic subsidy for the route.

The GCC is of the view that this approach is unsatisfactory given it:

  • Fails to address the social inclusion and access needs of residents of these new suburbs, one of the objectives of the Transport for Canberra Policy 2012.
  • Suppresses demand for public transport below what would exist under a supply-driven model.
  • Encourages the purchase of cars when residents move into these unserviced areas, locking in private vehicle commuting behaviour for an extended period of time.

The GCC highlights Jacka Stage 1 as a case study of unsatisfactory public transport service in terms of coverage as well as elapsed time since residents moved in. Released in 2013, Jacka Stage 1 as at the 2016 census consists of 670 people in 249 dwellings. The geographic centre of Jacka stage 1 is approximately 1 km walking distance to the nearest bus stops (Katharine Avenue Amaroo shops for 59 and 259 routes, Mobourne and Mallet St stop for 55 and 255 routes).

A similar service level to suburbs currently under construction, is not in residents’, the GCC’s, or we believe the Government’s, interests.

The GCC would appreciate your consideration of the issue and response in due course. If you require any further detail please do not hesitate to contact me via the details below.

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