The Federal Government is providing $132.5 million funding for the construction of the first section of the City to Woden light rail extension in Canberra.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Federal Government’s funding for Stage 2A of light rail would help make the project a reality for Canberra.
“Extending the light rail will also create jobs and bust congestion in the ACT by improving public transport and pedestrian and cyclist safety,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is what the Australian Government’s $110 billion investment pipeline is all about – getting Australians home sooner and safer whilst boosting local economies as we bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, acknowledged the contribution from the Australian Government emphasised the importance of the project for the territory.
“The Commonwealth’s support for the project is welcomed, and it follows in the footsteps of the financial support received for stage one of the ACT’s light rail network,” Mr Barr said.
“The project is critical to the territory’s Jobs and Economic Recovery plan, and I look forward to working with the Commonwealth on progressing the approvals for the entire Stage 2 project.”
Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said for Canberrans, extending the Gungahlin-City light rail made sense.
“It is important we get light rail right for Canberrans. With construction anticipated to commence in 2022, Stage 2A is the first leg of bringing light rail to Woden, and will extend the existing route by three stops to Commonwealth Park,” Mr Seselja said.
“Today’s announcement boosts the Australian Government’s infrastructure bonanza in Canberra to more than $1.4 billion in recent years.”
ACT Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, said the ACT Government has already seen great results for local jobs, transport and the economy with Stage 1 of the Light Rail, with further benefits from Stage 2A.
“Light rail is seeing more Canberrans choose public transport, with more than 43 per cent of people surveyed stating they had never used public transport before catching light rail,” Mr Steel said.
“Stage 2 of light rail will extend the benefits of better public transport, by extending the line to create a north-south spine for our city-wide light rail network.
“Whilst this project will be very disruptive during construction, it will deliver long term transport and economic benefits for our city, with better quality, mass transit, powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity.”
Stage 2A will add 1.7km of track and three new stops south of the existing line operating ‘wire free’ from Alinga Street through to Commonwealth Park. An additional 2,500-3,000 passengers a day are expected in the first operating year.