Tuesday, May 17, 2016

ACT Light Rail overjoyed at contract signing for Capital Metro Stage One

Canberra's peak public transport lobby group, ACT Light Rail, today announced that its members were overjoyed at the signing of a contract between the ACT Government and the Canberra Metro consortium, for the construction and operation of the first stage of Canberra's light rail network.

The final price of Stage One of the Capital Metro light rail project is $710 million.  The Canberra Metro consortium will be paid $48 million in the first 12 months and ramping up to $75 million in 2038, or an annual average of $64 million over the life of the project.

This is a new stage in Canberra's history, comparable with the filling of Lake Burley Griffin and the construction of new Parliament House.

Capital Metro light rail will change Canberra's future in a way that people are yet to truly understand. It will provide a backbone to our city that people will change their lifestyle to use. It's a
tremendously positive and ambitious sign of maturity in our 26th year of self government.

No longer will a family living  along the light rail corridor need to own two cars, or experience the frustration of sitting in road congestion and searching for scarce carparking. Light rail will
provide a reliable, frequent and attractive way for us to move around our city.

ACT Light Rail Chair Damien Haas said after the today's contract signing that "It's a tremendously brave political decision to build light rail, and after taking it to the 2012 Assembly election and
receiving a mandate, this government has wasted no time in preparing an engineering study, a business case, and now a signed contract."

"Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Ministers Corbell and Rattenbury have worked very hard to ensure this project delivers the best outcome for Canberra and this Government should be commended for their efforts in getting the project to this stage."

"This project is affordable and necessary. With only one dollar out of every one hundred dollars from the ACT Budget being spent on light rail, it is a small investment in our future, especially considering
the benefits in reducing road congestion, and attracting Transit Oriented Development."

"I would expect that people in Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Woden will be demanding that their MLA's deliver light rail for their parts of Canberra, and in time ACT Light Rail expect that will happen."

"In a few years we will be taking light rail for granted as an essential part of the city's infrastructure, and it will be as iconic as Melbourne's Trams and Sydney's Harbour Ferries."

Mr Haas has been campaigning for light rail since the early 2000's, and ACT Light Rail have been campaigning since the mid 1990's for better public transport for Canberra. Comprised of members of all political parties, community councils and members of the public, they have an active social media presence with over 900 members.

The announcement has been covered by the Canberra Times here.

As well as this website, the facebook group 'Light Rail for Canberra' carries frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news. 

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