Photo: Elesa Kurtz
The ACT government plans to increase bus services to the Parliamentary Triangle in response to a federal government push for paid parking in the area.
Services every five minutes in peak hour from Gungahlin and every 10 minutes from Woden are part of the government's new ACTION bus network, which it will unveil on Friday.
The government says the proposed new network will provide more frequent and direct services, but ''with some trade-offs'', including a reduction in late-night services to some areas. The government is opening the plan for public consultation, with the intention of implementing the new network early next year.
More frequent services to the Parliamentary Triangle are one element of the proposal to supply more public transport options for workers in the precinct, who are due to be hit with parking charges from mid-next year.
The new network also increases services for some suburbs, including Weston Creek, which will have a new peak-hour Xpresso route to the city, and West Macgregor.
New Xpresso services are planned for Gungahlin, Belconnen and Woden, while Dunlop will receive a new Blue Rapid service.
But the attempt to increase the frequency of services on popular routes will come at the expense of services in some other areas.
There will be fewer buses in Red Hill and Narrabundah and Xpresso services will be removed from some areas, including Spence to Barton and Lanyon Marketplace to Barton.
Stops along several routes have also been moved to make bus travel more direct, but the changes mean some Canberrans will have to walk further to get to a bus stop.
Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said ACTION had designed a network that ''we believe will benefit more Canberrans, particularly in providing more frequent services''.
''All the research indicated that what people want is frequency and this focuses on frequency,'' Mr Rattenbury said. ''The other piece of feedback is that the buses loop around the suburbs a bit so we've tried to straighten them out.'' Mr Rattenbury said ''trade-offs'' were necessary to improve the network, but ''it focuses on trying to make the buses a better service for the highest number of people''.
The ACT government is opening the plan for consultation until October 14.
■ For more information visit timetotalk.act.gov.au