For a moment, it looked like 2016 all over again.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Candice Burch let slip that the Liberals were not committed to the Woden route of light rail. But within days, Liberal leader Alistair Coe did a massive backflip, saying stage two would in fact go to Woden.
It brought transport to the centre of the ACT election campaign. So what should Canberra's transport future look like? And how can a future government end Canberrans' love affair with cars?
The light rail journey
The 2016 election was won and lost on light rail. And with the Gungahlin-to-city line proving popular with commuters since it opened in April last year, the Liberals could not go into another election opposing the project. But while it was politically toxic for the Liberals to suggest the Woden route may not actually be best next stage of light rail, it was not a suggestion without merit.
The Belconnen-to-Airport line would be much simpler, cheaper and without the need for complex federal government approvals. It is possible the Woden line is next for purely political reasons. Labor needed to disprove the view it ignores the south of Canberra - it simply couldn't build another line that would primarily benefit the north.
University of Canberra associate professor of economics Cameron Gordon doesn't believe any systematic demand study was done before the first light rail route was chosen and then built.
"Instead we chose a route already well-served by buses and replaced it with a more expensive mode to do something we were already doing, and doing pretty well - moving commuters along the Northbourne corridor," he says.
"The results have been mixed - a good quality light rail, that is carrying passengers, but at a higher per-person cost."
Public Transport Association of Canberra chairman Ryan Hemsley says light rail is critical to the city's future, with stage one an overwhelming success.
"We think that light rail is a catalyst for encouraging more people to use public transport," he says.
Current estimates for the speed of a light rail route from Woden to the city range from 25 to 30 minutes. A big problem with that figure is that some express buses take 15 minutes on a similar route, prompting concerns that people simply won't use any new service.
Mr Hemsley says there was no technical reason it could not be closer to 20 minutes.
"The government should commit to getting a faster journey speed between the city and Woden," he says.
Bus network problems
With the new light rail line came a new bus timetable. It caused major headaches for the government, with thousands of Canberrans losing their local bus stop, or facing less-direct routes to work or school.
And while public transport use in areas like Gungahlin skyrocketed, in pockets of the south and Belconnen, some people stopped using it at all. Labor has since reinstated a number of bus routes it cut.
Mr Hemsley says the government could have avoided months of pain if it had have consulted properly before the network was introduced.
He has welcomed the Liberals' commitment to expand the bus fleet by 19, and wants to see Labor do the same. And while the Liberals' pledge to introduce new cross-town express services looks good on paper, he says more detail is needed.
"It's all well and good to have a service between town centres, but it's not good if it only comes once an hour," he says.
Professor Gordon says light rail should not have replaced buses - the network should have instead expanded.
"Buses and trains should work together, and with the still pretty dispersed nature of Canberra, they're essential," he says.
"Portland, Oregon - the poster child for light rail and a place that the ACT government visited as part of its research into good planning practice - knew this well.
"Their success was in part due to their willingness to increase bus service to support use of the light rail - not using it as a replacement for buses, which it is not. Light rail is good for high capacity corridors. Buses are essential to feed people into those corridors."
Ending the love affair with cars
The government has pushed active travel as a key part of its transport strategy. But the latest data suggests public transport is used for just 8 per cent of commutes to and from work, while cycling accounts for 5 per cent and walking for 3 per cent.
So in a city like Canberra, where suburbs are separated by large areas of bushland and some town centres are more than 20 kilometres from the CBD, how can an integrated active travel system work?
Professor Gordon says the ACT has actually done quite well at creating bike infrastructure, but the government needs to better resource its bus network.
The key to reducing car dependence comes down to doing something very politically unpopular: making it more expensive, he says.
"If we really want to do this, we should price almost all parking in Canberra and make it quite expensive," he says.
"I doubt whether we could toll Northbourne Avenue, Belconnen Way etc., but that would be another thing to do. But again the two have to go together - you can't gouge drivers without giving them reasonable alternatives."
Associate Professor Glen Fuller, from the University of Canberra, says Canberra's shared path network is actually one of the best in Australia.
He says cyclists often believe they need to convert drivers as if it were a question of identity. But really it should begin with convenience and access and making it easier for people to make incidental trips.
He welcomes the Liberals' pledge to build a new off-road cycle path network, connecting all town centres.
"It's great to be having these conversations," he says.
"They recognise Canberra is one of the more progressive areas in Australia and they need to come up with some policies that service those interests.
"Active transport is one of the ways they can do that."