All buses to Belco

Public transport users across Canberra will notice a big change in bus interchange facilities and services next week

All buses to Belco
All buses to Belco

By David Goeldner | November 11, 2010

Next Monday’s much anticipated opening of two new bus stations at Belconnen in Canberra’s burgeoning north-west corner will coincide with the launch of an improved city-wide bus network.

The centre of the ‘action’ will be the opening of the Belconnen Westfields and Belconnen Community Centre bus stations.

ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope says the new Belconnen bus stations will be showcased this weekend during free tours of the facilities.

The new infrastructure includes six new bus platforms, an indoor waiting lounge and outdoor bus shelters.

"The Westfield Bus Station off Lathlain Street integrates with the new entrance of the shopping centre," Stanhope says.

"Patrons can look forward to a welcoming indoor waiting lounge, new amenities and two large outdoor bus shelters with capacity to seat up to 120 patrons.

"Adjoining cafes will open in Westfield Belconnen in coming months."

Stanhope says commuters to and from the Belconnen community bus station will benefit from six new platforms with increased weather protection.

All buses travelling into and out of Belconnen’s shopping and business precinct will travel through each of the new Westfield and Belconnen Community Bus Stations and the existing Cohen Street Bus Station – previously a noted trouble spot with several past incidents of late night attacks.

The Belconnen community station features 13 glass domes which will showcase images developed by the local community which will be renewed on a regular basis, says Stanhope.

But it’s not just ‘Belco’ that will feel the effects of Stanhope’s new public transport landscape, city-wide service improvements also start Monday.

The new network includes services to West Macgregor and Gungahlin and improvements to the spacing and departure times from Kippax in Belconnen’s north-west.

Rapid bus routes will become a permanent part of the ACT-run Action bus network and will extend to DFO in Fyshwick.

Red Rapid buses will run every 15 minutes from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays from Gungahlin.

Canberra’s Inter-town buses have been re-branded as the Blue Rapid, running between Belconnen in the north-west and Tuggeranong to the south.

Additional trips have been added to routes servicing Dickson, Woden and Gungahlin – effectively covering Canberra.

Stanhope says the new network has been designed to better service the needs of Canberrans and encourage more people to use Action buses.

The launch of the new services and opening of the bus stations coincide with this weekend’s Belconnen community festival.

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