ACT light rail review highlights economic benefits of transport investment

Following one year of operations, the ACT Government has released its 12 month review of Light Rail Stage 1 to help inform planning, design and delivery of future city-shaping infrastructure projects.

According to Transport Minister Chris Steel, the review confirms wider economic benefits including increases in land value along the corridor.

“Based on census data, population growth in the suburbs along the light rail corridor has exceeded what was initially expected in the business case by nearly 2500 people,” he said.

“Living and working next to light rail has proved popular, with an average increase in the unimproved value of blocks growing by 35.2 per cent, which was significantly greater that the territory average of 21.7 per cent for the same period.”

Mr. Steel said that the ACT Government was committed to extending the benefits of Stage 1 of light rail to other parts of Canberra, and progressing the design and planning for Light Rail Stage 2A – extending the network from the City to Commonwealth Park, and then on to Woden.

“Stage 1 of light rail created 4750 jobs, with 75 per cent being local sustainable jobs. Stage 2 of light rail will also have an important role to play in supporting more construction jobs and supporting the ACT’s economic recovery,” he said.

As part of the review process, Mr. Steel said the ACT Government sought feedback from local traders, with many Gungahlin-based businesses citing an increase in revenue, footfall or improved access for customers and staff as benefits of light rail operations.

“There are lessons to be learnt from every project, and the lessons from Stage 1 will help better support our local businesses for Stage 2,” he said.

“Construction on major projects can be disruptive but we will be enhancing our communication with those affected by future projects and will better advising them about construction schedules and plans.”

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