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ACT’s light rail project gets $132.5M in funding

After three years of construction, Canberra celebrated the first day of light rail operation with a celebratory community event on Saturday.

The Federal Government will commit $132.5 million towards the extended construction of Canberra’s light rail.

Stage 2A of the light rail project will build an extension of the network from the city to Woden.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $132.5 million commitment for Stage 2A of light rail would help make the project a reality for Canberra.

“Extending the light rail will also create jobs and bust congestion in the ACT by improving public transport and pedestrian and cyclist safety,” McCormack said.

Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2022 and the extension will span 1.7 kilometres, adding three stops to the route. The extended light rail is expected to accomodate 2500 to 3000 extra passengers a day in its first year of operation.

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The trams will deliver mass transit powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr acknowledged the contribution from the Australian Government emphasised the importance of the project for the Territory.

“The Commonwealth’s support for the project is welcomed, and it follows in the footsteps of the financial support received for stage one of the ACT’s light rail network ,” Barr said.

“The project is critical to the Territory’s Jobs and Economic Recovery plan, and I look forward to working with the Commonwealth on progressing the approvals for the entire stage 2 project.”

ACT Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said the ACT Government has already seen great results for local jobs, transport and the economy with Stage 1 of the Light Rail, with further benefits from Stage 2A.

“Light rail is seeing more Canberrans choose public transport, with more than 43% of people surveyed stating they had never used public transport before catching light rail,” Steel said.

“Stage 2 of light rail will extend the benefits of better public transport, by extending the line to create a north-south spine for our city-wide light rail network.”

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