Public transport connects people who need it the most. Students wanting to get to recreation or work, seniors wanting to do the grocery shopping, single parents wanting to visit their families. Many of us have our own cars – usually two per family – but those who don’t rely on public transport to live their lives. Both the major parties are promising to heavily invest in public transport this election, so obviously everyone agrees it is important.
Hall does not have access to public transport. There are services that address some of the population, but there is not a single ACTION bus service that goes to Hall. Services travel to Gold Creek Village only 3km away, but Hall is neglected. The nature of Hall means that they are not going to fill services regularly, but there is a demand there which we should at least try to meet. One repeated comment was that Hall residents often wanted to travel for entertainment like taking in dinner and a movie or lunch and a show, but public transport being unavailable was the key reason they couldn’t go.
Lack of public transport also has ramifications on employment choices for Hall residents, but also Hall businesses looking to hire staff from the rest of Gungahlin.
The Greens have said they believe that everyone should have access to affordable, convenient public transport. They have said they “won’t stop until every Canberran has the best quality public transport”. Unfortunately for Hall, the focus has been on Light Rail. A simple solution exists for Hall – get a bus there now. Even starting with a shuttle bus between Hall and Gold Creek, Casey, or Gungahlin Marketplace to measure the patronage would be a good start.