Canberra's new light rail network is now under construction, and residents will soon be able to leave the car at home and commute across the city with considerably greater ease. Let's take a closer look at how the project is unfolding and how that might affect you and your Gungahlin property.
Light rail is a modernised, electricity-powered tram system. They operate at street level, so trams can share the road with cars, buses, cyclists and even pedestrians. There will be no fencing or embankments required for the tracks, so it will have minimal impact on how we usually use our roads. These vehicles run at slower speeds in pedestrian areas and speed up in the dedicated corridors, meaning it will be a safe and convenient way to get around Canberra's key population centres.
Each vehicle will be able to hold around 200 people, including two dedicated wheelchair spaces and an area for stowing up to four bikes. Additionally, the carriages will be air conditioned to suit the Canberra weather and there will also be Wi-Fi available (on the vehicles themselves, as well as at individual stops).
The first stage of the rail network is the development of the City to Gungahlin line, which will run north to south along Northbourne Avenue and Flemington road towards the CBD. The 12 kilometre journey will take approximately 24 minutes, and trams will arrive every six minutes during peak times, and 10 to 15 minutes in off-peak hours.
Regular commuters on this line will have noticed construction is already underway in the wide median spaces on Northbourne Avenue. There will be a number of temporary closures, as well as new sets of traffic lights added along these routes – all closures and future updates are listed on the Transport Canberra website.
The next stage of development proposes the extension of the Gungahlin to city line south into Woden Valley. Current plans will see the the tracks built down Adelaide Avenue and onto Yarra Glen. The second stage will allow Canberrans easy access to educational, retail, entertainment and business precincts.
Stage two has yet to begin construction and Transport Canberra is currently asking the public for input. With a number of consultation events in the near future, an online form as well as social media conversation, there is a number of ways to have your say about the development of your city.
A paper published by the University of Queensland in 2016 outlined how the Gold Coast light rail had positive effects on surrounding property values. The research indicated a 7.1 to 9.5 per cent increase in the market price of residential properties within the vicinity of the new rail line. This, of course, took into account variable factors such as the natural growth of real estate prices over the time period.
An improved public transportation system can benefit the region in ways beyond property value, extending into greater demand for real estate as well as providing increased accessibility. Great news for owners of Gungahlin real estate! A smart, reliable and convenient public transport network will strengthen the city's infrastructure and as Canberra continues to grow, the light rail will be a leading contributor towards a city that is more liveable and more attractive to tourists, workers, students and investors.
If this is painting Canberra as the place you'd like to be, why not get in touch with our expert team to discuss real estate in Gungahlin? And remember, If you'd like your say on stage two, head over to the Transport Canberra website.