Canberra’s ACT Government has given its approval for the first stage of its $783m Capital Metro light rail network in Australia.
As part of this development, state minister Simon Corbell has announced that the government will begin the expression of interest process for the initial works on 31 October.
The estimated capital cost of this project is $610m, including a $173m contingency and the actual cost will be determined by a competitive market process.
Corbell said: "The government is taking a short period before releasing the business case to obtain final external advice on managing the procurement process to achieve value for money for the territory in the context of the business case having been released."
Through making a public-private partnership scheme, ACT government intends to offer the project to experienced operators and financiers.
This project will deliver better public transport facility in Canberra, make improvements in the city’s busiest corridor and offer 3,500 jobs during the construction period.
Corbell added: "The population of our northern suburbs is growing at five times the rate of the rest of Canberra. We need reliable, frequent and safe public transport.
"If we do nothing the estimated journey time from City to Gungahlin in 2031 will be more than 50min in a car. Light rail will offer commuters a viable, attractive public transport option with a consistent journey time of about 25min."