Now Departing: #3 Bus Ends Today, ANU Service 9 Months Away

The Number 3 Bus near B&G

By Eliza Croft

Today is the last day that the Number 3 bus will run through campus, with Canberra’s new bus network to begin on Monday. PARSA has announced that a shuttle bus through ANU will begin in 2020.

Farewell to the 3

The Number 3 bus currently runs from Woden to Belconnen via ANU, CIT, and both hospitals. It services a number of residential halls, with stops at University House, Graduate House, and along Daley Road. According to Liberal MLA Elizabeth Kikkert, the route has operated since 1980. However, there is no equivalent in the new network, which will begin on Monday 29 April. According to the ACT Government, ‘Network 19’ aims to deliver “simpler, more frequent, and more reliable bus and light rail services”. The new network gets rid of “long, winding bus routes” in order to “provide more frequent and reliable services”.

Many students have been critical of the decision to drop the Number 3, one of only two buses that stops directly on campus. ANUSA, PARSA, and the Disabilities Students’ association have particularly highlighted the impact the change could have on students with disability. PARSA and ANUSA petitioned the ACT Government to reinstate the route or collaborate with ANU on an alternative, with the petition attracting over 1100 signatures in less than a week. The petition is now being considered by the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport City Services.

The last Number 3 bus is scheduled to depart Woden Bus Station at 9:39pm tonight, passing Burton and Garran Hall at 10:19pm and arriving at Cohen St Bus Station at 10:46pm.

Shuttle Bus Announced for 2020

PARSA announced on Wednesday that ANU will be starting a “shuttle bus” in Semester 1 2020. According to PARSA’s announcement, the shuttle bus will be “accessible for bikes, children and wheelchairs”, and will travel anti-clockwise around campus on a route that is yet to be confirmed. The shuttle bus will come “every 15-20 minutes”. ANU did not provide Observer with confirmation of this or any further details before time of publication.

PARSA said it is “very concerned” about the period between the Number 3 ending and the shuttle bus beginning. ANUSA Vice President Campbell Clapp told Observer, “We hope that we will be able to expand upon existing services and find an appropriate resolution to support students during this transitional period.” Both PARSA and Clapp acknowledged that ANU “has been put in a difficult situation”, due to a short timeframe and “little to no support from the ACT Government”.

ANU Security currently operates a ‘Night Bus’ Monday to Saturday evenings. There is also a daytime shuttle bus from Hancock Library to the National Library, and a peak-hour service to and from the Lindsay Prior car park near the Arboretum. The latter service used to operate as a hail and ride shuttle bus, going around campus as well as to the Arboretum, but now only stops at four pick-up points on campus.

Network 19 to Begin Monday

Network 19 will see an increase in the use of ‘Rapid Routes’, which connect the various ‘town centres’ in Canberra. Various Rapid services stop at the City Interchange, Rimmer St (near Lena Karmel Lodge), and Barry Drive (Near Clunies Ross St). The Number 53 bus will be similar to the current Number 7, going from Dickson to Ainslie and then through campus to the National Museum of Australia. The Number 51 is similar to the current Number 1 bus, going from Dickson through Lyneham, O’Connor, and Turner, and now terminating at the City Interchange rather than continuing to Woden. The new Number 50 is similar to the Number 8.

Below are some examples of journeys that may be affected by the loss of the Number 3:

Journey Old Network New Network
John Curtin School of Medical Research to Canberra Hospital 46 minutes, including 6 minutes of walking 61 minutes, including 22 minutes of walking (but buses twice as often)
John XXIII College to Westfield Belconnen 31 minutes, including 2 minutes of walking 34 minutes, including 15 minutes of walking (but buses 3-4 times as often)
O’Connor Shops to Coombs Building 15 minutes, including 2 minutes of walking 27 minutes, including 19 minutes of walking (or 34 minutes to walk the whole way)

You can watch Observer’s video farewell to the Number 3 bus here.

ANU and the Disabilities Co-Officers did not provide comment before time of publishing.

On Monday 29 April, ANU issued the following statement:

“ANU has recently met with student groups PARSA and ANUSA to obtain their views on a potential campus shuttle bus. The University is seriously evaluating a campus shuttle service. No final decision has been made, and details of any potential campus shuttle service are still to be determined.”


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