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ACTION buses logo.svg
Parent Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate
Founded 1926 (1926) by Federal Capital Commission as Canberra City Omnibus Service
Commenced operation 19 July 1926
Headquarters Greenway
Locale Canberra
Service area
Service type Bus services
  • Belconnen
  • Tuggeranong
  • Woden
Fleet 432 (February 2018)
Annual ridership 17.8 million (2015/16)
Chief Operating Officer Bren Burkevics

ACTION is a bus service operator in Canberra, Australia.


Ansair bodied Mercedes-Benz O305 at Spence in 1982
Wright Crusader bodied Dennis Dart at Woden Interchange in 2009
Custom Coaches bodied Scania K360UA in Wagga Wagga in September 2012
Custom Coaches bodied MAN 18.310 in November 2009

On 19 July 1926, the Federal Capital Commission commenced operating public bus services between Eastlake (now Kingston) in the south and Ainslie in the north.[1]

The service was first known as Canberra City Omnibus Service, but it has had a number of names over the years, including Canberra City Bus Service, Canberra Omnibus Service and Canberra Bus Service. On 14 February 1977, it was renamed as the Australian Capital Territory Internal Omnibus Network, or ACTION for short.[1][2]

As part of the move to ACT self-government, responsibility for ACTION passed from the Federal Government to the ACT Government in 1989.

Network 2018[edit]

The new network yet to be released will transform the Rapid Bus Network. In November 2017 ACT Government wanted to hear the public's opinion on the bus network. The public had stated that they wanted faster and more frequent services, available at all times of the day and week. Due to these changes, the ACT Government is introducing 5 new rapid bus networks. They will change from earlier names consisting of a Colour followed by the word rapid i.e. Blue Rapid, and will become routes R1 to R9. R1 will be serviced by Light Rail services. Stage 2 Consulting will open in May 2018[3].

Corporate Structure[edit]

ACTION is a business unit of the Public Transport Division of the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate of the ACT Government. Transport Canberra was formed on 1 July 2016 combining the Public Transport Division and Capital Metro Agency to manage all public transport operations within the ACT.[4][5][6]

Current routes[edit]

ACTION operates two separate networks of bus routes: one on weekdays and the other on weekends and public holidays.[7]

Blue Rapid[edit]

Blue Rapid services provide a high-frequency link between the City and the bus stations at Belconnen, Woden and Tuggeranong town centres. Blue Rapid services consist of the 300 series routes (300, 313, 314, 315, 316, 318, 319 and 343) on weekdays.

Blue Rapid route 300, 313, 343 and 319 operates between Kippax, Lanyon and the town centres; the remaining weekday blue rapid services operate through suburbs in Belconnen or Tuggeranong and then continue along the trunk (or common) route to the four town centres.

On weekends and public holidays, route 300 travels between all town centres.

Red Rapid[edit]

Red Rapid Route 200 is a limited stop service between Gungahlin Town Centre, Northbourne Avenue, City, Russell Offices, Barton and Iron Knob Street, Fyshwick (at the Canberra Outlet Centre). In the evenings, the service commences and terminates at the Canberra railway station, rather than Fyshwick.

On weekends it operates only between Gungahlin Town Centre and the City.

Green Rapid[edit]

Green Rapid Route 6 is a high-frequency link between the City, Parkes, Barton, Kingston, Manuka, Narrabundah, the Canberra Hospital and Woden.

The route operates as 938 on weekends with a 30 minutes frequency.

Black Rapid[edit]

Black Rapid Route 250 is high-frequency link between the Gungahlin Town Centre and the bus stations at Belconnen. This route only operates on weekdays.

Regular route services[edit]

ACTION's regular weekday services operate either as feeder services to a single town centre or connect two or three town centres via suburban streets.

During weekends and public holidays, ACTION provides a reduced level of service with most suburban routes operating with an hourly frequency.


Xpresso routes operate during weekday peak hours to provide direct links to the City, Russell Offices, Barton, Campbell Park and Airport Business Parks or direct services between Town Centres bypassing the City. These services are designed to reduce the travel time for commuters. Xpresso services are numbered 712 - 792.

Other peak services[edit]

Other weekday peak hour services operate as an extension to existing route services. These routes are numbered in the 1** and 2** series (where the ** represents the regular route service number). The 100 series routes travel along the Blue Rapid trunk route between Woden and City Bus Stations. The 200 series routes travel along the Red Rapid trunk route between Gungahlin Bus Station and City Bus Stations.

School services[edit]

School services are provided by ACTION to schools and colleges throughout the ACT. These are numbered in the 401 - 699 and 800 - 899 ranges.

Special needs transport[edit]

ACTION also operates the special needs transport division which provides transport for school students with a disability. This division is operated using a dedicated fleet of wheelchair-accessible minibuses.

Flexible bus service[edit]

The Flexible bus service operates on weekdays to provide a free, basic bus service to passengers with limited access to normal public transport options.[8] Six services operate daily providing a pick up service in the morning from designated suburbs to shopping centres and hospitals, with return services operating in the afternoon.

These bus services are operated by the special needs transport minibuses.


Cash fares[edit]

There are four cash fare options on ACTION:

  • Adult Single (with 90 minute transfer)
  • Adult Daily
  • Concession Single (with 90 minute transfer)
  • Concession Daily

Concession tickets are available to school students, full-time tertiary students, seniors card holders and various government concession card holders.[9]

Pre-paid fares[edit]

The pre-paid ticketing system operated by the ACT Government is known as MyWay.[10] It uses contactless smart cards with MIFARE-Technology onto which credit is loaded. Passengers are required to 'tag on' when boarding the bus and 'tag off' when exiting, at which point the appropriate fare is calculated and, if required, deducted from the stored value on the MyWay card.

The MyWay system uses Parkeon software and equipment including Wayfarer 200 consoles[11] and Axio card readers.[12] The system was built and installed by Parkeon's Australian distributor, Downer EDi.[13] Instead of being developed from scratch, MyWay was adapted from Transperth's SmartRider system which also uses Parkeon hardware and software.[14][15]


As of February 2018, ACTION's route service fleet consisted of 432 buses.[16]

Chassis Body Type Air con Bike rack fitted Easy Access Notes Number in service Orders
Renault PR100.2 Ansair Metro[17] step entrance rigid, Diesel Branded as Macks, being withdrawn 66
Renault PR100.3 Austral Denning Starliner[18] step entrance rigid, Diesel 24
Irisbus Agora Custom Coaches CB60[19] low-floor rigid, Euro II Diesel One withdrawn after a fire, originally ordered by King Brothers 19
Scania L94UB Custom Coaches CB60[20] low-floor rigid, CNG 54
MAN A69 18.310 HOCL-NL Custom Coaches CB60 Evo II[21] low-floor rigid, CNG 16
MAN A69 18.310 HOCL-R-NL Custom Coaches CB60 Evo II low-floor rigid, Euro IV Diesel 2
MAN A69 18.320 HOCL-NL/E5 Custom Coaches CB60 Evo II[22] low-floor rigid, Euro V Diesel 87
Scania K320UB 6x2*4 Custom Coaches CB60 Evo II[23] low-floor rigid tri-axle (steerable-tag), Euro V Diesel 26
Scania K360UA 6x2/2 Custom CB80[24] low-floor articulated, Euro V/EEV Diesel Fitted with bike racks in June 2017[25] 33
Scania K320UB 4x2 Custom CB80 low-floor rigid, Euro VI Diesel 82
Scania K320UB 4x2 Bustech VST low-floor rigid, Euro VI Diesel 20 10
Scania K360UA 6x2/2 Volgren Optimus low-floor articulated, Euro VI/EEV Diesel 1 10
Scania K320UB 4x2 Volgren low-floor rigid, Euro VI Diesel 20
BYD Toro eBus Gemilang Coachworks low-floor rigid, electric bus On a 12-month trial leased from Carbridge, one more to be delivered in December 2017.[26] 1 1
Volvo B5RLEH Bustech VSTH low-floor rigid, hybrid-electric bus On a 12-month trial leased from Volvo[27] 1

Bicycle racks have been fitted to the front of 94% of the buses in the fleet. Each rack can hold two bicycles. Passengers may load a bicycle onto the rack for free, but must pay a regular fare to travel on the bus.[28]

Apart from buses with all over advertising or special designs, ACTION's fleet sport either a blue, orange and white (Renault and Dennis buses) or a green, orange and white livery (all other buses). In December 2016, a predominantly blue livery was introduced.[29][30]

ACTION's Special Needs Transport division operates a fleet of eighteen Mitsubishi Fuso Rosa minibuses. These buses are white in colour and do not operate on route services.

ACTION also operate Toyota Hiace Commuter and Hyundai iMax vans which can be used to transport passengers, Hino Dutro trucks used by mechanics to attend broken down buses and a single Mack tow truck.

ACTION's heritage fleet consists of a 1949 AEC Regal III[31] and a 1961 AEC Reliance.

Current infrastructure[edit]


Belconnen Bus Depot in November 2009

ACTION operates three depots:

  • Woden Bus Depot, Prospect Court, Phillip opened 16 April 1974,[1] closing in February 1997[32] before reopening in 2009.[33] It currently houses the Special Needs Transport minibus fleet and buses which are not in service. It is to be demolished in 2018 with a new depot built.[34][35]
  • Belconnen Bus Depot, Cohen Street, Belconnen opened 3 September 1979,[1] includes a bus wash, workshop, undercover bus parking, diesel refill, drivers amenities and administrative area.
  • Tuggeranong Bus Depot, Scollay Street, Greenway opened in August 1989,[36] includes a bus wash, workshop, undercover bus parking, CNG and diesel fuelling facilities, drivers amenities and administrative area.

Bus Stations[edit]

Belconnen Community Bus Station in January 2011

ACTION operates seven bus stations, which act as hubs for the districts of Canberra.[37]

  • City Bus Station (opened 23 November 1982[38] and remodelled 2000) serves Gungahlin, Canberra Central, Blue Rapid, Green Rapid and Red Rapid services
  • Woden Bus Station (opened 4 December 1972,[39] second stage opened 1982[1]) serves Woden Valley, Weston Creek, Tuggeranong, Blue Rapid and Green Rapid services
  • Tuggeranong Bus Station (opened 12 August 1991[40]) serves Tuggeranong and Blue Rapid services
  • Located in Belconnen Town Centre are three bus stations - Cohen Street (opened 2009) and Belconnen Community Station (opened November 2010) and Westfield Belconnen Station - which serve Belconnen, Gungahlin, Blue Rapid and Black Rapid services
  • Gungahlin Town Centre - Currently located on Gozzard Street, north of Hibberson Street - serves Gungahlin, Red Rapid and Black Rapid services

City Bus Station is located on East Row, Mort Street and Alinga Street with peak services departing from Northbourne Avenue. Limited local access is permitted on Mort and Alinga Streets, while East Row is a bus-only street. Woden and Tuggeranong Bus Stations are off street stations which permit access only to buses, essential traffic and emergency vehicles.

Belconnen Town Centre is serviced by two bus stations located along Cohen Street: Cohen Street Bus Station (located outside the Belconnen Bus Depot near the intersection with Josephson Street, opened in May 2009)[41][42] and Belconnen Community Bus Station (located between Benjamin Way and Emu Bank, at the site of the former Belconnen Interchange, opened in November 2010).[43] In addition, a major stop is located outside Westfield Belconnen, near the intersection of Cohen and Lathlain Streets. All bus routes travelling to or through Belconnen Town Centre service all three locations. Additional stops are located on Emu Bank and Eastern Valley Way which are serviced by most routes which travel through Belconnen Town Centre.[44]

Bus shelters[edit]

Concrete bunker shelter outside Old Parliament House, Parkes

Bus shelters installed at stops include what is referred to as a "concrete bunker" which were first installed in May 1975.[45] More modern shelters include glass-sided Adshel shelters (both with and without advertising) which were first installed in 2007[46] and CAM (Community Asset Management NZ Limited) shelters which were first installed in 2012.[47]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Canberra's Engineering Heritage". Engineering Heritage Australia. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Bus Canberra Times 15 February 1977 page 3
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Transport Canberra - Public Transport Improvement Plan 2015" (PDF). ACT Government. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Lawson, Kirsten; McIlroy, Tom (27 October 2015). "ACTION and Capital Metro Agency to be rolled into one from 2016". The Canberra Times. 
  6. ^ Transport Canberra Service Australasian Bus & Coach 5 July 2016
  7. ^ Routes & Timetables Transport Canberra
  8. ^ "Accessible Public Transport". Transport for Canberra. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "Concessions". Transport for Canberra. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  10. ^ "MyWay". ACT Government - Transport For Canberra. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Wayfarer 200". Parkeon. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Axio". Parkeon. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Parkeon wins again down under" (Press release). Parkeon. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Banks, Lisa (24 August 2011). "Canberra MyWay user base reaches 86,000". Computerworld. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  15. ^ WA ticket validating machine system for Canberra buses Government of Western Australia 31 May 1993
  16. ^ Fleet Summary ACT Bus Wiki
  17. ^ "Renault PR100.2 Mk II" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  18. ^ "Renault PR100.3 Diesel" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "Irisbus Agoraline CB60 Low Floor - Diesel" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "Scania L94UB CB60 Low Floor - CNG" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  21. ^ "MAN A69 18.310 HOCLNL CNG Low Floor" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  22. ^ "MAN A69 18.320 HOUCL-R-NL Diesel Low Floor" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  23. ^ "Scania K320UB 14.5m 6x2*4 CB60 Low Floor Diesel" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Scania K360UA 6x2/2 CB80 Low Floor EEV Diesel" (PDF). ACTION. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "Bike Racks to be fitted to articulated buses". Transport Canberra. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  26. ^ "Canberra's first electric and hybrid buses go into service on Monday". Canberra Times. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  27. ^ "Canberra'a alternative energy bus trial begins" Australian Bus issue 84 November 2017 page 10
  28. ^ "Bike Racks on Buses". ACTION. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  29. ^ New ACTION buses to be blue, light rail trams to be red Canberra Times 14 December 2016
  30. ^ New Transport Canberra Livery Australasian Bus & Coach 20 December 2016
  31. ^ "Entry to the ACT Heritage Register" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  32. ^ "Australian Capital Territory - ACTION" Australian Bus Panorama issue 12/6 June 1997 page 22
  33. ^ Recommendation 22 Report on Inquiry into ACTION Buses and the Sustainable Transport Plan ACT Government October 2009
  34. ^ Preliminary Design Consultancy for the new Woden Bus Depot ACT Government December 2017
  35. ^ Old Woden bus depot to be demolished to make way for storehouse for 120 buses Canberra Times 14 January 2018
  36. ^ "New Depot Opens" Fleetline October 1989 page 154
  37. ^ "Network Maps and Station Guides". Transport Canberra. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  38. ^ "[No heading]". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 22 November 1982. p. 15. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  39. ^ "Improved bus service at Woden". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 29 November 1972. p. 11. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  40. ^ "[No heading]". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 10 August 1991. p. 5. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  41. ^ Belconnen Town Centre Developments ACTION Bus Timetable & Route Changes (Advertisement) Canberra City News 14 May 2009
  42. ^ 3 stops to replace Belconnen interchange ABC News 25 May 2009
  43. ^ Change at the interchange - the new Belconnen bus facilities ABC Radio Canberra 11 November 2010
  44. ^ "Improvements to Belconnen Town Centre". ACT Planning and Land Authority. Retrieved 25 December 2008. 
  45. ^ "[No heading]". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 14 May 1975. p. 9. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  46. ^ "AdShel wins ACT tender". B & T. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  47. ^ "Case Study - Canberra ACT bus shelters". CAM Shelters. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 

External links[edit]