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This article is about an Australian bus operator. For the U.S. government agency, see ACTION (U.S. government agency). For other uses, see Action.
ACTION buses logo.svg
ACTION - BUS 417 - Custom Coaches 'CB60' Evo II bodied MAN 18.320 (Euro V).jpg
Custom Coaches bodied MAN 18.320 in January 2011
Founded 1926 (1926) by Federal Capital Commission as Canberra City Omnibus Service
Commenced operation 19 July 1926
Headquarters Macarthur House, 12 Wattle St,
Lyneham ACT
Locale Canberra
Service area
Service type Bus services
  • ANU Bus Station
  • Barton Bus Station
  • Belconnen Community Bus Station
  • City Bus Station
  • City West Bus Station
  • Cohen St Bus Station
  • Erindale Centre
  • Gungahlin Bus Station
  • Kippax Centre
  • Tuggeranong Bus Station
  • Westfield Belconnen Bus Station
  • Woden Bus Station
Lounge Westfield Belconnen
  • Belconnen
  • Tuggeranong
  • Woden
Fleet 420 (January 2015)
Annual ridership 18m (2012/13)[1]
Operator Territory and Municipal Services Directorate
Director James Roncon

ACTION is a bus service operator in Canberra, Australia.


Ansair bodied Mercedes-Benz O305 at Spence in 1982
Ansair bodied Renault PR180.2 at City Bus Station in March 2012
Custom Coaches bodied Scania K320UB at City Bus Station operating a route 200 Red Rapid service in July 2012
Custom Coaches bodied K360UA in Wagga Wagga in September 2012

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.[2]

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.[2]

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

Today the service is officially known as ACTION[3] and is a division of the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate. The minister responsible for ACTION is Shane Rattenbury and the Public Transport Director is James Roncon.[4]

Current routes[edit]

ACTION operates two separate networks of bus routes; one on weekdays and the other on weekends and public holidays. The latest major change to routes and timetables occurred on 1 September 2014. This will incorporate with the new Network '14 which will include more direct routes, better connections, increased frequency, improved weekend services and new school services.

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, 318, 319 and 343) on weekdays and route 900 on weekends and public holidays.

During weekday daytime and nighttime Blue Rapid routes 300, 313 and 343 commence from suburbs in Belconnen or Tuggeranong then travel through all bus stations along the trunk (or common) route and terminate at either the last station with routes 313 and 343 servicing the Kippax Centre. Routes 314, 315, 318 and 319 operates as Blue Rapid routes during peak hours and evenings

On weekends and public holidays, route 900 travels between all stations as well as the Erindale Centre. Some route 900 services on Saturday service only Woden, City and Belconnen.

Red Rapid[edit]

Red Rapid Route 200 is a limited stop weekday service between Gungahlin Town Centre, Northbourne Avenue, City, Russell Offices, Barton and Iron Knob Street, Fyshwick (at the Canberra Outlet Centre).

Regular route services[edit]

ACTION's regular weekday services are identified by a one or two digit route numbers. These routes 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, all bus services use a three-digit route number in the 9** range. These services generally do not provide the same level of service as the weekday services.


Xpresso routes operate during weekday peak hours to provide direct links to the City, Russell Offices, Barton 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 701 - 799.

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 Gunghalin Bus Station and Canberra Railway Station. The exception is route 202 which is a nonstop cashless route between Gungahlin and City bus station and operating during the morning peak hours.

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 free transport for school students with a disability. This division is operated using a dedicated fleet of wheelchair-accessible minibuses.


MyWay is the pre-purchased ticketing system operated by the ACT Government for use on ACTION buses.[5] 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. MyWay cards were made available to ACT Seniors Card-holders on 21 February 2011 and released to the remainder of the community on 7 March 2011.

The MyWay system uses Parkeon software and equipment including Wayfarer 200 consoles[6] and Axio card readers.[7] The system was built and installed by Parkeon's Australian distributor, Downer EDI.[8] Instead of being developed from scratch, MyWay was adapted from Transperth's SmartRider system which also uses Parkeon hardware and software.[9]

A further 5% discount (for single trip fares) applies if a MyWay card is topped-up using direct debit or BPAY.[10]

Current fleet[edit]

As at March 2-15, ACTION's route service fleet consisted of 420 buses.[11]

Ansair bodied Renault PR100.2 on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge in June 2009

Bicycle racks have been fitted to the front of 80% of the buses in the fleet.[11] 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.[12]

Apart from buses with all over advertising or special designs, ACTION's fleet sport either a blue, orange and white livery (Renault and Dennis buses) or a green, orange and white livery (all other buses).

The ACT Government has ordered 77 Custom Coaches CB80-bodied Scania K320UB 4x2 buses which are being delivered over a three-year period from May 2014.[13][14]

ACTION's Special Needs Transport division operates a fleet of eighteen minibuses (Hino AC140Ks (2) and Fuso Rosas (16)).[11] 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[15] and a 1961 AEC Reliance.

Current infrastructure[edit]


Belconnen Bus Depot in November 2009

ACTION operates three depots:

  • Woden Transport Depot, Prospect Court, Phillip opened 16 April 1974,[2] closing in February 1997[16] before reopening in 2009.[17] It currently houses the Special Needs Transport minibus fleet and buses which are not in service.
  • Belconnen Bus Depot, Cohen Street, Belconnen opened 3 September 1979,[2] 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,[18] 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 five bus stations, which act as hubs for the districts of Canberra.

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)[22][23] and Belconnen Community Bus Station (located between Benjamin Way and Emu Bank, at the site of the former Belconnen Interchange, opened in November 2010).[24] 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.[25]

Concrete bunker shelter outside Old Parliament House, Parkes

Bus shelters[edit]

Bus shelters installed at stops include what is referred to as a "concrete bunker" which were first installed in May 1975.[26] More modern shelters include glass-sided Adshel shelters (both with and without advertising) which were first installed in 2007[27] and CAM (Community Asset Management NZ Limited) shelters which were first installed in 2012.[28]


  1. ^ "Territory and Municipal Services Directorate Annual Report 2012-13 Volume 2" (PDF). ACT Government. p. 204. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Canberra's Engineering Heritage". Engineering Heritage Australia. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Accredited Bus Operators" (PDF). ACT Road Transport Authority. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "TAMS Organisational Chart" (PDF). ACT Territory and Municipal Services Directorate. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "MyWay". ACT Government - Transport For Canberra. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wayfarer 200". Parkeon. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Axio". Parkeon. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Parkeon wins again down under" (Press release). Parkeon. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Banks, Lisa (24 August 2011). "Canberra MyWay user base reaches 86,000". Computerworld. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Add Value to a MyWay Card". ACT Government - Transport for Canberra. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c ACTION Fleet Summary ACT Bus Wiki
  12. ^ "Bike Racks on Buses". ACTION. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Scania secures Australia's first Euro 6 bus fleet order Scania Australia 27 November 2013
  14. ^ ACT Fleet Replacement Australasian Bus & Coach 27 November 2013
  15. ^ "Entry to the ACT Heritage Register" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Australian Capital Territory - ACTION" Australian Bus Panorama issue 12/6 June 1997 page 22
  17. ^ Recommendation 22 Report on Inquiry into ACTION Buses and the Sustainable Transport Plan ACT Government October 2009
  18. ^ "New Depot Opens" Fleetline October 1989 page 154
  19. ^ "[No heading].". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 22 November 1982. p. 15. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Improved bus service at Woden.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 29 November 1972. p. 11. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "[No heading].". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 10 August 1991. p. 5. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  22. ^ Belconnen Town Centre Developments ACTION Bus Timetable & Route Changes (Advertisement) Canberra City News 14 May 2009
  23. ^ 3 stops to replace Belconnen interchange ABC News 25 May 2009
  24. ^ Change at the interchange - the new Belconnen bus facilities ABC Radio Canberra 11 November 2010
  25. ^ "Improvements to Belconnen Town Centre". ACT Planning and Land Authority. Retrieved 25 December 2008. 
  26. ^ "[No heading].". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 14 May 1975. p. 9. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "AdShel wins ACT tender". B & T. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "Case Study - Canberra ACT bus shelters". CAM Shelters. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 

External links[edit]