The construction of the light rail line was struck as part of a deal between ACT Labor, and the ACT Greens; following the result of the 2012 Australian Capital Territory Election, at which Labor required Greens support to form government. In 2013/14 $5 million was allocated for early design work. It is planned that construction will commence in 2016 with the line opening in 2019.
In September 2014, the business case was approved by the government. The line will be built by a public private partnership. Expressions of interest were received from the following consortia:
The 12 kilometre line will have its northern terminus at Hibberson Street in Gungahlin, and follow Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue to the southern terminus between Alinga and Rudd Streets in the City Centre. Stations will be spaced approximately 750-1500 metres apart. Major stations are proposed for Gungahlin Town Centre, Dickson Town Centre, and Civic.
The consortia participating in the Request for Proposal stage of the procurement process will also develop plans for an expanded route from the City Centre to Russell via London Circuit and Constitution Avenue. This additional 3.2 kilometre section is estimated to boost the patronage of the line by more than 30%. The government will evaluate the proposals and then decide whether to proceed with the expanded route.