Hobart bus mall returns to two-way movement
Written by Josh Agnew on October 12, 2020
HOBART’S Elizabeth Street Bus Mall has reopened to two-way bus movements after a two-year partial road closure.
Two-way traffic began to flow yesterday (Sunday), with Metro Tasmania buses pulling up to the new stop on the western side of Elizabeth Street for the first time.
Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the upgrading of infrastructure and the reopening of the bus mall in full supported actions to improve public transport in Hobart.
“The City of Hobart is a champion for better public transport and that’s why we’ve invested our ratepayers’ funds in this important project,” she said. “A more comfortable and well-operating bus mall is an investment in better public transport for the whole of Greater Hobart.
“Public transport users deserve quality facilities because they are helping us to tackle congestion and reduce pollution by catching a bus. A full bus load of passengers can take more than 40 cars off the road.”
The $1.6 million (including $200,000 state government contribution) bus mall upgrade started in 2017, following on from the initial upgrading of bus shelters and public toilets at Franklin Square.
Adjustments were made to the timing of works to accommodate construction of the Palace Hotel in Elizabeth Street during the past two years. During that time, the western side of the bus mall remained closed to all traffic and additional bus stops were created to support bus services.
Through the project, ageing shelters have been replaced with larger, modern facilities, with improved footpaths and lighting, and the addition of more seating, a drinking fountain and a street tree.
The most recent works – which were able to be carried out once hotel construction finished – include the widening of the footpath adjacent to the Rivers building, new paving and the foundations for a new bus shelter outside the Metro Tas office. Some paving and utility connection works are continuing in the short term, and the final shelter is currently being fabricated by City of Hobart staff for installation over summer.
“This project has been one of this Council’s contributions to the Hobart City Deal which has the greater use of public transport as a core goal,” Cr Reynolds said. “But there is so much more work still to be done by City Deal partners to do to ensure we have a properly funded, reliable public transport service in Tasmania.”
Road users and pedestrians are asked to be aware of the changed road conditions, with buses now able to enter the bus mall from Macquarie Street.