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The bus system in Canberra is one of the best in Australia. With minimal traffic on the road buses are almost always on time. During the week buses are very frequent to most locations and even on weekends enough buses run to make getting to anywhere in Canberra easy.
The bus services are based around four town centre bus interchanges - City, Woden, Tuggeranong and Belconnen. The 300 series runs every 10 or so minutes from Belconnen to Tuggeranong.
Almost all attractions in Canberra are serviced by a bus route. While buses are not the quickest method of travel unless you have a car the only other public transport option will be taxis.
The bus is also a cheap option of travel. At only $3 (adult) for any single trip (with a 90 minutes tansfer option at no extra charge) travelling from one end of the ACT to the other is very economical. For very short trips it can be more economical to just walk.
Depending on the amount of travel that you will be doing there are a number of ticketing options that can save you even more money. A Daily ticket costs $6.60 and is valid for the entire day. If only travelling between 9am - 4:30pm and after 6pm on weekdays or on the weekend or public holiday a Daily Off Peak Ticket will cost you only $4.10.
While the Single Trip, Daily and Daily Off Peak Ticket can be purchased from the driver, further Pre-Purchased Options are available. Ticket agents across Canberra (who will display a sign indicating that they sell Action Bus Tickets) also sell a Faresaver 10 Ticket which is like 10 Single Tickets on one card ($22), Weekly Ticket which allows unlimited travel for 7 days after first being used on a bus ($24.60), and Monthly Ticket valid for 31 days after first being used ($82).
If travelling with a valid concession card, such as the International Studnet Identity Card then fare rates are approximately half those listed. Prices are correct as at July 2006 (price increases tend to happen at the start of each financial year).
As an additional tip - If you need to purchase a Daily or Daily Off Peak Ticket using Credit/Debit Card you can also pick them up at a Ticket Agent (although most small business in Australia have a $10 minimum for use of cards). Since the tickets aren't activated until you get on a bus you can also pick up multiple tickets from the Ticket Agent.
Action buses have a fanasitic website that makes finding out your route very easy. At each bus interchange (located in Belconnen, Civic, Woden and Tuggeranong) there are also counters where staff are willing to help you work out which bus to catch and where you can pick up free bus time tables.