Light rail success

Gold Coast light rail notches up almost 640,000 passengers a month for second anniversary

Light rail success
Gold Coast light rail has increased patronage

Gold Coast Light Rail has increased public transport usage in the region as the mode marks its second anniversary.

Queensland Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe says the average number of passenger trips per month on Gold Coast Light Rail has climbed to 639,699 for the last financial year.

Hinchliffe says light rail has increased the overall use of public transport on the Gold Coast since operations commenced.

"Almost 21,000 passengers on average now ride the light rail each day with around 14 million trips achieved up to 30 June this year," Hinchliffe says.

"Investment in light rail as part of an integrated public transport network has increased the use of buses and other modes in the city while also serving to create jobs and encourage urban renewal in key activity centres.

"We expect these benefits to continue for the long-term with construction of the second stage underway and passengers continuing to embrace light rail as a transport option."

Hinchliffe says light rail has become the backbone of the public transport network on the coast and has provided a new way to experience the city and driven massive patronage growth across the city.

"When we compare the last 11 months of operations to last year, patronage on the G: has increased by 970,000 trips or 16 per cent, evidence of its continuing popularity," he says.

"After only two years the light rail carrying the equivalent of the city’s population each and every month which is a fantastic achievement.

"It is a very exciting time for the Gold Coast with construction of the second stage of the light rail now underway and the Commonwealth Games set to shine a global spotlight on the city in 2018."

CPB Contractors have started construction on Stage 2 of light rail which will run from Helensvale heavy rail station adjacent to the Gold Coast Rail Line, then adjacent to the Smith Street Motorway will connect with Stage 1 at the Gold Coast University Hospital light rail station.

"When complete, Stage 2 will provide a vital connection linking tram to train and deliver a seamless, one-transfer journey between the CBDs of Queensland’s two largest cities, Brisbane and the Gold Coast," Hinchliffe says.

"This extension is a gold medal project for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and it’s fantastic that it will be built in time for the Commonwealth Games with construction and testing occurring over the coming 18 months to ensure there will be trams carrying passengers to and from Helensvale come Games time."

GoldlinQ chairman John Witheriff says patronage on Gold Light Rail had exceeded all expectations.

"Trams provide a safe and reliable transport option for the Gold Coast and it is encouraging to see our most successful months are often achieved outside of peak holiday periods," he says.

"Not only has the G: opened up new areas of the Gold Coast for tourists, it has also become a key transport option used by thousands of locals that live and work along the city’s coastal strip.

"When Stage 2 is operational in 2018 it will service even more of the Gold Coast’s population and will play a key role in supporting sustainable growth into the future.

"We are incredibly happy with the way passengers have embraced the G: and the high level of satisfaction they have with the service, however the thing we are most proud of is that light rail has proven itself to be a safe and reliable mode of transport for the Gold Coast during the first two years of operations."

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