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Have you ever used light rail? Tell us your experiences.

over 7 years ago

Light rail systems are already in operation within Australia and in many other countries. We're keen to hear of your experiences and encourage you to share them with the community.

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  • lkyle almost 3 years ago
    It would be fantastic to get these plans back on the agenda.The traffic and parking on the coast is unable to cope with our current population. If we don't start seriously progressing transport options now, the traffic situation will be unbearable in 5 years time.This is a great idea for the coast.
  • Pelican Waters over 4 years ago
    Melbourne trams. Great system moving large numbers efficiently and connecting with the rail network almost seamlessly.
  • GraemeHall over 4 years ago
    I have used light rail in many cities in Australia and abroad. Internationally I love the new European systems in mid-sized cities like Vienna, Montpellier, Bordeaux etc. The most useful seem to have one or more 'spines'. An example transposed on the Coast might be a major spine from Nambour to USC and Landsborough via Maroochydore, Mooloolabah, Mountain Creek and Kawana - with "branches" Noosa to Maroochydore via the airport and Kawana to Caloundra (just off the top of the head - I'm sure those can be improved on.) This could operate as two spines that cross each other but share the central stations such as the Maroochydore to Kawana section - a bit like how all of Brisbane rail lines share the Bowen Hills to Roma Street section.Glenelg - Adelaide is a good Australian example of a one-line system, with the extension north-west now from the CBD, and a fare-free central portion that really encourages usage.
  • cherribee over 4 years ago
    the rail line from Perth to Mandurah is fantastic, hundreds use it regulalry. I use it when I fly through Perth to South Africa and I stop to visit my dad in Mandurah. Only problem is I have an hours bus trip to the city to catch it. Connection with other main tranpsort hubs is vital, I would say.
  • sharks10 over 4 years ago
    A long time coming, should of had rail here when I was a girl> I don't understand why Maroochydore being the BC of the coast never, ever had a rail line????? I wonder if I will see it in my lifetime, I am 62 years old and I remember when Nicklin Way was a dirt road. Please keep this conversation going, and let's JUST DO IT! §
  • amp-qld over 7 years ago
    I estimate that I have used light rail/tram systems in about 50 cities around the world, both as an interested traveller and a profession transport planner (including a number of study tours). They provide an excellent spine for public transport systems but this comes at a significant financial cost both in initial construction costs and subsequent operating costs. On the other hand, Busway systems (which I've used in about eight cities), offer more advantages at lower cost.
  • coastwiz over 7 years ago
    I have experienced light rail transport in many cities around the world.Most impressive was an excellent modern system serving Portland OR. and surrounding areas. As mentioned in the notes the "spine system" is supported by bus and tram systems feeding it and also park & ride stations at most locations.The spine system running North/South would be ideally suited to the Sunshine Coast/Portland transport is provided by Tri-Met, a regional body controlling the light rail (MAX) system, street cars, buses and some community transport. The MAX is a most impressive light rail system running East-West from communities approx 30 km either side of the city, through the city centre. It also serves Portland International Airport. This system is supplemented by both street cars (trams) and buses running on mainly North-South routes. A substantial section of the city is a “fare free” zone, again in an effort to encourage use of public transport. From outer areas, including Hillsboro, it is relatively easy to access any area of the central city.Jim Irwin
  • judyo over 7 years ago
    I have used the light rail system in San Diego, which, due to the sprawling nature of the city, is used as a Park and Ride system from a lot of the suburban areas into the city. It was easy to use, and cheap to travel on, but needs to be well integrated with other forms of transport.
  • Jeff, Nik and the 3Beez over 7 years ago
    I used the Sydney Light rail system for 2 years as a daily commuter, not as a visitor to the city. Although I am not aware of the statistics associated with the ratio of tourists and commuters, it was clearly evident that the Pyrmont entertainment precinct was a major contributing factor in providing paying customers with stops at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Convention Centre, Darling Harbour and StarCity Casino direct from NSW Rail's Sydney Central Station. The Light Rail route then wove it's way around the Pyrmont peninsula to the Fishmarkets and Wentworth Park, where it terminated in it's early days. Several years later an extension was opened, where the service continued through to Glebe and terminated at Lilyfield, out near Leichhardt. The extension was provided for city commuters, but is now referred to as the "Ghost Train", due to lack of numbers.The majority of the complete project is built on top of an existing and long disused "Goods Line", which provides rail viaducts across Wentworth Park, and tunnels under Glebe built for heavy duty NSW Rail engines and carriages. My point being that this corridor was already built through highly populated areas on Sydney's Inner West, which if not there, costs would have been astronomical.Let's look at 3 facts regarding the Sydney Light Rail......1. Capital investment was substantially subsidised with the existence of the existing "disused" goods line. 2. The light rail runs out of Australia's busiest railway terminus, and 3. Provides access to one of the Australia's largest entertainment precincts.Although there is high emotion around the Sunshine Coast having it's own Rail system...realistically though...Is it profitable ? The best money spent at the moment would be to look at the running costs and profit sheets of Sydney's Light rail, and then add to that the capital investment required to build such a system on the coast.To take this entry further, would take this comment outside the bounds of the question being asked ..."Have you ever used Light Rail ?". In short..."Yes" I have, but the Sunshine Coast is not ready for it yet.
  • kescott over 7 years ago
    I accessed light rail in Melbourne & found it substantially quicker than trams, although less frequent. I Wasn't sure at first what the difference between the two was, but i was surprised at the speed and the minimal stops on my journey. Who knows if this system could be replicated on the Sunshine Coast; perhaps a busway infrastructure would be less of a financial drain and more popular? Only an in-depth feasibility study or Survey Monkey could answer these public transport questions. I'm impressed by the forward thinking approach of a light rail system to solving our public transport issues - it's time we thought outside the box.
  • riskmanagement over 7 years ago
    Two systems which I favour and have used.Horses for courses is the logical solution. Melbourne has an effective light rail system in the form of trams. When other cities removed trams, Melbourne persevered. However, building a new system is far more complex due to commercial constraints during the [population] development period.Another useful system is a line which runs from Heidelberg to Mannheim (Germany). In the built-up area the vehicles operate like a tram (at street level) and in the open country it picks up speed and connects the various villages (on track with ballast). There is no technical reason for light rail not operating at speeds greater than 100kph. The German model is worth considering for the Sunshine Coast and in the fullness of time meet future needs..
  • GarryClaridge over 7 years ago
    I've used the light rail in Melbourne. Worked fine for me.Have also used the tram system in Melbourne, this is a great urban commute method. And, as a school boy, used the tram system in Brisbane - Stafford to the City - seemed to be a worthwhile method of travel.
  • Taiza over 7 years ago
    I've only ever used the light rail in Sydney , but every time I go there (for business) I use it . It is absolutely fantastic because I fly to Sydney , catch a cab to my accomodation and after that - I mainly walk around the convention centre / Darling harbour etc , but then jump on to get somewhere else in the CBD quickly or to my accomodation nearby , no need for cars etc - it's brilliant !
  • fruitforest over 7 years ago
    I use light rail in Manchester UK. Good because:- direct, fast - much faster than car so also convenient- route is clear, stops are obvious ( particularly helpful for tourists who find buses muddling)- use straight line rail track into city, then shares road for a loop though centre of city- frequent all day so no need to worry about timetables
  • atunis over 7 years ago
    I have utilised light rail in many countries and canal/river ferries.May I suggest a canal/river electric (solarpowered) ferry system for the Sunshine coast. A more suitable light transport system with respect to rising sea levels and ocean surges. The additional canals would assist in flood mitigation.Andrew venning (Researcher/Educator)
  • Peter Rogers almost 7 years ago
    Peter Rogers - Sunshine Coast Hinterland. I have used light rail in the US, Japan, and Australia and have published articles on light rail. Yes, it is critical to get the % of residents using public transport in the Sunshine Coast increased dramatically but that can only be done with real research into what the ratepayer and visitor wants, where he/she needs to go and how. Light rail is only part of the total transportation mix. The Sunshine Coast starts from a very low public transport mix. Question is why should a comparatively "new" system be introduced before existing proven public transport is increased and parking policies and processes agreed upon and activated? Light rail traditionally is designed for niche market purposes e.g to airports or exhibition locations from the centre of cities.If we are going to implement one for the Sunshine Coast, lets get these other public transport initiatives in place, review the Gold Coast initiative, learn by it, sort out our transportation infrastructure into the Sunshine Coast (Bruce Hwy, trains and proper parking) and then move into light rail.
  • RonL almost 7 years ago
    I have used light rail systems in the USA in Portland, Dallas, St Louis and New Orleans. All were very efficient, fast and reasonably priced. They all integrated with other forms of public transport, i.e. airports, Amtrak rail stations, bus links etc. making access to urban, interstate and international travel very easy. The DART system in Dallas provided access, at many stops, to bus links that provided frequent access to most suburban areas. Tickets are obtained from easy to use machines and can be used on two seperate rail systems as well as buses, many "park & ride" parking areas are provided and in my experience it was well used with most services being nearly full. Such a system on the Sunshine Coast could provide easy access to all areas of the Coast and hinterland towns as well as Brisbane Airport, if it were integrated with Queensland rail, Brisbane public transport and local bus companies.I think it is a great ideah provided it is planned and built well, user friendly and fully integrated with all other public transport systems.