Sunshine Coast Light Rail

Imagine a fast, frequent, high-quality light rail service along the Sunshine Coast!

Council is undertaking a feasibility study for a light rail system between Maroochydore and Caloundra. Eventually the system could link most major destinations and attractions along the coast and connect with buses and trains.


Project Update - July 2015: Recommended route alignment identified for further investigation

The outcome of the community consultation in November 2014 has given council the confidence to move forward to complete the feasibility and preliminary business case work over the coming year with 87% of survey respondents were in favour of council’s light rail investigations.

For the purpose of undertaking these further investigations and obtaining more detailed costings, council has recommended a route alignment to ensure the technical investigations are focussed and do not waste time and expense investigating all options.

View the full project update fact sheet, and find out more on the Route Options Consultation Results page.


Imagine a fast, frequent, high-quality light rail service along the Sunshine Coast!

Council is undertaking a feasibility study for a light rail system between Maroochydore and Caloundra. Eventually the system could link most major destinations and attractions along the coast and connect with buses and trains.


Project Update - July 2015: Recommended route alignment identified for further investigation

The outcome of the community consultation in November 2014 has given council the confidence to move forward to complete the feasibility and preliminary business case work over the coming year with 87% of survey respondents were in favour of council’s light rail investigations.

For the purpose of undertaking these further investigations and obtaining more detailed costings, council has recommended a route alignment to ensure the technical investigations are focussed and do not waste time and expense investigating all options.

View the full project update fact sheet, and find out more on the Route Options Consultation Results page.


News-Updates

  • Light rail plan on track with industry

    7 months ago

    Sunshine Coast Council’s study into the potential of light rail received further industry recognition at the recent Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) 2015 Awards for Planning Excellence in Queensland.

    The Sunshine Coast Light Rail: Shaping our Future report, prepared by design firm Hassell in conjunction with Council’s light rail team, recently won the state award in the ‘Best Planning Ideas—Large Regional or Urban Project’ category.

    Planning Institute of Australia State President Kate Isles said this year’s winners included an array of exceptional projects that had benefitted millions of Queensland residents and businesses.

    ... Continue reading

    Sunshine Coast Council’s study into the potential of light rail received further industry recognition at the recent Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) 2015 Awards for Planning Excellence in Queensland.

    The Sunshine Coast Light Rail: Shaping our Future report, prepared by design firm Hassell in conjunction with Council’s light rail team, recently won the state award in the ‘Best Planning Ideas—Large Regional or Urban Project’ category.

    Planning Institute of Australia State President Kate Isles said this year’s winners included an array of exceptional projects that had benefitted millions of Queensland residents and businesses.

    “This year’s winners have made active and positive contributions to Queensland and our way of life,” Ms Isles said.

    Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was pleased that the Sunshine Coast light rail project was receiving strong recognition, with this award underscoring the recent win in the ‘Policies, Programs and Concepts-Large Scale’ category at the national Australian Urban Design Awards 2015.

    “This early planning report showed light rail has the potential to deliver more lifestyle options, health benefits, stimulate new business and property investment and improve property values—and for those reasons Council considered it was worth further investigation,” Mayor Jamieson said.

    "Council is seeking innovative ways to maintain the quality of life for future generations on the Sunshine Coast, so our local centres and communities are connected and our streets and civic spaces are activated in a way that promotes enjoyment, accessibility and convenience.

    “These industry awards further reinforce Council’s direction as we seek to shape a sustainable future for the Sunshine Coast—a future that can benefit the community, protect our environment and help to ensure a vibrant economy.

    Detailed research, planning and investigation for a proposed light rail service is currently underway. Results of the feasibility studies will ensure Council can present a clear case to the Queensland Government on whether light rail is right and feasible for the Sunshine Coast.

    Council has committed to a program of formal community consultation before a final decision about a light rail network is made.


  • Light rail plan wins urban design award

    10 months ago

    As Sunshine Coast Council continues to work on detailed studies for the
    proposed light rail project, we are encouraged by the national recognition of our SunshineCoast Light Rail: Shaping our Future pre-feasibility report.

    Prepared by design firm HASSELL and Council’s light rail team, the report recently won the national award in the ‘Policies, Programs and Concepts—Large Scale’ category of the Australia Award for Urban Design.

    The judging panel for the AAUD 2015 awards said the project was a well-considered design solution that integrates what is currently a disparate set of suburban developments and, in
    an innovative way, integrates public transport... Continue reading

    As Sunshine Coast Council continues to work on detailed studies for the
    proposed light rail project, we are encouraged by the national recognition of our SunshineCoast Light Rail: Shaping our Future pre-feasibility report.

    Prepared by design firm HASSELL and Council’s light rail team, the report recently won the national award in the ‘Policies, Programs and Concepts—Large Scale’ category of the Australia Award for Urban Design.

    The judging panel for the AAUD 2015 awards said the project was a well-considered design solution that integrates what is currently a disparate set of suburban developments and, in
    an innovative way, integrates public transport into linear coastal urban development.

    They also said the project included excellent consultation, incorporating a wide range of stakeholder views and excellent images to communicate the vision.

    This award is particularly valued as it is a collective award from the Planning Institute of Australia, Australian Institute of Architects, Engineers Australia, Green Building Council of Australia,
    Consult Australia, The Australian Urban Design Forum, ASBEC and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. It is a great compliment to receive feedback and encouragement from our peers around the nation for the project.

    Stay tuned in the coming months as we expect to provide an interim update on the progress of the detailed feasibility studies into engineering, planning implications, costs and timing.

    Thank you for your continuing interest and support.




  • Route options survey results available now

    about 1 year ago

    In November 2014 over 700 people across the coast had their say on light rail route options proposed for Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Kawana and Caloundra. The vast majority support council's investigations and feedback has contributed to the selection of route options for further study. Find out all the facts and figures - read the Route Options Consultation Report.

    More details, including fact sheets and FAQs, are available on the route options consultation results page.

    In November 2014 over 700 people across the coast had their say on light rail route options proposed for Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Kawana and Caloundra. The vast majority support council's investigations and feedback has contributed to the selection of route options for further study. Find out all the facts and figures - read the Route Options Consultation Report.

    More details, including fact sheets and FAQs, are available on the route options consultation results page.

  • Community supports light rail investigation

    over 1 year ago
    Nicklin_way_small

    The Sunshine Coast community embraced the opportunity to comment on the proposed light rail route options with more than 700 submissions received during the four week public display period.

    Mayor Mark Jamieson thanked the community for joining the conversation about light rail and taking the time to go online or attend a community information session to learn more about this proposed mode of transport.

    “Alternative transport options are an important consideration for a sustainable future for the Sunshine Coast.  It is reassuring that more than 85% of respondents were supportive of council’s investigation into light rail,” Mayor Jamieson said.

    “There... Continue reading

    The Sunshine Coast community embraced the opportunity to comment on the proposed light rail route options with more than 700 submissions received during the four week public display period.

    Mayor Mark Jamieson thanked the community for joining the conversation about light rail and taking the time to go online or attend a community information session to learn more about this proposed mode of transport.

    “Alternative transport options are an important consideration for a sustainable future for the Sunshine Coast.  It is reassuring that more than 85% of respondents were supportive of council’s investigation into light rail,” Mayor Jamieson said.

    “There is still a long way to go, but the community’s willingness to engage with council’s investigation into light rail at this early stage is encouraging.”

    A light rail system has been proposed to form a link between the major growth areas of Caloundra and Maroochydore—supported by a frequent and reliable bus system to connect other communities and the Hinterland—to create a world-class integrated regional transport system.

    Transport portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski said the opportunity for the community to comment on the proposed light rail route options was an important step in identifying a preferred route and a significant milestone for the project.

    “This was a chance for the Sunshine Coast community to engage in a discussion with council about a regional transport solution that has the potential to cater for future growth while also maintaining the lifestyle for which the Coast is renowned,” Cr Baberowski said.

    “The response from the community has been outstanding. I have enjoyed many conversations about light rail over the past four weeks and look forward to learning more about the community’s opinions on the route options as the submissions are analysed.”

    Council’s light rail project team will review the feedback and prepare a report to council.  The report will include shortlisted routes for more detailed feasibility studies to examine engineering, planning implications, costs and timing.

    There will also be further opportunities for the community to have input before a final decision about a light rail network is made. Results of these studies will ensure that council can present a clear case to the Queensland Government on whether light rail is right and feasible for the Sunshine Coast.

    Subject to feasibility and confirmation of funding commitments from other levels of government, construction of a light rail network could start in 2022 with Stage 1, between Maroochydore and Kawana, operational by 2025.

    Information about the light rail project is available at www.lightrail.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au. To follow the investigation into light rail, register via the website to receive updates as the project progresses.

     

  • Light rail route options on public display

    over 1 year ago
    Maroochydore_map_small

    Sunshine Coast Council today released the proposed light rail network route options for community comment.

    Mayor Mark Jamieson said improving the liveability and prosperity of the region was at the heart of the proposed light rail corridor between Maroochydore and Caloundra.

    “Seeking the community’s views on the route options through Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore is the next step in this important project for the future of the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

    “Today, we are inviting the community to come on board, to get involved in the conversation around light rail and to tell council what they think about... Continue reading

    Sunshine Coast Council today released the proposed light rail network route options for community comment.

    Mayor Mark Jamieson said improving the liveability and prosperity of the region was at the heart of the proposed light rail corridor between Maroochydore and Caloundra.

    “Seeking the community’s views on the route options through Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore is the next step in this important project for the future of the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

    “Today, we are inviting the community to come on board, to get involved in the conversation around light rail and to tell council what they think about the proposed route options. 

    “The community engagement follows the recent release of the “Sunshine Coast Light Rail – Shaping Our Future” document which outlined the findings from a study into the potential for light rail to be part of a long-term transport solution between Sunshine Coast’s major growth centres.

    “Light rail is recognised as a mode of transport that has many benefits beyond its role as a transport service and is currently operating or being planned and built in hundreds of cities around the world, including in Australia.

    ”While we are clearly talking about a network that is some years away, planning for the future has to start now.

    “Our population is forecast to grow by 50 per cent in the next 15 to 20 years and we need to be thinking ahead about how we are going to respond to that growth and maintain the lifestyle that is an integral part of the Sunshine Coast.

    “If we want to ensure the region is well positioned to reduce traffic and congestion and minimise the need for more parking areas and wider roads, then we need to make sure that the right transport solutions are considered and delivered, when and where they are needed.

    Mayor Jamieson said identifying a potential corridor – and then taking the necessary steps to protect it for this future use – would help shape how and when the solution was delivered and would prove cost effective in the long term.

    “While providing transport infrastructure such as light rail would be the Queensland Government’s responsibility, if we want to see it considered as part of a longer-term solution, we need to get the planning and analysis right to inform any decision the State may make.

    “The economic prosperity of our region will be greater if we can create more opportunities for vibrant activity along the main spine of the enterprise corridor from the airport to Caloundra South.

    “Over time, with light rail forming the spine, supported by a frequent and reliable bus system to connect other communities and the Hinterland, we could create a world-class integrated local transport system, particularly if it is connected to the North Coast rail line.

    “This approach would boost opportunities for new investment which would lead to greater employment options, and also encourage more integrated tourism experiences between the coastal strip and the Hinterland.”

    Regional Planning Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson, said council had a dual focus – serving and responding to the community’s immediate priorities and keeping an eye on the future.

    “Transport is one area where forward planning is an absolute necessity if council wants to ensure a vibrant and prosperous community on the Sunshine Coast well into the future,” Cr Dickson said.

    “Large infrastructure projects have notoriously long lead times due to the time demands of detailed engineering, approval processes, funding arrangements, community consultation and construction.

    “We have the opportunity now to ensure a suitable corridor is preserved, so the project can be readily brought to life at the appropriate time in the future.”

    Mayor Jamieson said the route options were selected following engineering and environmental assessments which considered community accessibility, current travel patterns, location of tourism centres, constructability and position in relation to major facilities and service centres such as the Maroochydore city centre and the Kawana Health Campus.

    “Three route options have been proposed for the Maroochydore area, four options for Mooloolaba and Kawana and three options for Caloundra”.

    “The routes also include connections between these areas”, Mayor Jamieson said.

    “Council is holding community information sessions over the next four weeks and the community is invited to participate and take the opportunity to comment on the proposed routes.

    “Our aim is to identify a preferred route and then progress more detailed feasibility studies to look at engineering, costs and timing.

    “This will enable council to present a clear case to the Queensland Government on whether light rail is right and feasible for the Sunshine Coast.”

    Subject to feasibility and confirmation of funding commitments from other levels of government, construction of a light rail network could start in 2022 with Stage 1, between Maroochydore and Kawana, operational by 2025.

  • The Sunshine Coast’s light rail journey continues

    almost 2 years ago
    Sunshine_coast_light_rail_sof_cover

    The next phase of considering Sunshine Coast’s future public transport options has been marked with Sunshine Coast Council’s release of findings from initial feasibility studies on light rail.

    Building on pre-feasibility work delivered by Council in August 2012, the document released today focuses on how the region will grow over the next two decades and the implications for lifestyle, the economy and the environment.

    Jointly funded by the Australian Government and Council, the Sunshine Coast Light Rail - Shaping Our Future document highlights that the region is forecast to grow by about 50 per cent over the next 20 years,... Continue reading

    The next phase of considering Sunshine Coast’s future public transport options has been marked with Sunshine Coast Council’s release of findings from initial feasibility studies on light rail.

    Building on pre-feasibility work delivered by Council in August 2012, the document released today focuses on how the region will grow over the next two decades and the implications for lifestyle, the economy and the environment.

    Jointly funded by the Australian Government and Council, the Sunshine Coast Light Rail - Shaping Our Future document highlights that the region is forecast to grow by about 50 per cent over the next 20 years, with a large proportion of that growth expected to occur between Maroochydore and Caloundra.

    Mayor Mark Jamieson said the research showed growth would contribute to a doubling of traffic along key north-south routes on the Coast unless alternative and more cost-effective public transport solutions were put in place.

    “Council is striving to make the Sunshine Coast Australia’s most sustainable region and that includes thinking smarter about how we move people around,” Mayor Jamieson said.

    “Nobody likes congestion and Council is keen to ensure that while it plans for a growing community, it also plans now for how people will move between home and work and where they shop and play.

    “Council believes that by working constructively and proactively over the coming years with the Queensland Government – which is responsible for the public transport network – we can identify the most appropriate and affordable solution that can meet the needs of this region.

    “Council believes light rail should be investigated because of its capacity to deliver many benefits.

    “More than 400 cities of varying sizes around the world, including Canberra, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, have already opted for a light rail or tram system and there are many more being planned or built.

    “Council will continue to work in the years ahead with the Queensland Government to determine whether light rail is the right choice for the Sunshine Coast.

    “Council is conscious however, that any decision will be dependent on the feasibility study showing clear evidence of viability, including community support.

    “We do know from our recent investigations that light rail can offer more lifestyle options, health benefits, stimulate new business and property investment and improve property values, among other gains.”

    Transport Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the study was not simply a question of transport planning.

    “This is about finding innovative ways to maintain the quality of life for future generations, so our local centres and communities are connected and our streets and civic spaces are activated in a way that promotes enjoyment, accessibility and convenience,” Cr Baberowski said.

    “There has been strong community support for this work to date and I encourage residents and businesses to put forward their views.

    “We must remember however, that any decision on the future public transport solutions for the region will be made by the Queensland Government”, Cr Baberowski said.

    “Completing the detailed feasibility study on light rail, which we anticipate will be during the next 12-18 months, will help inform those decisions.

    “If light rail stacks up and gets the go-ahead, then it certainly won’t happen overnight.

    “This is part of a conversation that Council and the community is looking to have with the Queensland Government on the preferred public transport solutions for the Sunshine Coast in 2025 and beyond,” Cr Baberowski said.

     

  • Join the discussion and tell us your thoughts on the introduction of light rail!

    over 4 years ago

    Modern cities around the world embrace light rail as a better way of moving people.

    Light rail is fast, frequent, comfortable and quiet.

    A single service would potentially move more people than existing public transport, dilute traffic congestion and pollution by reducing the number of cars on our roadways, free up parking and further attract and open up the Sunshine Coast to visitors.

    Add your thoughts and ideas on the introduction of light rail to the Sunshine Coast in the Sunshine Coast Light Rail discussion forum and let your colleagues friends and neighbours know so they can also add their ideas.

     

    Modern cities around the world embrace light rail as a better way of moving people.

    Light rail is fast, frequent, comfortable and quiet.

    A single service would potentially move more people than existing public transport, dilute traffic congestion and pollution by reducing the number of cars on our roadways, free up parking and further attract and open up the Sunshine Coast to visitors.

    Add your thoughts and ideas on the introduction of light rail to the Sunshine Coast in the Sunshine Coast Light Rail discussion forum and let your colleagues friends and neighbours know so they can also add their ideas.

     

  • Project Team gears up for Phase 2

    over 3 years ago

    The next round of investigations

    On 23 August 2012 the Sunshine Coast Council considered and supported the findings of the Taskforce pre-feasibility study and determined that the Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project should proceed to a full feasibility study and business case - Phase 2.

    The business case process will include comprehensive public consultation on routes and options and will be conducted over the next two years at an estimaed cost of $4 million.  The costs will be shared between council (funded by its public transport levy) and the Commonwealth Government, who have provided a $500,000 grant under the Liveable Cities Program.

    It is proposed to engage professional service providers to undertake detailed feasibility work including engineering field investigations, throughout 2013 and 2014. Requests for proposals from interested providers are expected to be made in early December 2012.

    Community Engagement

    Community engagement during Phase 1 has revealed there is strong interest in the project from the Sunshine Coast Community. This site received thousands of visits and over 200 people registered to be part of the project debate. Many people made formal comments, of which over 90% were supportive of the project.

    There will be further consultation as part of Phase 2 based upon consultation on:

    • Route Planning and Impact Assessment Report

    The next round of investigations

    On 23 August 2012 the Sunshine Coast Council considered and supported the findings of the Taskforce pre-feasibility study and determined that the Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project should proceed to a full feasibility study and business case - Phase 2.

    The business case process will include comprehensive public consultation on routes and options and will be conducted over the next two years at an estimaed cost of $4 million.  The costs will be shared between council (funded by its public transport levy) and the Commonwealth Government, who have provided a $500,000 grant under the Liveable Cities Program.

    It is proposed to engage professional service providers to undertake detailed feasibility work including engineering field investigations, throughout 2013 and 2014. Requests for proposals from interested providers are expected to be made in early December 2012.

    Community Engagement

    Community engagement during Phase 1 has revealed there is strong interest in the project from the Sunshine Coast Community. This site received thousands of visits and over 200 people registered to be part of the project debate. Many people made formal comments, of which over 90% were supportive of the project.

    There will be further consultation as part of Phase 2 based upon consultation on:

    • Route Planning and Impact Assessment Report

  • Council gives green light for next step on light rail

    almost 4 years ago

    The Sunshine Coast is one step closer to getting a light rail public transport service after council gave the green light for a business case to be developed.

    The Council decision to proceed to a full feasibility and business case phase was recommended by the Light Rail Taskforce in the Pre-feasibility and Rapid Economic Appraisal Report ‘A line in the sand’ which was released on Monday August 27.

    • download and read the Pre-feasibility and Rapid Economic Appraisal Report ‘A line in the sand’ summary or full report from the library

    The Pre-feasibility and Rapid Economic Appraisal Report ‘A... Continue reading

    The Sunshine Coast is one step closer to getting a light rail public transport service after council gave the green light for a business case to be developed.

    The Council decision to proceed to a full feasibility and business case phase was recommended by the Light Rail Taskforce in the Pre-feasibility and Rapid Economic Appraisal Report ‘A line in the sand’ which was released on Monday August 27.

    • download and read the Pre-feasibility and Rapid Economic Appraisal Report ‘A line in the sand’ summary or full report from the library

    The Pre-feasibility and Rapid Economic Appraisal Report ‘A line in the sand’ is a collaborative effort by the broadly based taskforce, convened by the Sunshine Coast council in February 2012. The Taskforce comprised key industry and community representatives, as well as community representatives selected through the expression of interest process. It also embodies input from the community made through this online hub.

    The report clearly sets out the significant economic and social benefits of light rail as a ‘game changer’ for the entire Sunshine Coast region. It is much bigger than a public transport project and capable of delivering returns region wide for the next 100 years.

     The Sunshine Coast Light Rail project will support the Council and Community vision of becoming Australia’s most sustainable region by:

    • Delivering nearly 9,000 jobs during construction and operation;
    • $3.6 billion estimated benefits back into the economy;
    • Protecting lifestyle and natural assets, farm and hinterland;
    • Connecting people and places to major hubs and villages for employment, education, health and tourism;
    • Improving mobility, especially for aged and people with disabilities.
    • Encouraging new forms of urban development and reinvigorating precincts and;
    • Reducing reliance on car travel.

    The aim of the project is to develop the first stages of a sleek, modern light rail system for travel between the Sunshine Coast’s major destinations including Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Caloundra and the new hospital and town centre at Kawana by 2020. 

    The preferred corridor would link Maroochydore with Caloundra. This is the primary activity corridor in the region and contains many of the key attractions to potential public transport users. There would be a connection to the Kawana Town Centre and health precinct. It could be developed in two major stages based on an initial connection between Maroochydore and the new hospital precinct at Kawana.

    Other routes should be anticipated and could be separately investigated. It is clear key destinations like the Sunshine Coast Airport and the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Palmview growth corridor would be potential attractors for future routes. Longer term connections to Caloundra South, Noosa and Nambour could also be anticipated.

    Light rail would mean at least 50,000 car trips off the road by 2031 resulting in less congestion for those that do drive and benefits to the Sunshine Coast environment and lifestyle.

    The business case process will include comprehensive public consultation on routes and options.  It will be conducted over the next two years at an estimated cost of $ 4 million. The costs will be shared between the Council, funded by its public transport levy, and the Commonwealth Government who have provided a $500,000 grant under the Liveable Cities Program.   Talks will also be held with the Queensland Government in the future.

    A summary of the report can be found in the library section on this hub.

  • Light Rail....why, what and where?

    over 4 years ago

    The Sunshine Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia and based on existing growth there will be half a million people living here in less than 20 years. Light rail will be transformational for the sunshine coast. It is a sleek, modern mass transit service that is able to move people efficiently without the need to always rely on cars.

    To find out more....read the frequently asked questions about the why, what and the where of light rail for the Sunshine Coast.

    The Sunshine Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia and based on existing growth there will be half a million people living here in less than 20 years. Light rail will be transformational for the sunshine coast. It is a sleek, modern mass transit service that is able to move people efficiently without the need to always rely on cars.

    To find out more....read the frequently asked questions about the why, what and the where of light rail for the Sunshine Coast.