Sunshine Coast Mass Transit Project

Light Rail - a recognised game-changer!

Light Rail has been named one of five major game-changing projects spearheading Council’s plans to sustain the coast’s prosperity, lifestyle and natural assets into the future. It’s an essential part of our plan for the future of the Sunshine Coast; a plan based on more mass transit without the need to build new freeways.

The mass transit project supports sustainable urban growth as the population of the region heads for 500,000 in 2041. Light rail is a proven mass transit performer that can shape new urban development around it, allowing people to rely less on driving and parking a car, and more on fast, reliable access the busy urban centres. It is clear we can’t beat congestion by building more roads. We need a high quality mass transit system; light rail is that system.

The project will:

  • Create 9000 jobs directly and indirectly during construction and operation
  • Reduce reliance on car travel and traffic congestion
  • Potentially cut pollution by reducing fossil fuel use
  • Inject $3.6 billion in benefits back into the regional economy.

Responsibility for the public transport network and funding better public transport solutions on the Sunshine Coast rests primarily with the Queensland Government.

However, because public transport will play such a vital role in shaping the future of the Sunshine Coast region, Council is doing the initial planning work for a preferred public transport solution, and is coordinating this with more general transport planning work currently being undertaken by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

To this end, Council is preparing a business case for the first stages of a potential light rail system that would link Maroochydore to Kawana town centre and Caloundra. It would meet the regional rail at strategic locations for connections to Beerwah and Brisbane.

As a part of that business case work, a range of mass transit technology options including Council’s preferred light rail system will be rigorously evaluated against proven cost information and detailed operational performance criteria.

It is a long-term project still subject to further studies. However, if it proves the right solution for the Coast, then the first stage could be delivered by 2025 subject to approvals and funding.

View a map showing Council and other major Sunshine Coast projects here.




Imagine a future Sunshine Coast without Light Rail!

An article in the Brisbane Times discussed the compelling argument for light rail on the Sunshine Coast, highlighting the benefits that will potentially be unlocked by delivering this significant public transport infrastructure within the coastal corridor from Maroochydore to Caloundra (Stages 1 and 2). The piece by Michael Kerry, current Director at Suncentral Maroochydore and former Manager of Brisbane City Council's Urban Management department, explained how the Sunshine Coast Light Rail project can support regional population growth, deliver jobs and stimulate private investment.

Kerry writes:

"Seven years after the GFC dealt a major blow to the Sunshine Coast, the region is well and truly back in business.

Projects such as the $1.8 billion university hospital, the Sunshine Coast airport expansion and development of the new Maroochydore CBD have buoyed business confidence - but a vital piece of the puzzle remains orphaned on the sideline". Continue reading...






Light Rail - a recognised game-changer!

Light Rail has been named one of five major game-changing projects spearheading Council’s plans to sustain the coast’s prosperity, lifestyle and natural assets into the future. It’s an essential part of our plan for the future of the Sunshine Coast; a plan based on more mass transit without the need to build new freeways.

The mass transit project supports sustainable urban growth as the population of the region heads for 500,000 in 2041. Light rail is a proven mass transit performer that can shape new urban development around it, allowing people to rely less on driving and parking a car, and more on fast, reliable access the busy urban centres. It is clear we can’t beat congestion by building more roads. We need a high quality mass transit system; light rail is that system.

The project will:

  • Create 9000 jobs directly and indirectly during construction and operation
  • Reduce reliance on car travel and traffic congestion
  • Potentially cut pollution by reducing fossil fuel use
  • Inject $3.6 billion in benefits back into the regional economy.

Responsibility for the public transport network and funding better public transport solutions on the Sunshine Coast rests primarily with the Queensland Government.

However, because public transport will play such a vital role in shaping the future of the Sunshine Coast region, Council is doing the initial planning work for a preferred public transport solution, and is coordinating this with more general transport planning work currently being undertaken by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

To this end, Council is preparing a business case for the first stages of a potential light rail system that would link Maroochydore to Kawana town centre and Caloundra. It would meet the regional rail at strategic locations for connections to Beerwah and Brisbane.

As a part of that business case work, a range of mass transit technology options including Council’s preferred light rail system will be rigorously evaluated against proven cost information and detailed operational performance criteria.

It is a long-term project still subject to further studies. However, if it proves the right solution for the Coast, then the first stage could be delivered by 2025 subject to approvals and funding.

View a map showing Council and other major Sunshine Coast projects here.




Imagine a future Sunshine Coast without Light Rail!

An article in the Brisbane Times discussed the compelling argument for light rail on the Sunshine Coast, highlighting the benefits that will potentially be unlocked by delivering this significant public transport infrastructure within the coastal corridor from Maroochydore to Caloundra (Stages 1 and 2). The piece by Michael Kerry, current Director at Suncentral Maroochydore and former Manager of Brisbane City Council's Urban Management department, explained how the Sunshine Coast Light Rail project can support regional population growth, deliver jobs and stimulate private investment.

Kerry writes:

"Seven years after the GFC dealt a major blow to the Sunshine Coast, the region is well and truly back in business.

Projects such as the $1.8 billion university hospital, the Sunshine Coast airport expansion and development of the new Maroochydore CBD have buoyed business confidence - but a vital piece of the puzzle remains orphaned on the sideline". Continue reading...






  • Council gives green light for next step on light rail

    3 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
    Green

    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...

    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?

    3 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    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.