In the first project of its kind in Australia for an operating light rail system, the City of Gold Coast has teamed up with Griffith University to set up an ongoing study to monitor the light rail corridor, and measure the impacts of the trams.
The result of 10 years of planning and construction, light rail is expected to not only improve the public transport network, but have positive spin-offs for our economy, community and environment.
Mayor Tom Tate said the project will help the whole city tap into the potential of light rail.
“We want to make sure that all the planning, the investment and effort that has gone into light rail really pay off for our city so we need to keep a close eye on the impacts the trams are having,” he said.
“Our planners can then learn from that and maximise the benefits as planning for the next stages of light rail moves forward. It’s another first for the Gold Coast, and I’m sure the project will also be of interest to other cities planning to introduce trams themselves. They’ll all be watching how we make it work.”
Griffith University’s Dr Matthew Burke said the pioneering project is one of very few ever undertaken internationally, and the first in Australia to look explicitly at light rail investment.
“The collaboration has been a real win-win for both Griffith and the City, and I’m sure what we learn will deliver benefits later along the track (literally) when we plan and design the next stages of the light rail network,” he said.
The project will look at all aspects of life along the 13 kilometre light rail route from Southport to Broadbeach, including economic and business activity, community, lifestyle, transport and environmental changes.
Pedestrian counting will take place at 17 key locations along the light rail route at regular intervals, to build up a picture of how things are changing along the corridor.
As the light rail network grows, there is opportunity to widen the scope of the project to cover an expanded light rail corridor.
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