Gold Coast Light Rail: Stage 3A

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Gold Coast public transport capacity
Priority Project
Gold Coast, Qld
Smaller cities and regional centres
Urban Congestion
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
Queensland Government
Evaluation Date
23 August 2019

Problem to be addressed

The Queensland Government expects the population of the Gold Coast to grow by approximately 60% to 928,000 people by 2041. This rapid population growth is creating increased demand for transport within the Gold Coast, between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, and more broadly in South East Queensland.

Poor public transport connectivity between Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads is resulting in significant road congestion and poor journey reliability. Without improvements to public transport connectivity, road traffic levels are expected to reach network capacity before 2031.

The Gold Coast population remains heavily car dependent, despite some increases in public transport trips in recent years.

Project description

To address these issues, the Queensland Government is proposing to extend the existing Gold Coast Light Rail line from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads. This project, known as Stage 3A, would replace existing bus services between Broadbeach South and Burleigh Heads with light rail services and implement a complementary urban renewal and economic development strategy in the corridor.

The strategic case for the project is largely dependent on the realisation of urban renewal and increased urban density. Furthermore, the strategic case depends on the project’s ability to shift travel from cars to light rail. This typically requires the support of a proactive mode shift policy since travel times will be similar to existing bus services, even though light rail services should be more reliable and comfortable for passengers.

Economic, social and environmental value

The project’s major benefits will be for road users through travel-time savings and operating costs. The project will also contribute benefits for public transport users through travel-time savings and amenity benefits.

The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 1.1, with a net present value of $56 million (7% real discount rate).

Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2018 business case) $709 million (P90, nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution $269 million | State government contribution $351 million | Local government contribution $91.5 million | Private sector contribution N/A