Light Rail a sound investment for Sydney

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced Sydney’s new light rail project linking Circular Quay, Central, Randwick and…

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced Sydney’s new light rail project linking Circular Quay, Central, Randwick and Kingsford would deliver 10,000 jobs and more than $4 billion in economic benefits to the State - $2.50 for every $1 invested.

Releasing details of the business case, Ms Berejiklian welcomed the fact the project would not only provide a reliable, high capacity new public transport option, but also bring thousands of jobs and economic benefits.

"The majority of benefit will be to public transport customers - light rail will play a crucial role in addressing the significant congestion challenges we face in Sydney," Ms Berejiklian said.

"The project will deliver 10,000 jobs during construction and operation and will be implemented with a redesigned bus network which will reduce the number of buses clogging CBD streets by up to 220 buses an hour – that will also help customers coming into the city on buses from the west and north."

An economic appraisal of the project found that light rail would deliver more than $2 billion in benefits for public transport users, $264 million for road users and environmental and social benefits worth $308 million.

Light rail will be able to carry up to 9000 people per hour in each direction, with additional high capacity services to cater for major events at the SCG, Sydney Football Stadium and Randwick Racecourse.

Light rail has a reliability rate of 97 per cent, compared with buses in the CBD which currently only arrive within two minutes of the timetable 19 to 34 per cent of the time.

"It is pleasing to have such positive news about the benefits this project will bring as we move into the final planning approval and procurement phases," Ms Berejiklian said.

Five MOUs have now been signed with key stakeholders including the City of Sydney Council, Randwick City Council, University of NSW, Centennial Parklands and the Australian Turf Club, Ms Berejiklian said.

"I’m pleased with the support for the project from these key stakeholders, who recognise the benefits it will bring to Sydney in terms of relieving congestion and supporting major health, education, sporting, business and cultural precincts."

Subject to planning approval, work on the $1.6 billion CBD and South East Light Rail project is expected to start in 2014 and will take five to six years to complete.

The 12km light rail project will link Circular Quay and Central, the Moore Park sporting and entertainment precinct including the Sydney Cricket Ground and football stadium, Randwick Racecourse, the University of NSW and Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick.

Light rail is one of many key infrastructure projects being delivered by the NSW Government including the North West Rail Link, South West Rail Link, WestConnex, Inner West Light Rail and Wynyard Walk.

CBD and South East Light Rail Business Case Study (pdf 3.1MB)