What is Stage 3A of the Gold Coast Light Rail?

It is the proposed third extension of the Gold Coast light rail system that will be approximately 6.7 kilometres from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads.

The preliminary reference design proposes:

- dual track in the centre of the Gold Coast Highway

- planning for up to 8 new stations

- 5 new trams similar to the 18 light rail vehicles currently in service

- a journey time of approximately 16 to 17 minutes

Why is the tram line being extended?

It is predicted the Gold Coast’s population will increase by 62% to over 928,000 by 2041*. *ABS 2016

Upgrading and building new roads alone is not a sustainable solution to growth. A change in how people move around the Gold Coast is essential.

Extending the light rail will assist in reducing motorised road users (including buses on the Gold Coast Highway). It will also support and enable Australian, State and Local Government policies that are aimed at creating more sustainable suburbs that reduce urban sprawl through the provision of reliable high capacity public transport.

Where will the stations be?

A reference design is being developed as part of the Detailed Business Case. This will indicate the proposed light rail alignment and station locations. There is planning for up to 8 light rail stations:

- Mermaid Beach station - near Montana Road intersection, approximately 750 metres south of Broadbeach South station

- Mermaid Beach South station - near Tamborine Street intersection, approximately 900 metres from Mermaid Beach station

- Nobby Beach station - near Lavarack Road, approximately 1100 metres from Mermaid Beach South station

- Miami North Station – near Miami High School, near the intersection of Paradise Avenue and Santa Monica Road, approximately 650 metres from Nobby Beach station

- Miami station - near Hythe Street intersection, approximately 500 metres from Miami North station

- Christine Avenue station - near Sixth Avenue, approximately 850 metres from Miami station

- Second Avenue, Burleigh station - near Third Avenue, approximately 1000 metres from Christine Avenue station

- Burleigh Heads station – near Goodwin Terrace, approximately 850 metres from Second Avenue station

I don’t use the tram – why not just increase the existing bus service?

Buses alone would be unable to cater for the population and traffic growth predicted for the Gold Coast. Buses are not immune to traffic delays due to congestion on the roads.

Trams can carry more people whilst occupying less road space than cars and buses. Services are more frequent and reliable and the system integrates with high-frequency bus services connected to light rail at key interchange points.

This integrated public transport system offers an alternative to driving and parking.

Not all people will use public transport however, large infrastructure projects like the light rail aim to benefit the wider community.

Public transport is a vital public service and is as essential to the community as public education and hospitals, all of which are funded by tax payers

Will there be park and ride facilities?

No vehicle park ‘n’ ride facilities are planned along the Stage 3A alignment due to the high cost and impact of acquiring land in an established urban environment.

Will there be a loss of on-street parking?

On street parking is being considered as part of the reference design development. On-street parking will be retained where possible and space permits along the highway.

Will light rail change the character of the area?

The Gold Coast is continually growing and changing and is Australia's sixth largest city. It is vital to plan for the forecast population growth for existing and future residents and visitors.

Planning for Stage 3A will take into account the importance of preserving and enhancing the lifestyle and economic opportunities for the southern Gold Coast.

Are any cultural heritage sites affected by the project?

Cultural Heritage forms an important part of the planning for any major State Government project. A Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) will be produced in conjunction with local indigenous representatives.

As part of a CHMP, the project will investigate potential cultural heritage sites and work with appropriate representatives during construction of the project.

What is going to be done to protect wildlife?

Environmental Management Plans (EMP) form an important part of planning and must comply with all relevant legislation.

During construction, if required, fauna spotter-catchers will be available to monitor works and ensure wildlife is protected and relocated when necessary.

When will the light rail extension to Coolangatta start?

Transport and Main Roads is investigating significant road network and public transport upgrades in the southern corridor. Projects in the planning phase include:

- Pacific Motorway (M1) upgrade – Varsity Lakes to Tugun

- Gold Coast Highway Multi modal corridor study - Burleigh Heads to Tugun

These studies will ensure the state can consider the strategy and future transport needs required to support predicted growth in the southern corridor.

The community will be kept informed when further information is available on light rail Stage 3B.

Why don't we upgrade and add lanes to the M1 or build more roads?

Upgrading and building new roads alone is not a sustainable solution to population and economic growth.

No major new roads are planned for the southern coastal corridor.

A change in how people move around the Gold Coast is essential. Providing alternatives to car dependence, such as light rail, can provide traffic congestion relief and support growth.

When will construction start and how long will it take to build?

Any decision to proceed with the construction of Stage 3A will be dependent on the completion of a supportive business case and funding contributions from both the Australian Government and the City of Gold Coast.

Should government proceed, construction could commence in late 2019 and would take approximately two to three years.