Ten Things You Need To Know About Light Rail In RandwickLight rail is coming to town, and it’s coming soon. Construction on the CBD and South East Light Rail Project is expected to commence late 2014, and reach completion in five or six years’ time. The project is expected to cost $1.6 billion.
So what does it mean for Randwick? Here are ten beneficial aspects of the light rail project that you need to know about:
1. The plan to bring light rail to the Eastern Suburbs has the support of Randwick Council. A $68 million funding package has been forwarded by Council, including proposals to build new public plazas around the Kingsford and Randwick interchanges. Funds will also be spent on parking, drainage works, traffic-calming measures and cycle connections.
2. Residents may well have their parking concerns quelled by Council’s proposal to acquire land and construct a multi-storey car park at Kingsford, next to the Kingsford 9-ways roundabout. Council has dedicated $40 million towards parking to offset the loss of spots owing to the impending light rail line. Council owns the land at 13-21 Rainbow Street, Kingsford, and the State Government owns 1-11 Rainbow Street, Kingsford. This proposal to build a multi-storey car park is one way to address the issue of parking.
3. The light rail line could potentially extend to Maroubra Junction. Council is pushing hard for the extension, which would likely correlate in an increase in Maroubra property prices. Maroubra Junction had a tram stop from 1921 to 1961, so wouldn’t it be nostalgic if light rail returned?
4. UNSW needs better transport. It is currently the only university without rail access, and is extremely dependent on the bus network for its 50,000 staff and students. UNSW will have stops at both Anzac Parade and Wansey Road, which should herald in a faster and more reliable transport service for the uni.
5. Light rail is the way of the future. A line from Circular Quay to Central is part of the project, and a line to Bondi is widely touted. The service boasts space for 300 commuters on each light rail service – five times the capacity of a standard bus – and will have ‘turn up and go’ services every two to three minutes in peak times.
6. It makes economic sense. $4 billion worth of benefits have been identified over a 30-year period. Transport for NSW has noted that road users stand to benefit $264 million owing to decongestion, operating savings and road safety improvements. A benefit of $707 million is forecast for public operational savings, including increased revenues and reduced bus operating costs.
7. Light rail is environmentally friendly. It promises to reduce air and noise pollution and improve urban renewal opportunities. A 700,000-tonne reduction of CO² emissions is expected over 30 years. Transport for NSW has forecast environmental and social benefits worth $308 million.
8. More jobs. The project is expected to create over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs from 2014 to 2020. Light rail will support the growth of 4,000 jobs in research, health and education in the Randwick Education and Health Specialised Centre, which employs 37% of the Randwick LGA’s workforce.
9. People will get where they want to go quicker. The service has a carrying capacity of 9,000 passengers per hour, fully integrated ticketing and 97% reliability.
10. Locals can have their say on the project. A website, yoursayrandwick.com.au/lightrail, has been specifically set up to encourage and cater for your concerns and feedback on light rail.