Trams packed with 80,000 travellers

23 Jul


By Isobel Starkey, Bond University Journalism Student


About 80,000 people took the opportunity to ride the new G:link light rail for the first time for free at the launch last Sunday.


The new public transport system has a 13 kilometre route with 16 stops from Gold Coast University Hospital to Broadbeach South.


GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford said the launch was a great success with a turnout that exceeded expectations.


“We were expecting 50,000 to 70,000 passengers,” Mr Mumford said.


“We had extra staff on hand to cater to the crowds wanting to experience the G,” he said.


At 5am the first tram ran with 150 passengers and by midday 25,000 had experienced the world-class light rail system.


Broadbeach resident Loris Holding was one of the many who rode the tram for the first time on Sunday.


She said it was good to see it finished as the construction over the past two and a half years created quite a bit of mess.


“They’ve cleaned it up beautifully, I didn’t think they’d ever get to clean up around the place but they’ve done a good job,” Loris said.


“I will certainly use it for coming and going between Broadbeach and Southport, but I think mostly tourists will use it to their advantage.


“It’s a nice way to travel so hopefully it gets used, it’d be a terrible thing if it didn’t.”


The trams included a Gold Coast touch with racks for surfboards in the centre carriages.


The G:link will run weekdays from 5am to midnight with a frequency of every seven and a half minutes between 7am and 7pm.


On the weekends, trams will also run every 30 minutes between midnight and 5am.


“Current estimates of patronage for the light rail is over 13,000 on its first day on Monday,” Mr Mumford said.


“That is busier than every TransLink bus route, with the possible exception of Brisbane Transport route 66,” he said.


“Increase in patronage will occur as passengers become used to the new system and change their travel behaviour.”


Prior planning has been undertaken for further stages of construction to extend the light rail to a 40 kilometre route from Helensvale to Coolangatta.


“GoldLinQ would be very interested in a second stage,” Mr Mumford said.


“But until that time, the company is committed to successfully seeing trams run passenger services for the Gold Coast,” he said.


To find out more about the light rail service, timetables and costs visit the G:link website.



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