‘BUS RAPID TRANSIT’ PREFERRED OPTION FOR SUNSHINE COAST PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO CONNECT TO DIRECT SUNSHINE COAST RAIL
15th December 2023
• Following a rigorous process, ‘bus rapid transit’ has been identified as the preferred vehicle option for
the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project.
• The decision marks one of the biggest milestones for the project – formerly known as Sunshine Coast
Mass Transit – during its 12-year history.
• This option puts to rest the alternative for light rail as part of the project
The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) today announced ‘bus rapid transit’ as the preferred
vehicle option for the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project, as part of the development of a Detailed
Improving public transport for the Sunshine Coast is a high priority for the Queensland Government with many initiatives planned and community consultation recently completed.
The integration of projects such as Sunshine Coast Public Transport and the heavy rail into the coast, the
Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line are key to enabling residents and visitors move more easily around the
Sunshine Coast and South East Queensland Region.
In November, the Australian Government confirmed their support of the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail line, with $1.6 billion reserved in the forward Infrastructure Investment Pipeline for this project towards this project, noting costings will be updated post-Business Case and market engagement.
The selection of ‘bus rapid transit’ means rubber-tyred vehicles would operate on a dedicated ‘right-of-way’
basis, that provides an exclusive separated route from other road traffic for the sole use of public transport.
Bus rapid transit will provide sustainable, accessible and comfortable public transport that will meet forecast demand for public transport on the Sunshine Coast well into the future and connect customers to the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail, enabling Queenslanders to spend less time in cars and commuting.
Technologies are continually evolving with several variations of the bus rapid transit vehicle type emerging
within the market, such as trackless trams, which operate on rubber wheels and follow line marking on the road surface.
The move puts to rest an alternative option for light rail, which was also under consideration, and eliminates
community concerns about overhead wires, fixed steel tracks and noise.
A total of $15 million has been allocated for the Detailed Business Case, with the Australian Government,
Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council each contributing $5 million.
Further work to complete the Detailed Business Case will continue including further technical investigations and assessments to refine the design of the corridor for bus rapid transit, including station locations and active transport opportunities.
This government has fast tracked works on planning with the business case almost complete for Direct
Sunshine Coast Rail Line with some remaining work to be done to complete the business case for Sunshine
Coast Public Transport.
Quotes attributable to Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt:
“The growth on the Sunshine Coast is unparalleled and we need more sustainable ways for people to travel
around the region.
"A rapid bus transit option will be best placed to deliver for the needs of Sunshine Coast locals, based on the details feedback received throughout consultation.
“It is intended that bus transport will integrate with the broader vision for mass transit on the Sunshine Coast, underpinned by the Sunshine Coast Direct line
“Thank you to everyone who engaged with Transport and Main Roads – you have helped to shape the future
of public transport in our growing region.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton
“The next step will be completion of a detailed business case to understand how and when a rapid bus solution could be delivered.
“We understand the needs of our community and want to deliver the best outcome that will get people where they need to be.
“This bus transit project will work in partnership with the major Bruce Highway, local road and public transport solutions currently being progressed under our government.
“It’s only a strong Labor government that will deliver for the people of the Sunshine Coast, which has been
taken for granted by the State and Federal LNP for decades.”
Quotes attributable to Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson:
“We have been on this transport planning journey since 2011 and set strong strategic foundations in place that have allowed the project to progress as part of the current Detailed Business Case phase.
Council welcomes the State government proceeding with the Detailed Business Case for the Sunshine Coast Public Transport Project and for arriving at a conclusion that will provide an outstanding public transport system for the Sunshine Coast.
Bus Rapid Transit is an area of amazing technological advancement and offers a standard of service that will
attract people to use this comfortable, frequent and reliable public transport system.
The technological advancements are continuing with vehicles such as the E Tram (trackless tram), which while rubber-tyred like a bus, offer outstanding passenger comfort and ride quality.
“Today marks a new milestone for everyone who has played a key role in the project’s iconic past, especially
our local community.
“I would like to acknowledge the cooperative working arrangements with the State and Federal government to move forward with this essential infrastructure project for the Sunshine Coast, one which will help shape our future and retain our liveability.”
For more information about the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au and search ‘Sunshine Coast Public Transport’.
For information about the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail project visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au and search ‘Sunshine
Coast Public Transport’