On 5 November 2015 the Australasian Railway Association welcomed the announcement by the Hon. Andrew Constance MP, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure that the government is implementing a modern, integrated transport system for Newcastle, in preparation for delivery with the city’s light rail system.
“This is exactly the transport approach that is needed for Newcastle in order for public transport to reach its full potential. With one major operator integrating Newcastle’s bus, ferry, train and light rail routes into a single network, the city can expect to see greater efficiencies, improved customer service and increased patronage. This will lead to a more sophisticated transport service for the people of Newcastle which delivers directly to their needs,” said Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association.
“In Australia and internationally, governments are realising the far-reaching benefits of an integrated transport model. The Australasian Railway Association’s research on light rail shows that whether delivered by the public sector, the private sector, or a mix of both, successfully combining a multimodal network with light rail can drive growth in public transport use.
“Locally, the integration of the Gold Coast Light Rail line with the bus and rail systems was the catalyst for a 25% increase in public transport usage in the first year of light rail. Abroad, in the French city of Lyon, reorganising the buses, trains, trams and trolley buses into a multimodal approach provided an immediate 6% patronage increase and steady long-term growth. It’s pleasing to see Newcastle follow best practice by looking to deliver a modern, streamlined transport network for the city.
“With the Newcastle light rail project getting underway, now is the time to overhaul the transport network in Newcastle in order to get the local economy moving again, as well as revitalise the jobs market and refashion Newcastle’s CBD and urban areas,” said Mr Broad.