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ALMOST all visitors at the Gold Coast Airport are leaving by car due to the limited bus services, according to a council report.
The only way to improve public transport, council officers suggest, is a tram service.
From the Gold Coast Airport's master plan, how passengers would link up with the trams and light rail at the Coolangatta destination.In an update on light rail Stage 4 from Burleigh to Coolangatta, the officers refer to the airport as “pivotal to the local tourism industry and economic development on the Gold Coast” and note demand would increase significantly in the next 20 years.
The state government’s ShapingSEQ 50-year regional plan sought high-frequency public transport connections including extending light rail to Coolangatta, officers added.
Plans which show how light rail and the trams would reach the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta.“There is currently low PT (public transport) mode share for visitors departing the Gold Coast Airport with 93 per cent of visitors travelling by private vehicles,” the officer’s report says.
“This is largely due to the current PT offering at the Gold Coast Airport. It is only serviced by two bus routes that often require transfers and face longer travel times compared to private vehicle trips. There is no direct bus service to Tweed Shire.”
Planning for Stage 4 of light rail recognised the major benefits of providing a “reliable mass transit system” to the airport.
Mapping which shows how the trams and light rail would link with the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta.“The planning envisages a more seamless journey, connecting the Gold Coast Airport to other regionally significant economic, employment and tourist activity centres and attractions on the Gold Coast,” the report says.
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Mayor Tom Tate told the Bulletin: “This report makes it absolutely clear that 93 percent of people arriving at our airport currently choose private car transport to depart the airport. The report underscores that bus services are not as reliable, or as frequent, as light rail would be. “It is not a matter of simply increasing the bus frequency. People are more inclined to utilise light rail over public buses given frequency and the reduced delays experienced with light rail.
Mayor Tom Tate — there will be an uplift in public transport use by trams going to the airport. Picture Glenn Hampson.“Just look at three international cities that have achieved incredible success with their airport transport modes – Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We know there will be a huge uplift in people choosing light rail to arrive and depart from our airport once it is connected.”
In a new report, consultants said Transport and Main Roads in 2012 began assessing the transport benefits of trams compared to a “do minimum of continued frequent bus services”.
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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