The detailed business case for a proposed new direct Sunshine Coast heavy rail connection between Beerwah and Maroochydore is progressing for consideration.
Sunshine Coast public transport, business case
The department is undertaking a detailed business case for an improved public transport system for the Sunshine Coast.
This work builds on the Sunshine Coast Mass Transit Project undertaken by the Sunshine Coast Council. The Council's Mass Transit Options Analysis (endorsed on 20 October 2021) compared 5 options for an enhanced public transport connection between Maroochydore and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, with a possible extension to Caloundra.
These options included:
- bus rapid transit
- light rail
- wireless light rail
- trackless tram
- quality bus corridor.
In line with Infrastructure Australia guidelines, the department undertook a detailed analysis of these options and assessed each against a set of criteria including:
- transport outcomes
- operations integration
- employment and economic development
- public amenity and social impact
- climate change and sustainability.
In late 2023, ‘bus rapid transit’ was identified as the preferred vehicle option. This mode preference means rubber-tyred vehicles would operate on a dedicated ‘right-of-way’ corridor that provides an exclusive separated route from other road traffic for the sole use of public transport.
Bus rapid transit provides a sustainable, accessible, and comfortable travel alternative that will meet forecast demand for public transport in the region well into the future. It will also help address a desire for greater flexibility and potentially unlock opportunities to service destinations outside the current project area.
Further work to complete the detailed business case is continuing, including further technical investigations and assessments to refine the design of the corridor for bus rapid transit, along with station locations and active transport opportunities.
The project contributes to implementing the Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy which sets out the department's vision for a future public transport system for the southern Sunshine Coast area. The Sunshine Coast Public Transport project has been identified as a strategic connector to support the coastal corridor.
- Improves network efficiency
- Increases traffic flow
- Reduces peak hour congestion
- Reduces travel time
- Contributes to economy
- Better active transport
- Make the shift towards more sustainable travel choices.
- Better connect communities.
- Reduce time spent in travel.
- Reduce the high dependence on cars.
The project is jointly funded by the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council. The Australian Government funding towards this detailed business case forms part of its $22.45 million commitment to the SEQ Growth Business Case Development Program, a program of priority planning works to help inform future investment decisions. Investment ID 1236359
- Total investment
- $15 million
- Australian Government
- $5 million
- Queensland Government
- $5 million
- Local government
- $5 million
Community engagement and consultation on the project has been undertaken throughout 2023. To learn more or subscribe to receive project updates, visit the consultation page.
We are committed to the implementation of sustainability principles for the Sunshine Coast public transport project aligned to the TMR Strategic Plan 2019-2023 objectives to be accessible, safe, responsive, efficient, and sustainable.