QLD State Government (TMR)
"Draft Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy"

Community consultation on this has now closed.  To date the State Government have not released any reports outlining the feedback they received.

On February 16th, Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, released a draft strategy for Public Transport for the Southern Section of the Sunshine Coast.  In his press release Minister Bailey says:

Community feedback is sought on a new public transport strategy that will set the future direction for improved connectivity and accessibility across the Sunshine Coast.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today released the draft Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy that contains the vision for future public transport options in the region.

“The Sunshine Coast is Queensland’s third biggest city and as the region’s population continues to grow, so to does the need for an efficient and well connected public transport network,” Mr Bailey said.

“The draft South East Queensland Regional Transport Plan and ShapingSEQ strategy both outlined the specific needs of the Southern Sunshine Coast community, which this strategy directly responds to.

“What we now have is a blueprint for short, medium and long-term transport developments in the region – whether that be bus corridors, heavy rail or multi-modal connections.

“Public transport will be developed around key corridors and connections to complement the southern Sunshine Coast’s character as well as keep people moving to and through the area."

The majority of the Sunshine Coast’s 320,000 residents live between Maroochydore and Beerwah, and an additional 190,000 are expected to call the region home over the next 20 years.

“It has never been more important to get transport planning right,” Mr Bailey said.

He said the plan would simplify Sunshine Coast services by building up four key corridors:

  1. Coastal: new mass transit service between Caloundra and Maroochydore providing a reliable and direct high-capacity public transport connection for shorter trips on the coast.

  2. Centre: a link via the protected Caloundra and Maroochydore Corridor Options Study (CAMCOS) that provides for longer distance trips on the coast and to the rest of South East Queensland.

  3. Western: upgraded infrastructure along the existing North Coast rail line.

  4. Key connectors: new and upgraded east-west bus connections, more dedicated bus priority and high frequency routes and local services that spread the benefits of mass transit.

 

Mr Bailey said an important part in delivering the strategy successfully would be partnering with the Sunshine Coast Council.

“Ensuring that all levels of government are committed to a unified vision for public transport in the future is essential to delivering the best outcomes for locals,” he said.

“As part of our partnership, the Palaszczuk Government have commenced a $15 million, jointly funded detailed business case for the first stage of Sunshine Coast Mass Transit.

“Work is also underway to investigate a heavy rail connection from Beerwah to Maroochydore as part of the CAMCOS corridor and design is underway for the $320 million Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade.”

MAP TMR Draft Strategy1024_1.jpg

MTAG's Thoughts

  • Good the State Government is taking an interest in Public Transport for the Sunshine Coast.

  • Strategy is unfortunately not region-wide.  When will a Northern Strategy be released?

  • Strategy seems to be a restatement of what the SCRC put forward through their Options Analysis process.

  • There is no commitment to timing, funding or even business case process for any of the public transport options proposed.

  • The only business case process identified is the Mass Transit process that SCRC are 50% funding.  Is this going to be the requirement for all future business cases?

  • What timing and funding is proposed to investigate this strategy further?

  • Many of the options could be implemented now.  eg 30 minute services to the hinterland areas (currently about 2 hourly intervals).  Better airport and University connections now? Why not?

  • Doesn't seem to be any "staging" thinking.  ie it is mass transit network or nothing.  Why not start smaller, put something in place now and build to greater in later years when the population has built.

  • Densification and changed parking seem to be the requirement for all of this to happen. The draft states: 

    • High Frequency routes will have longer stop spacing, while local services will aim to have 90 percent of the population within 400m of a stop.

    • To support successful transformation of the public transport network the Qld Govt will rely upon SCC to continue to implement and expand ist parking management and related activities.

    • Council will need to adapt their land use planning and other urban initiatives to achieve the urban form outcomes required by Shaping SEQ. 

  • What if these are not achieved? Does this mean more roll out of paid parking?  Also does it mean we have to have the densification first?  If so this would mean traffic and public transport on the Sunshine Coast is going to get worse, not better for the near future.

  • It says CAMCOS is "staged implementation"  What does this mean?  The Coast needs heavy rail to run all the way from Beerwah to Maroochydore.

  • Where is the funding coming from for all of this?

  • Strategy is still focussing on a "spinal" transport system for the region rather than a "spider web" network.  We are a decentralized community that is not lineal.  East West movements are still not being catered to well.