- Last updated:
- 16 Sep 2020
Private car travel makes up the majority of our community’s chosen method of transport. More people will mean more trips. We need to provide alternative methods to make these trips. We will need major improvements to our transport network to keep our community moving.
Our population in 2018 was estimated at 320,000 and is projected by the Queensland Government Statistician to increase to 518,000 by 2041.
While it is not feasible to cap this projected growth, council has a plan to manage and direct growth to protect our Sunshine Coast lifestyle.
Doing nothing is not an option. Adding more traffic lanes for private cars is not an option. Our community has told us that continually developing into our green space is not an option.
Council is continuing investigations into a new mass transit system to keep our region moving into the future so our residents can continue to enjoy our lifestyle in decades to come.
Careful planning has been underway since 2012 to ensure we get the right system for our community and to ensure the project provides value for money and addresses the need to cater for a growing population.
The map below shows the concept mass transit network identified by this planning.
A mass transit solution is just one part of a larger plan to cater for population growth.
The focus will be on supporting the Maroochydore city centre as the region’s central business district, with Birtinya town centre and Caloundra the other major centres for business and tourism.
A carefully planned and progressive approach can transform older development and big box commercial buildings into modern, low key coastal lifestyle villages. There is no need for excessive high-rise development which would be inappropriate for the Sunshine Coast.
State and Federal government funding is critical if the mass transit system is to be delivered. It is necessary to complete all three business case documents – Strategic, Options Analysis and Detailed - to allow these governments to evaluate if the project is worthy of funding.
A strategic business case for mass transit was approved by council in 2019, and council is completing the next phase, an Options Analysis.
Mass transit solution to manage growth
Mass Transit is a form of public transport that moves large numbers of people over a fixed route or network.
The Sunshine Coast Mass Transit project aims to provide a sleek and modern rapid transit system as the backbone of the region’s future public transport network. A mass transit system typically has its own running way, enjoys priority at intersections to minimise travel time, and off-board ticketing. All these features are necessary to ensure reliable journey times, competitive with a similar car trip.
A high quality, integrated public transport solution is needed to:
- address growing levels of road congestion
- prevent development spreading into our green spaces
- reduce the high dependency on private motor vehicles and
- support continued high levels of people being employed on the Sunshine Coast rather than travelling to Brisbane for work.
The vision for the Sunshine Coast Mass Transit project is at the heart of the council’s plan to manage growth - a step change to public transport that can set the region on a path to sustainable transport and urban development.
Council is planning ahead to ensure residents can move easily and continue to benefit from the amenity, livability, employment and lifestyle that we enjoy today.
For this reason we are working carefully through a business case process.
The mass transit solution is just one part of a larger, integrated plan we are bringing to the Sunshine Coast to cater for population growth.