It is important to note that Mass transit is one part of council’s strategic plan for a future public transport system to meet the region’s needs. This plan also incorporates:
- the upgraded existing regional heavy rail line running from Beerwah to Nambour
- a new regional heavy rail connection linking Beerwah to Caloundra, Kawana and Maroochydore along the CAMCOS corridor suitable for longer distances between stops
- a new local mass transit system along the coastal corridor suitable for shorter distances between stops
- an improved high frequency bus network connecting to other key destinations such as the hinterland
- an improved supporting network of feeder buses, park n rides and active transport connections
- council will continue to advocate for all elements of this strategic plan for the future public transport system for the region.
Building just one element of the transport master plan won’t solve the transport challenges facing our region. An integrated transport network is required that caters for more trips by public and active transport. This is the best way to protect the lifestyle and environment we enjoy into the future.
Transport planning is a long-term process. We won’t see the plan come to life for several years but we must keep moving toward sustainable and efficient transport as our region grows to over 500,000 residents. Council is not responsible for the detailed planning, delivery and operation of a new mass transit system. Council is responsible for planning the future of the region and managing growth in a sustainable way. That’s why we undertook the initial phases of the business case for mass transit.
By 2041, without shifting people to sustainable transport, we risk:
- 830,000 extra car trips on our roads each day
- Traffic congestion and lost productivity costing up to 500m per year)
- Significant impacts on our liveability and natural environment.
Heavy rail vs mass transit
The heavy rail connection along the CAMCOS corridor will be suitable for traveling longer distances with less stops. While the local mass transit system will enable travel along shorter distances with more stops. The integration of the systems will enable greater connection across the Sunshine Coast. It will provide an easier and more convenient sustainable travel option.
Did you know that 74 percent of car trips made in the Sunshine Coast are local and under 10 kilometres?
Staging the Mass Transit system.
A regional mass transit system has to be delivered in stages. A staging plan is proposed based on the need to service the largest travel markets first, and to arrest the rate of urban expansion by supporting the urban consolidation policies already endorsed in the existing planning strategies.
An initial priority in the implementation of the public transport solution would be a local mass transit system in the northern part of the Sunshine Coast Urban Corridor, extending from Maroochydore City Centre to Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Birtinya. This part of the system is considered a priority because the area it would serve contains the Sunshine Coast's greatest concentration of population, jobs, facilities and services and is already experiencing growing traffic congestion.
Of equal importance will be the regional rail connection in the CAMCOS corridor linking the Maroochydore City Centre to the heart of South East Queensland.