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Is Brisbane Getting a Shiny New Light Rail System?

Maybe. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.
By Imogen Baker
January 20, 2016
By Imogen Baker
January 20, 2016

For years, the transport situation in Brisbane has been all over the shop. Whether it's the crazy expensive public transport, peak-hour traffic that never ends, or the many empty, expensive tunnels that criss-cross under the city like catacombs, things are a little grim if you're a Brisbane resident who wishes to leave the house at all.

But thanks to some political argy-bargy, the plans for a light rail to service Brisbane's CBD are being pushed into the realm of possibility by mayoral candidate Rod Harding. The rail would operate in the same area as the CityGlider bus service. The proposed project — which is currently un-costed and being opposed by current Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on account of it being too expensive — is being pushed by Harding ahead of the March 19 mayoral election. And, while it's probably to curry favour with Brisbane’s light rail enthusiast demographic, we can't deny that he know what we want, damnit — and we want a light rail.

Brisbane did have a tram system from 1885 to 1969 — the remains of which can be seen on Old Cleveland Road in Camp Hill — before it was shut down in favour of a bus system (and immediately commemorated by the Brisbane Tramway Museum in Ferny Grove). There have been a fair few proposals over the years for a tram system, most notably in 2007, but so far they've all been shot down. Light rail is a main mode of public transport in Melbourne, has been a recent addition to the Gold Coast and even Sydney are in the middle of building another light rail line from the CBD out to the eastern suburbs.

The light rail proposal is scant on details but what we do know is that Brisbane’s transport infrastructure is super whack and people are keen for solutions. Whether that means light rail, trains, buses, bikes, canals that we can paddle down on stand up paddleboards or government-subsidised hoverboards for the masses — who knows! — Brisbane's gotta make a choice. Throw up your hands and raise your voice: transport infrastructure! Transport infrastructure! Transport infrastructure!


Via The Courier Mail

Top image: Gold Coast tram by Bahnfrend via Wikimedia Commons

Published on January 20, 2016 by Imogen Baker
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