light rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Products & Resources

Perth shire looks at trackless trams

Trackless trams are another step closer to travelling the streets of the City of Stirling in Perth, with the recent appointment of SMEC, a global engineering, management and development consultancy.

With $2 million in Australian Government funding, the City is working with innovative public transport experts to develop a business case to support the implementation of a trackless tram system.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the business case was funded through the Urban Congestion Fund.

“The Government is getting on with delivering infrastructure projects that improve congestion and safety for commuters across Australia, making it easier for them to move around our capital cities and ensuring they get home quickly and safely,” he said.

“Under the Urban Congestion Fund, we are delivering 182 packages of work nationwide. The total number of projects that are now completed or underway nationwide is 77. By the end of 2022, around 80 per cent are expected to be complete or underway.

“This is just the latest example of us delivering on our commitment to progress critical infrastructure projects across the country under our record $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s economic recovery.”

City of Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin said there were many considerations that must be addressed to determine the viability of trackless trams, and the development of the business case was a critical step in the process.

“Ultimately, what this business case will allow us to do is de-risk a project that has the potential to deliver fantastic economic, business, transport, innovation and sustainability outcomes,” he said.

“A trackless tram system has the potential to revolutionise Australia’s mid-tier transport system by providing an alternative to light rail with the same benefits and a lower cost.

“Trackless Tram will form the backbone of the Stirling City Centre project, which is the City’s long-term strategic plan to provide modern transport and amenities to make Stirling Perth’s second CBD.

“Through this business case we’ll do our due diligence to determine whether this could work in the City of Stirling. From there, we will advocate for the funding needed to complete the project with State and Federal Government, as well as seek to educate the public on the differences and benefits of the solution.”

Federal Member for Stirling Vince Connelly MP said with the population predicted to grow by 50 per cent over the next 30 years, the ground-breaking technology had the potential to transform the way people commuted.

“A trackless tram has no carbon or noise emissions, and has the potential to transport up to 250 people in three carriages per journey,” he said.

The development of the business case will include a comprehensive body of work to de-risk the project and identify potential opportunities such as:

  • Problem/opportunity definition
  • Estimated cost for implementation
  • Transport and land use modelling
  • Concept design
  • Detailed benefit cost assessment

The trackless tram business case is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

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