Newcastle light rail passes major milestone

Newcastle light rail has passed its one year anniversary, with over a million trips in its first 12 months of operating.

According to Anna Zycki, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) acting regional director, north, the mode of transport has become integrated with the city.

“Light rail is now part of many Novocastrians daily lives, with more than 3700 customer trips on average every weekday. People are using the network to get around the city whether for work, study or leisure,” she said.

“The light rail has made Newcastle Transport a truly integrated network, with almost half of passenger trips using the light rail to connect with bus, ferry or train services.”

Opened in February 2019, the light rail service travels from Newcastle Interchange to Newcastle beach via the city centre. The light rail service replaced the former heavy rail line which now ends at Newcastle Interchange, formerly the site of Wickham station. Running on-street, the rail corridor has now been sold to developers.

Newcastle Transport, which also operates buses and ferries in Newcastle is the operator of the light rail line, and contracted to Keolis Downer.

“We look forward to another successful year helping move locals and visitors around the city and supporting Newcastle through key calendar events,” said Keolis Downer Hunter general manager, Mark Dunlop.

Zycki pointed out that the light rail service has increased the adoption of other forms of transport in the region.

“We’ve seen public transport use in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie increase by more than 23 per cent in 2019, compared to 2018,” she said.

“Newcastle light rail has also been a key driver in urban renewal and has re-shaped Newcastle’s city centre for the better.”

The service carried its one millionth customer on December 5, 2019, and averages 3,750 customers on a weekday.