What’s the future of public transport on the coast?

With increased population growth and infrastructure such as roads which are clearly not keeping up, public transport is only going to become more and more crucial over the coming years and decades and Sunshine Coast Regional Council want to know your thoughts on this topic.

Over the next seven weeks until June 22, 2021, council is encouraging residents to provide their feedback on a range of options being considered in the draft Mass Transit Options Analysis report.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said an efficient and accessible public transport network was critical for our region.

“We expect more than 518,000 people will want to live here in the next 20 years,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“First and foremost, we want our Sunshine Coast to continue to be one of the best places to live.

“But we cannot sit on our hands and do nothing about how people move around our region.

“Simply continuing to build roads, which only encourages people to use a private vehicle, is no longer an option for us.

“If we do nothing, our roads and suburbs will choke on traffic congestion and the liveability of our region will be irreparably compromised.

“While the State Government is responsible for the public transport system, council has an important role to play in working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to do the planning work to encourage the necessary investment by government. 

“If we do not do so, then there is little likelihood that any substantive and efficient public transport solution will be delivered.”

There has been substantial criticism of the consultation process and options put forth especially from Kawana State MP Jarrod Bleijie who has publicly stated that the consultation fails to address density such as high and medium density which will come about as a result of the transport options put forward by council.

“This is an important issue that has been deliberately left out of the consultation with the community.

“The Sunshine Coast does not need light rail. But rather, our community would benefit more from heavy passenger rail traveling through the CAMCOS (Caboolture to Maroochydore) corridor to get people north and south.”

Mayor Jamieson only late yesterday responded to such claims with a scathing retort.

“The State Liberal National Party – of which Mr Bleijie is a representative – has not made any clear and unequivocal financial commitment to deliver a rail solution on the CAMCOS Corridor. 

“The LNP had the opportunity to do so when it was in government in 2012-2015 and in the lead up to the October 31 State election last year – but did not do so.

“So where is their plan for an improved public transport system on the Sunshine Coast?  In short, they don’t have one,” Mayor Jamieson said.

The options considered in the draft Mass Transit Options Analysis range from bus network upgrades to a quality bus corridor to bus rapid transit, trackless trams, light rail transit and more.

The outcomes of the community and stakeholder feedback about the mass transit options will inform the final Mass Transit Options Analysis report, which will be considered by council later this year.

Visit council’s website for information about the engagement activities and to have your say on mass transit options by June 22, 2021. What do you think are the best public transport options for our region – how should public transport be allocated north of the Maroochydore CBD? We would love to know your thoughts. Please email – editor@coolumadvertiser.com.au

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