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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

While the Aussie athletes continue to be the stars of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast light rail network has proven to be the star of the Games transport plan.

More than one million trips have been taken to and from Games venues since the opening ceremony last week.

Of that mammoth number the G:link service has done the heavy lifting, carrying nearly 100,000 passengers a day since Thursday, more than three times the daily average since the opening of Gold Coast light rail stage 2.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the uptake in passenger numbers showed just how important light rail was to the Gold Coast’s integrated transport system.

“It’s great to see so many people using the light rail network and other public transport modes to travel to events during the Commonwealth Games”, he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government has delivered almost $1 billion in transport infrastructure leading up to the Games, including $420 million towards building Gold Coast light rail stage 2.

“This was a major milestone and will be a lasting Commonwealth Games legacy for years to come.

“Let’s not forget the G:link wouldn’t have been built without the Palaszczuk Government and the Games wouldn’t have been as successful as they have already been without the G:link.

“We built stage two within 18 months and made sure that it was ready to go before the Games.

“Light rail services have been operating 24 hours a day during the Games, with services running every six minutes during peak event periods."

GoldlinQ chairman John Witheriff said the increase of patronage numbers demonstrated how well equipped light rail was to cater for increasing demand in years to come.

“Public transport is a critical part of the Gold Coast’s future success,” he said.

“We’ve had extra staff on the ground doing a great job to assist with these unprecedented passenger volumes and we thank everybody for their patience.”

Prior to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the highest number of daily passengers on the light rail network was 80,000, which occurred on the grand opening day of the light rail system in July 2014.

Stage 2 began service in December 2017 and included a 7.3 kilometre extension between Gold Coast University Hospital and Helensvale station.

Mr Bailey said the light rail network had provided a world class integrated public transport system on the Gold Coast.

“It is clear south-east Queensland commuters have responded well to taking all forms of public transport during the Games,” he said.

“We’ve seen a massive uptake of heavy rail commuters from both Brisbane and Varsity Lakes with more than 180,000 passengers making the journey on Queensland Rail services.

“With seven days of competition left, it is important for spectators to continue to plan their journey ahead of time by using the GC2018 Journey Planner.”