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Sydney CBD Light Rail

Transport for NSW is developing a new light rail corridor linking Circular Quay with Randwick and Kingsford. The CBD and South-east Light Rail (CSELR) corridor will travel north-south along George Street throughout the CBD and extend through Surry Hills, Moore Park, Randwick and Kingsford.

GTA’s involvement in the project began in 2012. We developed a new Sydney CBD transport model for Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to test light rail integration scenarios. GTA developed an innovative, multi-layered modelling approach which considered the strategic level (using the EMME and Aimsun software packages), the mesoscopic level (using Aimsun), and the microscopic level (using Commuter). This approach enabled government agencies, including TfNSW and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), and the City of Sydney, to better plan and manage their systems in response to the introduction of light rail. The associated bus plan, along with issues such as road closures and network changes during the project’s construction, were also considered.

GTA was subsequently commissioned to upgrade the model used to simulate the dynamic nature of how traffic signals operate. The upgraded model addressed the limitations of the traditional modelling approach, which uses fixed-time traffic signals. It was able to simulate how the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) would operate to optimise signal timings at intersections (known as SCATSIM), in order to cater for growing congestion in the forecast years. Through the Aimsun-SCATSIM model, GTA was able to assist agencies by producing a more responsive assessment of the traffic impacts of proposed network changes in the CBD and South East. This model was subsequently used by the CBD Alliance team for testing details of the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy (2013).

As with any project that involves significant changes to the road network, identifying potential road safety risks through the design process is particularly important. GTA delivered an independent concept design road safety audit prior to tender submissions for the contract to design, construct, operate and maintain the project, to inform tenderers of road safety risks identified with the project’s reference design.

Following this, TfNSW awarded GTA (in association with PWC Strategy) a contract to provide traffic and transport planning advisory services for the project’s delivery phase. This role has so far included:

  • construction traffic management advice for early works in the CBD;
  • assessment of potential traffic and transport impacts relating to project modifications (Feb 2015);
  • using the hybrid transport model to test a number of transport scenarios throughout the corridor, including consideration of light rail priority, likely traffic changes, refinement of the project’s design, implications for bus operations and construction staging scenarios; and
  • preparation of numerous strategies for the project’s implementation, including a Parking Offsets Management Strategy, a Pedestrian and Cyclist Network and Facilities Strategy, and a Coach Strategy to manage the impacts of proposed changes at Central Station.

Finally, GTA’s involvement in the project has extended to other related development projects, including Brookfield’s One Carrington Street development at Wynyard. Here, we prepared a detailed construction traffic management plan that took into account complications such as the simultaneous construction of the light rail.

The CSELR project is a significant and complex undertaking. The challenges go well beyond the tracks, stop platforms and rolling stock. GTA looks forward to continued involvement with the project and a successful outcome that benefits all who use the light rail and its surrounding built environment

Client // Transport for New South Wales

GTA Office // Sydney

creating, guiding, delivering

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