Sydney CBD light rail

Client // Transport for New South Wales

GTA Office // Sydney

Within the next ten years, Sydney’s population is expected to increase by 1 million inhabitants with trips into the city also rising by one quarter. To manage the projected growth in residential and commercial activity, the New South Wales Government has invested in developing an integrated transport system that will enable the city to continue running efficiently.

The CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) is a major component of this vision, it is a game-changing project for the CBD and South East that will significantly improve public transport access to major sporting and entertainment facilities, as well as connections with the University of NSW, TAFE and health precincts.

The 12km light rail corridor has 19 stops and will travel north-south along George Street throughout the CBD and extend through Surry Hills, Moore Park, Randwick and Kingsford. The route was designed to service major transport hubs, providing easy interchange with buses, trains, ferries and the Inner West Light Rail.

GTA’s involvement in the project began in late 2012 with the development of a new CBD transport model for Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) to test different integration scenarios. GTA developed a new, multi-layered modelling approach that enabled TfNSW, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and the City of Sydney to better plan and manage their systems following the introduction of light rail.

GTA was subsequently commissioned to upgrade the model to simulate traffic signal operations and further optimise signal timings at key intersections to cater for growing congestion in future years. Through this process, we were able to assist the various agencies by producing a more responsive assessment of future traffic impacts from proposed changes in the CBD and South-East.

Furthermore, GTA’s modelling input also enabled TfNSW to rationalise the network of bus operations within Sydney CBD and deliver a combined bus and light rail bus network that would contribute to the city’s integrated transport plan.

As with any project that involves significant changes to the road network, identifying potential road safety risks through the design process is particularly important. To this end, GTA also delivered a concept design road safety audit prior to tender submissions for the design, construction and operation of the project, to inform tenderers of safety risks within the project’s reference design.

This is a hallmark transport project that will transform Sydney’s future and further support its growing population. GTA was proud to provide specialised transport advice throughout the project and contribute to its successful launch in December 2019.