Today’s first official passenger service followed a huge community day on Sunday, with crowds flocking to check out the world-class network and around 15,000 passengers taking a trip.
Our Newcastle Light Rail team has worked tirelessly to get ready for an early launch, achieving a record 10,000 kilometres driven in just over four months during the testing phase and training 14 drivers.
Light rail is a key element of the multimodal network in Newcastle and will provide the local community with a new way to travel while connecting with existing bus and ferry services.
The Chief Executive Officer of Keolis Downer, David Franks, said: “We took the keys to Newcastle’s bus and ferry services on 1 July 2017 and redesigned the bus and ferry network around the introduction of light rail to ensure optimal interchange.
“Integrated transport is the most effective way to deliver public transport across multiple modes. Today, with the introduction of light rail, the network will be fully multimodal and encourage more people to use public transport.
“Our experience from operating light rail around the world, including G:Link on the Gold Coast, is that light rail is transformative in the renewal of cities," added Mr Franks.
Light rail is an integral part of the revitalisation of Newcastle, providing a frequent and reliable travel option through the city centre, connecting key activity precincts and opening up great urban renewal opportunities.
Newcastle Light Rail has also provided the opportunity to create new vibrant and inviting public spaces, as well as passive outdoor spaces, which are attracting people back to the city centre and stimulating demand for new services.
Key facts and figures on the Newcastle Transport light rail network: