TASMANIAN Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim last week joined with Hobart Lord Mayor, Damon Thomas, and the Glenorchy Mayor, Stuart Slade, to launch the new brand for Hobart's proposed light rail service, as well as likely operating details and graphic impressions of the project.
The service will be known as Riverline and its first stage will involve a Hobart to MONA return route. It is expected to require a minimum of five light rail vehicles, with each vehicle capable of carrying up to 300 passengers at a time.
According to the Minister, it is anticipated that stage one services would run every 15 minutes on a weekday (between 7am and 6pm) and every 30 minutes between 6pm until 8pm. Service intervals of 30 minutes are also expected on weekends.
While still subject to change as planning progresses, stage one of the light rail project is envisaged to have stops at Franklin Square, Moonah, Glenorchy and MONA, with potentially stops at the Botanical Gardens and New Town. Feeder buses will also be used to make the initial service more accessible.
Mr McKim said the project is now entering the planning phase, with a managing consultant expected to be announced in the next few weeks. The planning phase will:
- Undertake a strategic assessment of the wider benefits of the project;
- Evaluate funding and financing options; and
- Examine at preliminary planning issues, including consideration of elements such as engineering concept and design, planning approvals, traffic management planning, operational design, feeder bus service design, power supply and rail safety assessments etc.
"Riverline will be transformational for Greater Hobart – which is already building a reputation as one of the world's most livable cities," Mr McKim said.
"It would create construction and maintenance jobs, and help reinvigorate suburbs and shopping areas between Hobart, Glenorchy and MONA.
"Riverline ultimately will run to Brighton municipality, and the best way to achieve this is to make a case for Stage 1 to MONA which the Commonwealth simply cannot say 'no' to."
"But to succeed, we need to ensure Federal politicians recognise Riverline's potential, and see that Tasmanians are strongly behind it," Mr McKim said.