Gold Coast Light Rail Extension, Value for Money Study – Australia

  • 20km network with 19 stops
  • 32,000 commuters use the system on average each day
  • 7.5 – 15-minute service frequency
  • 6.4km/8 stop planned extension

The Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) is a light rail network that serves the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. The GCLR opened in two stages – the first in 2014 and the second in 2018. A new extension (Stage 3A) of 6.4km comprising eight stops has been planned, as since opening, public transport usage in the Gold Coast has increased by 25%. In 2011, the GoldLinQ consortium won the 18-year Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain contract, while operations & maintenance (O&M) services are conducted by Keolis Downer. In 2018, an independent pricing exercise took place to determine a benchmark price for the O&M of the GCLR network and ensure that Queensland State was getting the best value for money. The scope of the exercise included the operation of Stages 1 and 2 as well as the planned Stage 3A extension. North Star was commissioned as Operations and Maintenance Adviser for the exercise which involved:

  • A project delivery schedule
  • A financial model for the proposed contract term
  • A detailed report providing commentary on the financial model, benchmarking against comparable, international light rail projects, and identifying opportunities to improve value for money whilst maintaining standards
  • Development of a timetable to reflect the increased fleet size and driver requirements for the extended network
  • Recording asset lifecycle predictions, team performance levels and potential risks
  • Participating in workshops and presentations with GoldLinQ, Keolis Downer and Queensland State agencies, to develop the benchmark pricing and report on the project outcomes.