Light Rail Facts

Cancel the light rail. Call Gladys Berejiklian 02 8574 5000

The Following Is Our Belief Only Without Prejudice

We care about the accuracy of the facts on our site. Transport for NSW have claimed that these facts taken from their own resources, are incorrect, and have requested us to take down any incorrect facts, but have so far, refused to provide the correct ones. Click here to contact  or email Please get in touch to let us know the correct facts, with Transport for NSW references, and we will be happy to update this website.

Only information received from Transport for NSW, as requested put online. Still don’t have cost/benefit analysis, business case, apples with apples capacity comparison, traffic modelling. We keep searching. Please contact if you know more. (02) 8958 3783

The following table is a cost/benefit analysis between the CBD and South East Light Rai, and our current buses between 8am and 9am, to be removed as per the Environmental Impact Statement. This does not include peak express buses, or any other buses to be retained.


As of 11th December 2017, Transport for NSW have still refused to provide the information requested under freedom of information, despite rulings by the Information and privacy commission and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal they provide the information.

Sydney Light Rail Costs and Benefits 2017.jpg

LESS CAPACITY = Light Rail will have nearly 60% less passenger capacity than the buses it replaces into the city in the am peak hour.
Approximately 220 buses will no longer enter the city in the morning peak hour due to changes resulting from the CBD and South East Light Rail. Transport for NSW states that these buses have an estimated capacity of 16,000 passengers per hour into the city and are to be replaced with just 15 Light Rail Vehicles with a total capacity of just 6,750 passengers per hour into the city. This is a reduction of over 9000 people per hour into the city or nearly 60%. The net effect on public transport capacity into the city is negative.

Transport for NSW claim that the 220 buses are to be deployed elsewhere, but do not say where.

There will be 180 fewer buses between Kingsford/Randwick and Central/Circular Quay entering the CBD in the morning peak hour between 8:00am-9:00am and these will be replaced by only 15 light rail vehicles into the CBD.*

*SOURCE: “Sydney’s Light Rail Future”
Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 21.04.08
It only takes 9 minutes from Circular Quay to Central on a train, and there are already 2 train lines from Circular Quay to Central, why do we need a $2.2 billion slower one that will congest the city?

Please note, since 2012 when this document was first written, the light rail capacity per hour has now been reduced from 9,000 to just 6,750 people per hour in the morning peak into the city.

Despite ‘buses being deployed elsewhere’ real passenger capacity is lost between Kingsford/Randwick to Central/Circular Quay = by approximately 9,250 passengers an hour in the am peak into the city, according to TfNSW estimates or nearly 50%:

SOURCE Sydney Morning Herald May 18 2016 – Transport For NSW made a big mistake – This Article Claimed that 220 buses to be eliminated carried a capacity of 20,000 passengers an hour. Transport for NSW requested a correction to say that it was only 16,000 passengers an hour – but this was 9,000 more than the 15 trams it will replace!: Correction to Elizabeth Farrelly’s Article “Progress Done Badly”
Bus Capacity SMH.jpg
220 buses = 16,000 people | 180 buses = 13,000 people | 15 trams = 6,750 people (Crush capacity 4 passengers per square metre)
Total reduction in capacity in the morning peak hour: over 9,000 passengers per hour or nearly 60%

But – it gets worse…much worse. The operationally deployed capacity of light rail will only likely to be around 240 passengers, not 450, which will bring the per hour capacity down to around 3,600 compared to the 11,000 passengers per hour of buses (1.5 passengers per square metre standing areas)

Less Frequent180 buses per hour currently is an average frequency of 3 buses per minute. Watch video evidence of frequency through Kingsford here The Light Rail will only leave every 8 minutes from Kingsford and Randwick, with only 15 services per hour in total. Fact Sheet “Why Sydney Needs Light Rail” Available Here
Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 21.54.04.png

Less Comfortable330 out of every 450 people will be standing on each light rail vehicle. This means that nearly 75% of passengers standing jam packed. In a standard bus of 60 people 43 people get seats or only 28% standing. 330 people woudl be standing with 4 passengers per square metre – the reality of the capacity will be far less – 220 passengers per tram is a more likely figure.

Slower: It will take 38 minutes to get to Circular Quay from Kingsford and this is slower than current buses. Current Bus times are 30 and 28 minutes. Transport Minister Andrew Constance – Telegraph – Also Quoted in Hansard.

Check current bus journey times at

Less Convenient: The majority of non-express buses will terminate at Kingsford and Randwick or be ‘redeployed’ elsewhere. See table below – even passengers in Coogee will need to change at Randwick. There are up to 2km to walk between light rail stops. Fifty Four (54) bus stops are to be eliminated to be replaced with just 19 light rail stops.Source CSELR-Environmental-Impact-Statement Volume 2: Technical Papers 1 & 2 These are your buses to be eliminated or ‘redeployed’Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 22.30.41

CongestionThe main reason the government wants to introduce light rail is because buses are a major cause of congestion. However, buses only cause 8% of the congestion in the CBD, yet move 62% of the people, and cars cause 87% of the congestion, yet they only move 35% of people, See the chart below: SOURCE: p 15 the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy 2013Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 13.16.04.pngMore Congestion: Anzac Parade becomes a bottleneck at Alison Rd, as Anzac Parade becomes only 2 lanes all the way to Kingsford. Bus Lanes Gone. Over 1000 parking spaces gone. No left or right turn bays. Congestion made even worse due to new one- metre cyclist law and no cycleway. Pollution and gridlock.

Unsafe79 intersections between Circular Quay and Randwick with little or no protective fencing – at least in all the pictures. 67 metre long approximately 60-tonne tram will take at least 120 metres to stop when travelling at 60km/h. Tram will either be really deadly or really slow. VIDEO

Reliability and Breakdowns: If one tram breaks down, there is an incident or other event, unlike buses, which can re-route, the whole network is effected. Uncertain if signal priority will be given to trams from RMS.

Trees:  What are the penalties for killing 150-year-old ANZAC trees? 871 significant or heritage trees impacted and over 1000 for the project. Tree Data

Aboriginal Artefacts: 20-50,000 artefacts discovered at Randwick Racecourse – currently being excavated – should be left in-situ. David Shoebridge

Students – Questions over whether Light Rail will be able to handle growing student capacity.

Lost Parklands – Centennial Park, Moore Park and more. Background Briefing

Business CaseFull Business case and cost-benefit analysis comparing CSELR to current buses between Kingsford/Randwick to Central/Circular, has not been released. ‘Secrecy Shrouds’ multi-billion dollar rail projects

State Significant Critical Infrastructure? The CSELR is classified as ‘state significant’ As it has now been revealed that it will reduce transport capacity by nearly 50%, will it also lose its significance? Is a 373 bus more state significant than this?

Less Wheelchair Space and Pram Parking: There are 220 buses per hour am peak and only 15 trams. This will be a reduction in wheelchair/pram capacity from 440 spaces down to just 120 spaced per hour! Citadis X05 – Product sheet – EN

Is it better for the Environment? NO!

Is there any benefit to the CSELR?

Is there any reason to continue building the project as it is, or is there a better, win / win solution for everyone?

Please note, we have asked the government, ALTRAC, and Transport for NSW if any of our facts are incorrect and we will be happy to change them, but so far haven’t heard anything…we have also asked them to let us know if there are any benefits at all to the CSELR VIDEO LINK


More Internet Research Comparing Light Rail to Buses

Internet Research

How do I compare journey time, frequency and capacity of Light Rail to Bus?

How do I check current bus travel times with that of Light Rail?

How do I check the per-hour frequency and capacity of buses compared to Light Rail

Check the travel times in or

Here’s an example showing 23-26 minutes from Kingsford to Circular Quay. Light Rail will be 37 minutes.


When you open the app, type Kingsford or Randwick in the ‘from’ field and then Circular Quay in the ‘to’ field and write down the time or times that the app gives you. Light Rail will be 35 minutes from Randwick to Circular Quay and 37 minutes from Kingsford to Circular Quay. Light Rail services will only be every 8 minutes from Kingsford and Randwick in peak.

If I live beyond Kingsford or Randwick, how do I find out what my new travel time will be on the light rail?

Type in the ‘from’ field your home address, and then type Randwick or Kingsford in the ‘to’ field. Write down the time or times that it gives you, and then add up to 8 minutes waiting time and 35-37 minutes for your Light Rail journey, and you will have your new time! This time is based on previous advertising of light rail, but government is refusing to provide forecast journey times now.

How do I know if I need to break my journey at Kingsford or Randwick?

The first step is to check if your bus route is to be abolished on


Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 22.30.41.png

How do I work out the frequency and capacity per hour of Light Rail compared to Buses? The very best way is to go down to Kingsford, Randwick, and Circular Quay or anywhere along the route, and count the buses going past. Note also the time between buses. This will give you the frequency of the buses. The other option is the app “Trip Go” you can click on a bus stop to see how many buses are travelling through each hour.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 22.34.41.png

How about the capacity? Take a note of the capacity of each bus as it goes past. Hint: Its written on the back of each bus, usually near the window.

Please find additional material below – of significant importance is the SAMSA report which raised a number of issues which have still not satisfactorily been addressed. Travel times based on previous advertised light rail journey of 24 mins to central from Kingsford and Randwick and 15 mins to circular quay. Government is refusing to provide new estimated travel times.

SAMSA Independent Review_ Traffic and Transport Assessment

What’s really going on with the Light Rail?

Internet Research

Do you travel to the city by bus?

How are UNSW students and staff affected?

Solution offered to government in October last year and January this year which would save all the trees, and save taxpayers $2 billion. Unfortunately government refused to meet to discuss. We will continue to seek a meeting with the Premier, Treasurer and Transport Minister to ask them why they continue to spend $2 Billion to reduce public transport capacity between Kingsford/Randwick and Central/Circular Quay by nearly half? If they cannot prove any benefits or produce the business case, then we need to find a better solution.

ELECTRIC BUSES, are now also known as “Track Free Trams”

1a_Ministerial Meeting Request CSELR


1c_CSELR_Correspondence_rejection_00030423_20160118_143953_0001_R copy


What can we do?


Call Gladys BEREJIKLIAN 02 8574 5000


CALL Malcolm TURNBULL 02 6277 7700


Call 2GB 131 873


CALL 2UE 13 13 32


Call 2SM 13 1269


CALL ABC (702) 1300 222 702


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