GC2018: The Queensland government has awarded transport for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games a gold medal for their performance during the 11-day event saying the improvements made by the government had exceeded expectations.
Queensland minister for transport and main roads Mark Bailey said that the planning and preparation invested into the road, rail and light rail network helped more than seven-million estimated trips during the Games which he claims were mostly incident free.
“The transport task for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) has crossed the finish line with a gold-medal performance,” Mr Bailey said in a statement to media on Wednesday.
“The Palaszczuk Government delivered $1 billion in public infrastructure to ensure the Gold Coast was set up for success during the Games.
“The increased services, seamless connections and free transport for ticketed spectators helped deliver a record number of journeys on the public transport network,” he said.
With fears of overcrowding on public transport services and periods of road congestion hitting more than 110 percent capacity on the M1 Pacific Motorway, the government invested heavily to ensure planning was carried out and locals made other arrangements to avoid areas which would be in high demand.
While the public awareness campaign did backfire, leaving most parts of Surfers Paradise practically deserted during the event, traffic numbers for the M1 were significantly lower than models and predictions indicated giving those who needed to travel a relatively smooth journey.
“GC2018 has been a challenge like no other and it was critical the transport network was able to respond to the more than 1.2 million ticketed spectators attending events as well as accommodating business as usual travel,” Mr Bailey said.
“We were confident transport would deliver, we planned for a range of eventualities and built in extra capacity so we could be responsive and flexible where needed.
“The performance of the local road network and the M1 has been critical to the success of GC2018 and I am incredibly pleased we were able to keep the roads running and avoid the gridlock that many had predicted,” he said.
“I would like to thank Gold Coasters for changing their usual travel habits to help deliver a successful GC2018.”
The government has also praised the performance of the Gold Coast light rail network which it claims carried the burden of most trips to event venues in the Games precinct.
“The G:link service was carrying close to 100,000 passengers a day which is nearly four times the daily average since the opening of stage two of the light rail project.
“The Surfside bus network delivered across the length and breadth of the Gold Coast, with about 2.3 million passenger journeys,” the minister said.
The results of the planning and improvements made by the government have left many in the media, including this writer, red faced as some were critical of the preparation by government agencies to ensure that the largest event in the state’s history went as planned.
Yes, I am eating my bitter humble pie and whilst I do I wish to also congratulate the government, Queensland Rail, Translink, G:link, GOLDOC and the Gold Coast City Council on a successful event.
Written by Joshua Mathieson