How light rail works
Light rail, historically known as a ‘tram’, is operated by a driver and runs within existing streets, often sharing roads with pedestrians, cyclists and cars.
Today’s light rail vehicles are much more modern, streamlined and efficient than those of the past. Light rail often runs in a dedicated corridor and can be powered by electricity from overhead wires, batteries recharged at light rail stops (“wire free”) or a combination of the two.
Key benefits of light rail
- Light rail is a quieter and more energy-efficient mode of travel, able to quickly move a high volume of passengers. For example, a 45-metre light rail vehicle can carry up to 300 passengers, equivalent to around six buses.
- Light rail stops are fully accessible and integrated into the urban environment.
- Offers modern, air-conditioned and comfortable vehicles.
- In NSW, light rail is fully integrated with the Opal Card ticketing system used on buses, ferries and trains.
- Light rail stops connect seamlessly to existing rail, bus and ferry terminals.
- Frequency and reliability are features of light rail. By operating in its own corridor, light rail is less affected by traffic congestion than buses that share road space with general traffic.
- Light rail provides a “turn up and go” service, meaning you’ll never need to check timetables because there will be a service every few minutes.