The winning Connecting Sydney consortium – consisting of Transdev Sydney, Alstom Transport Australia, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Capella Capital - has promised to provide 50% more capacity than the 9,000 passengers per hour previously planned for the new CBD and South East Light Rail project. The preferred bidder has also proposed reducing the expected length of time of construction along the city’s George Street, minimising disruption.
The iLinQ consortium of Keolis Downer, Balfour Beatty, McConnell Dowell, Bombardier and Macquarie Capital had also been shortlisted for the project, as too had SydneyConnect, which included Serco, John Holland and Plenary Group.
The enhanced proposals from Connecting Sydney mean an increase in the overall budget of the project and the NSW government will now work with the consortium over the coming weeks to finalise the contract.
“The preferred bidder’s proposal offers an innovative, world class solution that will deliver a huge win for public transport customers, with reduced crowding on the light rail service and more capacity to cater for future demand,” said New South Wales (NSW) transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said. “The proposal offers services that from day one carry up to 15 percent more light rail passengers in peak hours, and 33 percent more seats across the day. As I have said previously, the biggest challenge for this project is meeting the high demand from customers who are expected to choose light rail over buses, private vehicles and other transport options.
The final contract award is due by the end of the year.