IT’S a date – Newcastle’s light rail will take off in earnest from February 18.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced on Thursday that a free community open day will be held on Sunday February 17, the eve of standard services beginning.
Mr Constance described the open day as a chance to celebrate the project's completion.
“From Monday 18 February, Novocastrians will have a new way to get around the city with frequent light rail services running from 5am to 1am daily, Mr Constance said.
“The open day will be one big celebration, with something for all ages and tastes at unique events near each of Newcastle light rail’s six stops.
“From Monday 18 February, light rail taking passengers through the heart of Newcastle will be the new normal, marking a key moment in the city’s revitalisation.
“With 4,000 new homes and almost 8,000 more jobs expected in the city centre by 2036, Newcastle light rail will play an important role in keeping this growing city moving, and reducing congestion well into the future.
Mr Constance said the project had been delivered “faster than anyone anticipated”.
"It will be a proud moment for the Premier and me when services begin next month,” he said.
Keolis Downer Hunter managing director Mark Dunlop said staff would be out in force to help new passengers use the service as it launches.
“As this is a completely new system, we anticipate there will be some minor kinks to iron out initially as passengers get used to it and as the last of the light rail vehicles are fully commissioned,” Mr Dunlop said.
“We expect the service to improve daily as the system is optimised, and we’re committed to helping our passengers get the most out of light rail.”
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