LIFE with light rail is about to begin for Novocastrians and tram users will not be disappointed travelling in the city's state-of-the-art fleet.
The Newcastle Herald was given a ride on a light rail vehicle on Friday ahead of the line's launch and the free community day on Sunday.
The immaculate interior of the Urbos 100 model provides passengers with a travel experience miles ahead of the region's trains or buses.
Each tram is air-conditioned, can carry a maximum of 270 passengers and runs on a rubber-sealed track for a smoother and quieter ride.
The spacious trams are accessible for all with level boarding from each stop's platform, dedicated wheelchair spaces and ramps to use if required.
The 33-metre long trams can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h but will maintain a city speed limit of 40 km/h.
There are 60 comfy seats on each tram and 16 are considered priority seats for less mobile passengers.
In a world-first, the trams have surfboard racks, which will be a welcome addition for those transferring from other forms or public transport to head to the beach.
Commuters can expect a 12-minute journey from Newcastle Interchange to the Newcastle Beach light rail stop, and trams will run at 10-minute intervals when the service commences before running every 7.5 minutes in a few weeks time.
Four stops, Honeysuckle, Civic, Crown Street and Queens Wharf provide convenient hop-on, hop-off points to access the city's hospitality, entertainment, work and education sites.
"We want people to live and work and have great lives here," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Light rail links an integrated transport network in Newcastle with passengers able to transfer onto the service from a ferry, bus or train.
Transferring from one of those modes will be the best way to use light rail as commuters can benefit from the Opal transfer discount, which reduces the adult cost of the tram from $2.20 per trip to just 20 cents, or 10 cents for children, concession card holders, seniors or pensioners.
"The city's changing, it's dynamic," Transport Minister Andrew Constance said. "We are going to see the city continue to flourish.
"We've got a world-class light rail system that has commenced in Newcastle, and ultimately commuters will be able to use the Wickham interchange, which is what they're doing, and enjoy the benefit of not just this mode of transport but all modes of transport."
Light rail services will commence at Newcastle Interchange each day at 5am and conclude before 1am.