THE opening of the Gold Coast light rail has been hailed a huge success, with tens of thousands of passengers turning out to embrace the new era of transport.
It’s estimated that more than 55,000 curious Gold Coasters and tourists took advantage of the first day of service yesterday.
The first trams left the Gold Coast University Hospital and Broadbeach South stations at 5am with a few dozen people on board.
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But crowds quickly gathered in their hundreds at the usually empty light rail stations along the tramway throughout the morning.
By 10.30am, trams were so full, there were reports of people being turned away from the busiest stations at Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.
At one stage, passengers were reporting waits of more than an hour at some stations, with queue’s stretching for hundreds of metres.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson joined Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate in officially opening the new service, cutting the ribbon at the Gold Coast University Hospital station.
Trams will today start transporting paying passengers from 5am, costing a little over four dollars to ride the entire journey.
The $1.2 billion project consists of 14 trams and 16 stations stretched out along a 13km dedicated tramway.