Australia: Keolis marks first anniversary in operating Newcastle light rail as part of a multimodal network

With over 1.2 million passenger trips recorded since the first day of service in February 2019, Newcastle light rail has become a popular public transport option for the city’s residents, making the city more liveable and sustainable.

It has been a year1 since Keolis’ Australian subsidiary Keolis Downer launched Newcastle’s light rail service, creating a multimodal, integrated transport network for the city. Nearly half of all passenger trips in Newcastle use the light rail network to connect with bus, ferry or train services.

1 Since 18 February 2019


Over the past year, we have watched Novocastrians make light rail part of their daily lives, using it to get around the city whether for business or leisure. Ridership has been steadily increasing and overall, we have seen public transport use in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie increase by more than 23% in 2019 compared to 2018. We are proud to partner with Transport for New South Wales to continue to improve transport services in Newcastle and increase public transport use, creating a city that is more liveable and sustainable.

David Franks, CEO of Keolis Downer

The light rail network has transformed the city and created new spaces for communities to connect.

It is helping to revitalise the city and move thousands of people around, particularly during major events such as Anzac Day 2, Supercars and New Year’s Eve.

2 National day to commemorate Australians and New Zealanders who served and in died in wars, conflicts and peacemaking operations


Keolis in Australia 

Keolis Downer has been active in Australia since 2009. It has 4,000 employees and carries more than 250 million passenger per year.

In addition to the Newcastle multimodal network, the group operates the light rail networks of Melbourne (the largest and oldest tram network in the world) and Gold Coast, as well as bus networks in three states (Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland), autonomous electric shuttles, and real-time on-demand transport.