Over the past 50 years the Gold Coast has developed from a quiet holiday destination to an international city of 580,000 residents and over 13 million annual visitors. The G:Link light rail system began operating in July 2014 and has changed the way people move around the city. The light rail is not only transformational piece of infrastructure but it delivers wider benefits to the community. A significant increase in mixed use developments is occurring within a number of centres along the light rail corridor delivering economic benefits to the city. However, concerns have been recently raised that the light rail and associated changes to the transport network are negatively impacting on businesses within Surfers Paradise area. Surfers Paradise Boulevard functioned as a two way access road until the northbound travel lane was removed in 2014 to facilitate construction of stage 1 of the light rail. Southbound traffic volumes along the Boulevard have reduced significantly, from approximately 7,200 vehicles per day before light rail construction to approximately 4,100 vehicles per day post light rail construction. 

This study examines the economic impacts of the Gold Coast Light Rail on businesses in Surfers Paradise area. The property values, vacancy rates and numbers of visitors are analysed to undertake a trend analysis of property developments and identify any relationship between business sustainability and the transport network changes. Key findings from the existing literature are applied to the Surfers Paradise context and drawn conclusions about short and long term impacts of the light rail.