Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sunshine Coast uses VR to find mass transit solution

Technology will allow Sunshine Coast residents to virtually walk through the options being considered to help meet the transport needs along one of the busiest stretches of the Coast, from Maroochydore to Caloundra.

Sunshine Coast Council is adding Virtual Reality (VR) technology to help residents to get an even better feel for each mass transit option as part of the engagement period for the draft Mass Transit Options Analysis, which concludes on 22 June.

Deputy Mayor and Transport Portfolio Councillor, Rick Baberowski said Council was committed to exploring new and innovative ways to engage our community in complex projects like mass transit.

“Traditional engagement activities like pop-ups and surveys will always be part of the process, but it’s becoming increasingly important to continue to expand the range of tools and methods to reach our diverse community,” Cr Baberowski said.

“The VR headsets will be available at some upcoming engagement events and will provide an additional way for our community members and stakeholders to experience each option even more up close and personal,” he said.

“The experience will allow users to move around at street level to more realistically view and compare the mass transit options at a pretty typical location to help the user better understand what any one of the options may look like in reality.

“Great care has been made to ensure the immersive digital environments are as life-like as possible, interactive, engaging, and a representative slice of our Sunshine Coast region.

“VR is increasingly more capable and can help communities better understand complex projects with comparable options such as this one.”

Council has also produced interactive videos for each option. The 360-degree videos can be viewed on smartphones, tablets or computers.

“For those who haven’t shared their thoughts with us yet, I hope that the VR technology will help inspire you to have your say as it can give you an even better sense of each of the recommended mass transit options,” Cr Baberowski said.

“I encourage everyone to test out the interactive videos either online via our website or by attending the wide range of community engagement events at local markets, libraries and shopping centres.

“Whether you watch a 360-degree video from the comfort of your home or have an immersive VR experience you are sure to be wowed.”

The outcomes of the community and stakeholder feedback on the mass transit options will inform the finalised Mass Transit Options Analysis report, which will be considered by council later this year. Subject to council’s agreement, the finalised report will be sent to the State Government for consideration and further assessment as the basis for the next phase of the business case process – the Detailed Business Case.

Visit council’s website for information about the mass transit options, engagement activities and to have your say by 22 June.

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