Thoughts on Sydney Transport Plan

Jon at Auckland Trains covers from a New Zealand perspective the release of the new transport plan for Sydney.

The main features of her plan:

  • The $4.5 billion Western Express CityRail Service to slash travelling times from western Sydney to the city. It will achieve faster and more frequent services with a goal of up to 50 per cent more services and 17 per cent more passengers on the CityRail network on an average weekday. This will occur through: Separating a dedicated track from all other traffic;
  • Construction of a new five kilometre priority tunnel –City Relief Line – will be built from 2015 in the city to separate western services from inner-city trains to provide shorter journey times;
  • Construction of eight new platforms to increase capacity at Redfern, Central, Town Hall and Wynyard to relieve congestion;
  • New express train services will be introduced for the Blue Mountains, Richmond, Penrith, Blacktown and Parramatta; and Increase CityRail’s capacity on all lines and allow the introduction of express rail services to western Sydney.
  • Start of work on the $6.7 billion North West rail link from Epping to Rouse Hill with six stations at Franklin Road, Castle Hill, Hills Centre, Norwest, Burns Road and Rouse Hill in 2017;
  • A $500 million expansion of the current light rail system – bringing its total length to 16.9 kilometres with up to 20 new stations and almost 10 kilometres of new track – a more than doubling of the distance of the existing route.

I added my two cents to the discussion on his blog:

Having just moved to Sydney from Auckland only three weeks ago I have had to quickly adjust from using a car on a daily basis to having to use a bus on a daily basis and a train about twice a week.

The public transport system here is a lot bigger than Auckland and is a lot better in same ways, having said that at rush hour it is a nightmare.

There are two key problems. The first is the centralisation of all routes at the city centre, there needs to be a lot more cross town services both buses and trains. Second a lot of major bus routes need to be replaced by high capacity trains or light rail.

The shelving of the metro is a good idea. However they need to get all buses off the central CBD and replace them with trams/light rail like Melbourne, they also need to extend the train from Bondi Junction down to the South Sydney Beaches and then back up ANZAC parade to Central, this would reduce massive congestion through this area of Sydney which has been left out of this new plan.

As far as the west and north go I haven’t been there much but the investment needs to go in rail not roads and not buses.

And there you have it, my first blog on Australian politics, albeit a bit of cut and paste.

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