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Growth on the [NSW] public transport network has hurtled past long-term government predictions, with 93 million more trips taken on buses and trains last year [FY 2018-19] than what was forecast for 2031.

A report used by the NSW government as the “framework” for investing tens of billions in transport projects over the coming decades predicted rail growth would increase by 26% between 2011 and 2031.

However, the rail network reached and then exceeded that predicted figure by 2017, more than a decade early.

Rabe, Singhal (2020-02-19)

Several people have highlighted the government’s response.

Asked how it would respond to the patronage, the state’s transport agency said the department was “delighted” that demand was outpacing population growth.

Rabe, Singhal (2020-02-19)

This story in the SMH is based on research I conducted and brought to Mr Rabe’s attention, back in November 2019. It took awhile to get the all the planets aligned.

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Most commuters travelling from stations west of Bankstown will be able to use direct services to get to Sydney’s CBD and avoid having to switch trains if a “preferred option” for a shake up of the rail network to accommodate a new metro rail line is adopted.

O’Sullivan (2020-02-09)

My Quotes

“The preferred option is the best option for customers because it allows for faster trips to the city and connects the west with the inner west,” said Mathew Hounsell, a transport expert at the University of Technology’s Institute for Sustainable Futures.

But Mr Hounsell said the complexity involved in funnelling more trains through the western rail corridor between Lidcombe and Homebush risks a reduction in the reliability of services.

“It could lead to a less reliable network if investment is not undertaken,” he said.

“It is essential that the government builds the missing two tracks between Lidcombe and Homebush to keep our western rail network reliable. It has to be fixed and it has to be fixed soon.”

O’Sullivan (2020-02-09)
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Buried deep below Sydney’s tallest buildings, giant caverns have been churned out of sandstone and other rock. On the streets above, tens of thousands of people go about their daily lives, oblivious to the work underground on this mega transport project.

Twin tunnels spanning more than 15 kilometres in each direction from Chatswood in the north to Sydenham in the south, link these underground cathedrals. They will become the train stations for the second stage of Sydney’s automated metro train network.

Yet the metro rail project is at risk of quickly becoming a political and financial headache for the Berejiklian government. A highly confidential budget review, completed more than 18 months ago, forecasts the government’s signature public transport project will cost up to $16.8 billion to complete by 2024 – more than $4 billion above what had been budgeted.

O’Sullivan (2020-02-08)

My Quotes

Mathew Hounsell, a transport expert at the University of Technology’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, says demand on Sydney’s transport system is already well ahead of long-term forecasts. “The transport system is essential to keeping the city pumping. Without it flowing properly, the transport network will end up clogged and inefficient,” he says.

“There is a significant risk that the government will delay the essential projects such as Metro West and the upgrade of the signalling on the heavy rail network in order to keep the budget looking good. But if we don’t invest in the transport system, the city will become less attractive and we will lose our global competitiveness. The transport system is the arteries of the city.” [emphasis added]

O’Sullivan (2020-02-08)
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Passenger crowding on trains travelling along Sydney’s western rail spine to the city during the morning peak has worsened significantly over the past year, underscoring the need for major investment in the ageing network.

Half of suburban lines have at least some trains unable to fit more passengers on during the busiest hour of the peak from 8am to 9am, figures from the state’s transport agency show.

Trains on the busiest line, the T1 Western, recorded average passenger loads of 150 per cent during the morning peak in March, up from 139 per cent a year earlier.

O’Sullivan, Gladstone (2019-10-25)
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Commuters on Sydney’s busiest rail lines are regularly unable to get home on time during the evening peak on weekdays, as new figures show the T1 Western and T8 South lines have been the worst performers over the last year for passengers.

Trains on the T1 Western – one of the most heavily patronised – and T8 South lines did not meet on-time performance targets during the evening peaks on three out of five weekdays in the 12 months to early July.

The T8 Airport and the T2 Inner West and Leppington lines also failed to meet on-time targets of 92 per cent of services running on time on almost half of weekdays over the past year.

The T4 Eastern Suburbs line, which benefits from the fact it is separated from the rest of the network, was the best performer during the evening peak from 3pm to 7pm. Trains on the line were on-time on 222 of the 256 weekdays captured by data from July 2 last year to July 5 this year.

O’Sullivan, Gladstone (2019-07-10)
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