NSW Labor pledged to review Sydney’s train timetables, and reinstate express services if they win the state election, with residents in the city’s west and outer-suburbs to benefit the most.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns said data suggested 1 in 5 trains currently ran late, which he acknowledged as a “big inconvenience,” for residents.
The review would be the first of its kind since the pandemic and will seek to increase services in high-demand areas, as well as linking timetables with other transport modes to ensure smoother transitions.
“We have seen in recent years, a massive decline in on-time running and express services made available to commuters in Sydney and we need to make sure that we’ve got a world class public transport system,” said Opposition Leader, Chris Minns.
The review would take into account which stations require extra services, with attention paid to how blended, working-from-home arrangements have changed commuting patterns.
Reinstating express services would also be a priority. Using the example of the western Sydney suburb of Lidcombe, where an express train to the CBD slashes travel times by a third, Mr Minns said the quicker routes had a “huge” effect on people’s quality of life.
“If travellers are leaving the train system, more often than not, it means they’re jumping into the car and onto our roads,” he said.
“Labor will identify and assess the needs of the community to deliver more express services, and under NSW Labor, people will get around the city and the state further, faster, more often.”
Labor’s proposed transport shake-up also includes an extra $300m commitment to make train stations more accessible. Mr Minns and Ms Haylen made the announcement at Macquarie Fields station in Sydney’s southwest which is only accessibly by multiple flight of stairs and has no wheelchair access.
Labor will combine existing $342.4m Transport Access Program (TAP), with the $351.6m Commuter Car Parking Program (CCPP), plus the $300m added injection to ensure
Labor spokesperson for transport, Jo Haylen said “all stations should be step free”.
“It’s time that communities in need got the station upgrades they deserve and it’s time to start making stations more than places where we just get on or off a train,” she said.
“They should be genuine community hubs, places where you can do more than simply catch a train.”
The Coalition have also proposed four additional metro routes in Western Sydney on Sunday, with the government kicking off the process to complete the business cases for the transport links.
The new lines would add another 100km to the Sydney Metro link, with routes proposed between Tallawong to St Marys, Westmead to the Aerotropolis, Bankstown to Glenfield and Macarthur to the Aerotropolis.
Story Credit: news.com.au