Happy New Year. 2013 has been an eventful one. This blog received almost 138 thousand hits during a year in which:
- A Badgerys Creek airport was put back on the agenda by a coalition of interest groups, to the point where now a decision to build an airport there has all but been announced
- The Opal rollout continued, ahead of schedule but raising some controversy due to a lack of fare integration and because some will end up paying more under the new fare structure
- The “biggest timetable change in a generation” was implemented in October, the effectiveness of which will be measured in the coming months once detailed data becomes available
- Plans for the WestConnex freeway, the North West Rail Link, and CBD bike paths were all finalised
- Major changes were made to how Sydney commuter rail system operates, including the end to CityRail, the creation of Sydney Trains/NSW TrainLink, and a bumpy transition from Transit Officers to Transport Police/Revenue Protection Officers
In the coming year, we can look forward to the opening of the Inner West Light Rail extension to Dulwich Hill and the completion of the Opal rollout (currently scheduled for the end of 2014). Meanwhile, expect the major parties to begin to announce their transport plans ahead of the next state election in early 2015, with things like a Second Harbour rail crossing, a Western Sydney light rail network, Bus Rapid Transit for the Northern Beaches, and potentially plans to privatise the state owned electricity transmission network as a means to pay for all the much needed infrastructure all likely to feature prominently.
But until then, here are some of the major events and stories from the past year, as posted, shared and commented about on this blog —
Posts with the most hits
- Draft 2013 timetable (part 1): Introduction 20 May 2013 (7,959 hits)
- 2013 timetable re-write (part 3): Untangling the network 22 February 2013 (4,844 hits)
- What the 2013 timetable might look like 13 May 2013 (3,908 hits)
- Draft 2013 timetable (part 2): AM Peak 22 May 2013 (1,430 hits)
- WestConnex plan finalised 19 September 2013 (1,296)
The new timetable drove a lot of traffic to this blog over the previous year, particularly when a draft of the timetable was leaked in May.
Posts with the most comments
- 17km Macquarie Park light rail proposed by Parramatta Council 30 August 2013 (50 comments)
- How might the NWRL work? 16 October 2013 (49 comments)
- Should the North West Rail Link be a metro? 8 February 2013 (47 comments)
- How might the CBD and SE Light Rail work? 9 October 2013 (46 comments)
- North West Rail Link – policy or politics? 11 June 2013 (43 comments)
The clear thing in common here is the North West Rail Link (NWRL), which tends to generate a lot of discussion back and forth in the comments section. The post on the Macquarie Park light rail was the most commented on post and not actually about the NWRL, but the comments soon shifted towards discussing the NWRL.
Posts with the most activity on social media
- All Day Challenge (October 2013), 1 October 2013 (89 shares on Facebook and 3 tweets on Twitter)
- Draft 2013 timetable (part 2): AM Peak 22 May 2013 (43 shares on Facebook and 8 tweets on Twitter)
- The worst sort of NIMBY 25 September 2013 (27 shares on Facebook and 6 tweets on Twitter)
- Opal running 4 months ahead of schedule 28 August 2013 (31 shares on Facebook 2 tweets on Twitter)
- Western Sydney makes its case for an airport of its own 15 February 2013 (11 shares on Facebook and 9 tweets on Twitter)
This probably understates the level of sharing over Twitter as tweets are only counted once, regardless of how many times that one tweet may be re-tweeted, whereas Facebook shares are each counted uniquely. That said, the most shared posts have tended to be driven by shares on Facebook rather than tweets on Twitter.
Most searched terms
- westconnex (635 searches)
- cityrail map (323 searches)
- westconnex map (257 searches)
- transport sydney (170 searches)
- sydney train map (170 searches)
WestConnex was by far the biggest generator of hits from web searches, with the home page being the destination rather than the post itself (preventing those posts about WestConnex from ranking higher) and reflects the fact that the car remains the primary mode of transport for Sydney residents. This is in contrast to activity in the comments section and social media, both of which are more likely to be transport enthusiasts, neither of which had WestConnex in their respective top 5 for the year.
This does perhaps provide a reminder to some advocates of public transport (the writer of this blog included) that there remains some disconnect between them and the regular person on the street when it comes to enthusiasm for public transport and dislike of cars or roads.