This week in transport (6 April 2014)

Posted: April 6, 2014 in Transport
Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday: NSW Labor promises feasibility study for Western Sydney Light Rail

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson committed the Labor Party to a $20m feasibility study into a Western Sydney Light Rail network if it wins next year’s state election. Parramatta Council has been pushing for a light rail network linking Parramatta to Macquarie Park and Castle Hill, and has funded its own pre-feasibility study into such lines. This mirrors the CBD and South Eastern Light Rail, currently under construction, where Randwick Council funded its own pre-feasibility study before the the then Opposition Liberal Party committed itself to a full feasibility study if it won office in the 2011 state election

This also follows revalations that the NSW Government is considering a Western Sydney Light Rail network after the publication of an official government document showing the light rail lines on a map of Parramatta. If this is the case, support for such a network could receive bipartisan support.

Wednesday: Dulwich Hill light rail extension boosts patronage by 30%

Patronage on the Inner West Light Rail Line has increased by an estimated 30% since being extended to Dulwich Hill last week. Although an additional 4 trams were obtained to maintain 10 minute frequencies on the line during peak hour, the increased demand has led to overcrowding and meant some passengers have not been able to board a tram.

Interior of a Sydney tram. Overcrowding is up on the Cityrail network. Click on image for higher resolution. (Source: Author)

The 30% increase in patronage on the Inner West Light Rail Line has led to overcrowding, similar to that in this image taken in 2013. Click to enlarge. (Source: Author)

It has also dampened the likelihood of school students being given free travel on trams to get to and from school until overcrowding is addressed. An additional 12 trams are currently scheduled to enter service over the next 18 month to replace the original 7 trams used on the line. Peak hour frequencies are set to increase to one tram per 7.5 minutes from 1 July this year, which will ease overcrowding.

Thursday: Real-time data for ferries and trams coming to transport apps

Real-time data, currently available for trains and buses, will soon be expanded to ferries and trams. There is no fixed timetable for when these will become available, but a spokesman from Transport for NSW hopes that they will be rolledout “within the next year”.

Thursday: Mobile phone reception now available on Eastern Suburbs Line

The Eastern Suburbs Line has joined the City Circle and North Shore Line in having mobile phone reception available in its underground tunnels. Sydney’s other major underground rail tunnels, for the Airport Line and Epping to Macquarie Line, were designed to include mobile phone reception for when the lines opened in 2000 and 2009 respectively.

Friday: Opal rolled out to South Coast and Southern Highlands Lines

Opal readers went online in the South Coast and Southern Highlands Lines, with the Blue Mountains and Hunter Lines to go online next week. 165,000 Opal cards have been registered to date. Opal readers are now being rolled out onto buses, starting with the Upper North Shore and Eastern Suburbs.

 

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Comments
  1. JC says:

    @Bambul- this week obviously not as exciting as last! ;)

  2. shiggyshiggy says:

    You are wrong, JC!

  3. QPP says:

    lol

    I quite like Parra council’s plans for a light rail network centred on that city, it will go a long way towards making it the true regional centre it aspires to be (and probably should be to be honest, for future development of the city)

    I haven’t looked into any costs/patronage issues in any detail though. Gut feel says pax numbers aren’t high enough, nor space available for any sort of heavy rail that isn’t cost prohibitive (ie tunnelled) so it seems to make sense. However if it’s only replacing an existing bus network then not sure it does.

    Congestion seems pretty bad over that way. Had a business meeting in Parra Monday lunchtime, trying to get out of the CBD to the north (up Windsor Road) was very slow, and it wasn’t even 3pm. Don’t know what it’s like at 5pm but I guess it ain’t pretty

  4. Sam says:

    @QPP – However if it’s only replacing an existing bus network then not sure it does.

    Interesting point and one I often ponder. Buses and trams essentially do the same thing, but is the dulwhich hill line popularity an example demonstrating that people are more likely to catch a tram and beyond that leave a car at home? Watch and see. The South east light rail extension may or may not show this.

  5. JC says:

    “…where Randwick Council funded its own pre-feasibility study before the the then Opposition Liberal Party committed itself to a full feasibility study if it won office in the 2011 state election…”

    There is a warning here! We have ended up with a plan for a LRT sytem that very nicely suits the needs of Randwick Council (2 lines to serve major demand points) at he expense of Flinders Street-Oxford Street, Green Park, Broadway-Sydney University corridor etc etc.

  6. Tim says:

    I’ve heard there is an operational problem at the Dulwich Hill stop on the light rail. A friend told me because there is only one platform arriving vehicles sometimes have to wait if the previous one hasn’t left. He would have made the next train at Dulwich Hill missed it instead.

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