Monday: Federal government to pay billions in infrastructure for Badgerys Creek Airport
Billions of dollars are to be provided by the federal government for improved infrastructure for a soon to be proposed airport at Badgerys Creek. This is an increase on the initial $200m rumoured to be provided, but controversially none will be used to fund improvements to the rail network. The federal government has a policy of not funding urban rail projects, on the basis that this is a state government responsibility.
Tuesday: New Opal cards coming
Opal cards are now available for children and, for the first time, can be obtained in person at the Easter Show. Until now, the only Opal cards available were for adults and had to be obtained via the Opal website. (TfNSW). The child Opal cards require all children to pay a separate fare, whereas currently only 1 child ticket is required for children travelling with an adult, regardless of how many children are travelling.
Pensioners will get their own Opal cards later this year, with a $2.50 daily cap on fares. However, unlike the existing Pensioner Excursion Ticket, they will not be able to be purchased from bus drivers. No details are available on when concession Opal cards for students above 16 years of age will be rolled out.
Friday: Opal rollout moves from trains to buses
Opal cards are now valid for travel to and from all train stations, on both the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink networks. From Monday, it will be extended to buses from the Transdev-operated Mount Kuring-gai bus depot covering bus services 556 to 599. It is currently only available on 594/594H and 333 bus routes.
Friday: Double deck trains have higher capacity than single deck trains
The ABC’s fact checking unit has declared that double deck trains have a higher capacity than single deck trains, even after taking into account the fact that single deck trains allow more trains per hour than double deck trains do. This follows claims by the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell that it was a mistake to introduce double deck trains into Sydney and that single deck trains can carry more people per hour than double deck trains can.
Saturday: Bus depots considered for development
Bus depots at Waverly and Neutral Bay were rumoured to be considered for sale to developers for urban development. Both sites are large and close to the major centres of Bondi Junction and North Sydney. It is unclear whether the sites would be sold off entirely, or just the air rights over the depot, maintaining a functioning depot in place.