Monday: Lifts will make Arncliffe Station accessible
Four new lifts will be installed at Arncliffe Station, making it fully accessible, with construction to begin in 2015. The upgrade of the station will also include disabled parking, extra bike racks, and new bus and taxi, as well as kiss and ride shelters. It has been seen as a win for advocacy group the Sydney Alliance, which has been campaigning to make Arncliffe an accessible station.
Tuesday: 1,200 parking spaces to be added at almost 100 stations
Around 1,200 staff parking spaces will be re-allocated as commuter parking spaces at almost 100 stations over the next 12-18 months. The four stations which will receive the largest number of new parking spaces are Campbelltown (179), Blacktown (138), Penrith (138), and Liverpool (108). The Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian explained that “we are listening to customers and we know this is one of the biggest issues they have every day – finding a car space close to their station is important so we can get more cars off the road and have more people using public transport”.
However, the move has been opposed by the union representing rail workers, who argue that this could affect on time running of the rail network. NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union State Secretary Alex Claassens said “we can’t have critical transport workers spending a half hour driving around looking for a car park when they need to be driving the next train”.
Thursday: 250,000 Opal cards now registered
The 250,000th Opal card has been registered, with 2.2 million free trips taken as part of the 8 paid journey then the rest that week are free feature of Opal.
Opal cards can currently be used on all trains and ferries, with buses being progressively rolled out over 2014. Buses on which Opal can currently be used are those operating out of the Mt Kuring-gai and Waverly bus depots. However, depending on which route a particular bus is assigned to, Opal enabled buses are not always exclusively found on the routes that have been officially announced. Opal cards have been successfully used on non-officially Opal routes, though it is unclear whether it is considered a valid form of fare payment.