Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
In June 2015 Transport for NSW (TfNSW) called for public submissions on plans to extend Sydney's North West Rail Link, presently under construction, southward to the Sydney Central Business District and on to Bankstown. TfNSW announced that henceforth, The North West Rail Link would be known as Sydney Metro Northwest, and that the proposed southern extension would be referred to as Sydney Metro City & Southwest, herein referred to as MCS. The closing date for submissions was advertised as 17 July 2015.
Action for Public Transport (APTNSW) is a consumer-based advocacy group, established in Sydney in 1975. We support the proposed MCS, with reservations as detailed herein. This submission makes recommendations regarding the future planning for passenger rail services in Sydney. It also makes suggestions about station design and the number of stations, from the point of view of train passengers.
LONG TERM PLANNING
Urban passenger rail infrastructure is expensive to build. It is also expected to have a long useful life, likely in excess of 100 years. Overseas cities commonly assume that their first metro line will be followed by another, often forming an initial network in the shape of a capital “X”. We acknowledge TfNSW's recognition of the need for such long term planning by its reference on page 17 of its “Delivering Sydney Metro” document of June 2015, where it says “Building the foundation for more metro lines in the future”.
Central to the economic efficiency of a mass transit network is the minimisation of travel times. This will require effective interchange between Metro and existing rail lines, but also between Metro lines 1 and 2.
Applying these criteria to the proposed MCS, we recommend:
While recognising the simplistic nature of “drawing lines on maps” for possible future rail lines (or other technologies), we do want to explore and document some practical possibilities.
The increasing passenger congestion on Wynyard Station platforms has long been recognised and is getting worse. The presence of the adjacent former tram platforms is widely known. Those platforms have the potential to increase the passenger capacity of Wynyard Station by about a half.
It is time to reclaim lanes 7 and 8 on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for mass transit. Those lanes are already connected to the above-mentioned Wynyard tram platforms. Mass transit is a far more efficient way of moving people.
MCS planning should consider the possibilities of connecting the southern end of the tram platforms to George Street, via Regimental Square, for light rail, or for a second metro line which might interchange with the MCS Pitt Street Station.
METRO STATION OPTIONS
APTNSW recommends the following station options: