PAYING FARES IN ADVANCE
If you think this is a newish idea for Sydney, APT refer you to Gibbs, Shallard & Co's 1882 Guide to Sydney, page 132: "The visitor should know that if cash payment be tendered the fare is 3d., but tickets may be purchased at 2d. each; the first business, then, should be to get half-a-dozen or a dozen tram tickets, which are commonly sold in the shops adjacent to the various lines, but which cannot be got from the officials on the tram.'
Trams were then seen by Gibbs, Shallard as more modern than buses but unlikely ever to supplant them entirely.
In response to public reaction following a single afternoon incident in July, the Premier announced the formation of a task-force on security and the appointment of 300 security officers to public transport work. Readers would recall that the previous government disbanded the railway police and left passenger security to the regular police force. Later, the Minister for Transport announced that "more NightSafe services would be run", which is another way of saying that the nightly locking-up of all but two carriages on suburban trains would commence earlier.
APT would prefer to see guards in Tangara trains show some interest in goings-on in their trains. We ask that guards open and keep open the blinds on the windows between crew and passenger compartments; this simple duty of theirs is often not performed.
We are impressed to read in the latest issue of State Rail News of Bankstown station's discovery that classical music, played loudly all night on the station's public-address system, repels undesirables and thereby reduces security problems in the area,
NEW ENGLAND HIGHWAY
The RTA has announced a proposal to connect the northern end of the F3 near Newcastle with the southern end of the New England Highway at Branxton. An environmental impact statement has been prepared in pursuance of the law. APT are surprised that the RTA proposes assessing the project itself, contrary to Government policy that all such decisions should now be made by the Department of Planning and Urban Affairs.
The EIS claims a clear economic benefit from the project. This is unsurprising for RTA projects. On examining the ElS, we found that no account had been taken of extra traffic which the proposed road would generate; had this been done in accordance with modern practice, the road would not be as viable. APT are concerned that, despite announced policies, there is still a marked bias towards roads. This bias inevitably reduces the relative attractiveness of competing rail services and potential new rail services.
APT have in the past complained that substitute buses run during rail trackworks were often planned for the convenience of the operators even where that meant delays or other problems for passengers. We were pleased to see that the buses running between Penrith and Springwood or Katoomba in August and late July were separated into "all stations" and "first stop Blaxland" runs (other lines have been doing this consistently for years). This would have saved many passengers from a slow and uncomfortable ride on back streets around Lapstone.
On the other hand, we were surprised to discover that CityRail closed the East Hills line on August l2th-l3th for trackworks. This meant that people travelling by train to the V.J. day march or the City to Surf race would have found themselves changing in and out of buses. If at all possible. trackworks on days when large crowds travel are limited to those which do not disrupt services. But the line manager's office reported no complaints and said that the trackworks had been well publicised.
TRANSPORT FOR THE DISABLED
APT understand the desire of handicapped people to have improved access to trains and buses but we are concerned about the costs, both monetary and otherwise. We have no argument with the provision of handicapped access where the additional cost is minimal, or in proportion to the number of handicapped persons using the vehicle or facility, hut we cannot agree with the more strident members of the handicapped "lobby" who argue that all public transport should he accessible to handicapped people. Some recent events in Australia tend to reflect the problems experienced in America following the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Readers interested in participating in a new government-sponsored N.S.W. Accessible Transport Forum should contact the Department of Transport on (02)268 2847 before 30th August.
BOUQUET FOR CITYRAIL
When George Street, city, was closed on 14th July for a demonstration which involved a huge protest march from the Town Hall to Market Street, bus services were severely disrupted and were routed along other streets. Regular announcements were made at Wynyard station inviting holders of bus tickets to travel by train and join their buses at the periphery of the CBD.
Later the same afternoon, a power failure at Ashfleld disrupted the train services too, but that's another story.
QUESTIONABLE USE OF CITY RAILWAY STATIONS
In June. APT noticed cars and small 4WD vehicles being raffled for
charity on Wynyard. Town Hall and Sydney Terminal concourses. We have
remarked on this before. We are again surprised that railway
authorities would permit their domain to he used for promoting the
opposition. Why doesn't CityRail insist that they raffle railway
tickets, passes, or holidays?
LOCAL COUNCILS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Councils can and must do more than just ask others to provide better transport.
Councils should actively promote what public transport we already have, and also do everything possible to improve the lot of bus, ferry and train passengers. For bus passengers, this can include the ride, the stops. the waiting and the information, while for ferry and rail passengers, the options are similar hut more limited.
Councils could and should:
There is an election for your Council next month. Why not see what your local candidates have to say about public transport?
PERSONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT
At a meeting early this month organised by the Society for Responsible Design, there was a review of personal public transport systems. This term is taken to mean both maxi-taxi services (1 to 4 passengers at a time) and minibus services. The feature which makes these vehicles into personal public transport is that there is a service with bookings controlled by computers which know where each vehicle is and who wants to go where. Expressions of interest from intending passengers are told exactly when the vehicle will arrive and how much the fare will he. Of course. passengers must accept that the vehicle may have to divert slightly on short notice in order to serve other passengers. Personal public transport systems have fare charges and levels of service generally between those of taxis and buses.
It is quite possible that much of Sydney will have PPT soon.
BUS PAGES OMITTED FROM NEW PHONE BOOK
APT condemn the State Transit Authority for dropping the bus and ferry map and timetable information from the 1995 Sydney White Paces telephone directory which was distributed recently. For the past three or four years, the STA had provided eight pages of bus and ferry information in the front of the book. The only drawback was that CityRail had never participated.
With two million books being printed, this was an ideal way of getting public transport information into almost every home, office and telephone booth in Sydney.
APT suggest that you cut out and file the transport information pages from your 1994 directory before recycling it. We urge the STA to make plans now to restore the information in 1996.
FERRY DESTINATION SIGNS
This newsletter has previously described (May 1993; also see May 1994) the inconvenience caused to intending passengers by a lack of destination signs on Sydney ferries. After trialling prototype signs. State Transit has recently called tenders for dot-matrix destination signs for twenty ferries. This should see an end to the ridicule and insult meted out to confused passengers by certain ferry crews and a significant reduction in the number of unwary passengers boarding the wrong ferry.
RTA LIBRARY COMES HOME
The RTA Road Safety Library is now the Road Safety and Traffic
Resource Library at 260 Elizabeth St. The other RTA library is now
the Technology Library at Rosebery.
WHAT DOES APT DO
and why don't they press for better services in YOUR district? You are very welcome to attend APT meetings, where we will discuss ways of achieving your goals. We assemble at 5:15 p.m. on Fridays at the lower concourse, University of Technology tower building, Broadway.
BUSES OR TICKERTAPE?
APT record an upsurge in the number of city events which disrupt many of the large number of bus services which travel in the CBD. It is time that public transport was given priority above other traffic so that adverse effects could he minimised.
INTEGRATED TRANSPORT STRATEGY
Readers will recall that the last Government caused strategy documents to he prepared which purported to integrate transport planning in the Sydney area, APT have recently been given copies of submissions made to that series by the NRMA and by Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WESROC).
The NRMA say that they support policies which promote public transport use. But they persist in pressing for "freight routes" which will clearly pander to long-distance car travel, to say nothing of trucks.
WESROC are concerned about excessive use of private cars in their region and elsewhere. They single out Campbelltown as having an extremely low public transport usage. Interestingly. the member for Campbelltown is the new Minister for Roads.
OLYMPIC GAMES TRANSPORT
The Department of Transport are expecting very heavy crowds - up to 300000 - at the Homebush venue of the Olympic Games in September 2000. The futility of trying to cater for private cars has been realised; plans for rail lines handling 30 trains per hour have been made. Hence the announcement of a 2-track loop through the site.
The fares for transport to the site are to be included in admission charges. APT are very pleased at this level of integration.
HOW MUCH ARE TRAIN TICKETS? According to the CityRail timetable brochures issued for each line, a separate fares brochure is available from all ticket offices. It isn't available and hasn't been for a couple of years.
The point is of some importance, because the ticket vending machines at your station may be low on change when you go to buy your ticket. How can you carry the exact money when you don't know how much your ticket will bc? Note that the fare evasion leaflet says that not having the correct change for the machine is no excuse for not having a ticket.
M2 ROLLS ON
Despite policy announcements with the Metropolitan Air Quality Study that effects on air pollution will be taken into account in government decisions, community representatives have been told that no change will be made in the M2 which was approved by then minister Baird in 1993. Oddly. the RTA does not apply this policy to changes to the M2 which adversely affect public transport - they have decided to postpone indefinitely the construction of bus ramps at Oakes Road, Carlingford. APT later heard that an adviser to the Minister for Roads was badly misinformed about the extent of public involvement in the M2 and was therefore unable to deal properly with controversy about the RTA decision not to build the bus ramps.
Similarly, the RTA is planning for new road capacity to be built in various directions around access points to the M2 without considering the air pollution that the extra traffic will cause. Their only acknowledgement that traffic levels will increase is an undertaking to 'solve traffic problems'. How? Why, by building still more roads, or course!
CLEAN AIR 2000
The NRMA has launched a campaign for reducing air pollution by the year 2000. It advocates such measures as car-pooling, tele-commuting and use of public transport one day per week as worthwhile for the sake of clean air. The campaign publications do not specify any targets for the amount of motoring to be averted or pollution reduced. APT question the effectiveness of the Clean Air 2000 Advisory Taskforce whose members include the NSW ministers for Transport, the Environment and Planning hut not Roads. Nor can we see any RTA representation; how can driving habits be changed without involving the RTA? Perhaps the greatest contribution of this body may be publicity which might one day make travel demand management more acceptable; APT cannot see much chance of improvement to air quality while we keep building motorways. And we wonder how soon any road capacity released by a few cancelled vehicle trips would be taken up by other trips and/or extra distance. The NRMA is evidently continuing its commendable gradual move away from unqualified support for unfettered use of motor vehicles. Readers may have noticed the NRMA recently pressing for construction of the bus lanes planned for the M2 but "deferred" by the RTA until demand justifies them.
FOR YOUR DIARY
Public Transport in Sydney - its role in reducing social disadvantage. Seminar, 15 September. Masonic Centre. $25/$15. Enquiries N.C.O.S.S. 211 2599.
Railway Engineering and Operations - conference, 18-19 September. Looks interesting because it includes sessions on prospective links such as the Macquarie Railway. Enquiries I.l.R. 9954 5844.
1995 National Urban Transport Summit - conference. 5-6 October, Brisbane. The theme is the role of transport in developing liveable cities. Contact Jane Bertelsen. Brisbane City Council (07)3225 6690.
National Public Transport Week 8-14 October. Tuesday: Public transport derby. Friday: Providers' Day. Saturday: Dinner. Enquiries: Libby. A.C.F., (02)247 4285.
Women on the Move - conference, 23-24 October, Adelaide. Examines the issues affecting women and public transport. Fax enquiries to Rachel Lambert (08)4104845.
FOR YOUR LIBRARY
Travel Times Australia second edition. Timetables for surface public transport services all over Australia. Frequent services are summarised. Available from good newsagents and booksellers. Travel Demand Management Guidelines - new A4 book published by Austroads, the umbrella organisation of state road authorities, It is the result of a study intended to provide information on the cost of personal travel; a global review of travel costs was made from the perspectives of the user, the provider, and society generally. APT bought our copy from the N.S.W. R.T.A. We hope they read it. $25.
Water, bricks and mortar - article by Jim Colman in Sydney Review, July. Describes an instance where public consultation appears to have been successful rather than token - Sydney Water working with greenies from four groups.
Green Cities - Strategy paper number 3 from Australian Urban & Regional Development Review. Calls for a unified approach from all levels of government to such urban problems as air quality, noise, and greenhouse emissions. One aspect of this is to be introduction of a minimum standard of urban public transport in order to clear streets of smog-producing cars. Available from Department of Housing and Regional Development, Canberra. Places for Everyone - research report on social equity in Australian cities and regions. Research report number 1 from Australian Urban & Regional Development Review. Are our cities socially sustainable? - transport affects urban form. Available from Dept. of Housing and Regional Development, Canberra.
Sydney Spaces - book published by Sydney City Council stating issues and suggested projects for CBD open spaces. Recognises traffic as the major problem in many places. $35 from council.
Women on the Move 1994 conference proceedings. Order from GPO Box 2351, Adelaide 5001. $20 posted.
Women and Public Transport. New free quarterly newsletter. Orders: Kym Cheek, TransAdelaide, 136 North Tce, Adelaide.
Environmental Health Promotion: A Needs Assessment. Report by Whitworth, Health Promotion Unit, Hornsby Hospital. Shows considerable public impact from excessive road traffic.
More for Less - new anti-traffic monograph issued in Brisbane by the Airport Motorway Action Committee. $5 plus $2 posted, from Nick Allen. 60 Jackson Street, Clayfield 4011.
Motorway investors on a road to nowhere - article attacking M2 deal in Australian Financial Review, II August.
Wrong Way Go Back - new anti-freeway monograph published in Melbourne by Public Transport Users' Association. $5 from PTUA at Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000. Hell on Wheels number 3 - newspaper about transport & lifestyle solutions for Sydney. Special issue for the M2 blockades. Available from APT and many other organisations.
Myths and Facts - transport trends and policies. Chart -
Traffic and Transport - consumers' guide to influencing the transport system. Booklet -
Guidance on Induced Traffic. Paper -
Trunk Roads and the Generation of Traffic: The SACTRA Report - What does it mean and does it matter? Paper -
- all from Transport 2000, 10 Melton St, London SW2 2EJ.