Governments of New South Wales (Australia) have been making some very short-sighted transport decisions in recent years. Help us put pressure on the Premier (Dominic Perrottet) and the Minister for Transport (David Elliot) to Fix NSW Transport, especially around Sydney.
The last seven or eight years have seen severe cuts to many bus services, many of them about the same time as those services are to be privatised.
Existing and planned metro rail services show little evidence of vision to a future in which metro is available for the majority of trips between (say) 2km and 10km in length. Sydney compares very unfavourably with large systems overseas such as London, Paris, NYC or Tokyo. Our metro lines have a minimal number of stations, few if any interchange points, and suffer from a fixed notion that all railways must pass through Central.
The suburban and interurban electric train system dates from well before WWI and has been expanded several times. It carries passengers on about a million trips each weekday. There should be more lines and more stations. In particular, the Eastern Suburbs line was designed to have more stations but they were cancelled due to costs and the line now only goes as far as Bondi Junction.
At time of writing, a business case is to be prepared for converting the Glenfield-Leppington line to metro ready for connection via Badgerys Creek airport, St Marys, Marsden Park and Schofields to Tallawong.
The NSW government is acceding to pressure from the rail trails lobby, who want unused railways converted to bicycle tracks. Unfortunately, insufficient attention is being paid to the possibility of restoring railway services in the future. A case in point is the Murwillumbah branch.
The existing services (L1 to Dulwich Hill, L2 to Randwick and L3 to Kingsford) suffer from constraints and inefficiencies that prevent them reaching their full potential.
The newest boats are the Emerald classes. The first batch of Emeralds (Hamlin, Hollows, Chang, Pemulwuy, Bungaree and Gibbs) entered service in 2015 on inner harbour routes. Mk II Emeralds (Fairlight, Balmoral and Clontarf) date from 2021 and are intended for the Manly run which often involves heavier seas in crossing Sydney Heads.
Sydney until quite recently had four large ferries (capacity 900, the Freshwater class) for the Manly run. There was an unannounced intention to withdraw them, replacing them with Mk II Emeralds, which cost less to run. Unfortunately the replacement Emeralds were badly conceived, badly built and are barely suitable for use in heavy conditions. They have suffered frequent failures for a variety of reasons.
Due to the failures, the government had to hold back on withdrawing Freshwater boats and there are three.