First new light rail vehicle on the tracks as customer trips pass 1.5 million
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced three brand new light rail vehicles would enter service for the first time this week, with more than 1.5 million trips now taken on Sydney’s expanded Inner West Light Rail network.
The NSW Government has invested $38 million on 12 new state-of-the-art light rail vehicles for the Inner West Light Rail Line, which now extends from Dulwich Hill to Lilyfield and Central.
Ms Berejiklian said the first of the new Spanish Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles vehicles will roll out from tomorrow for customers, with another two to follow on Friday and Saturday.
“These brand new vehicles represent a new era for light rail in Sydney and as well as a sleek new design, they will provide improved journeys for customers,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The new vehicles have more standing room, accessible seating, low floors, more hand rails and wider aisles for prams and wheelchairs.
“We have listened to feedback from customers to make sure this brand new light rail fleet meets the needs of Sydney customers now and into the future.
“When we came to Government, Labor had no detailed designs for the Inner West Light Rail Extension and no plan to order new light rail vehicles.
“Not only have we delivered the light rail extension for customers, we have planned ahead and ordered new vehicles to keep up with demand on the new light rail line.”
Ms Berejiklian said the Inner West Light Rail Extension is proving popular with customers and since it was completed in March, has attracted an increasing number of customers.
“Since opening, more than 200,000 extra trips have been made on the light rail network, totalling 1.5 million customer trips. This is an increase of more than 15 per cent compared to the same period last year,” she said.
“Customers are clearly voting with their feet and embracing light rail as a modern and reliable mode of transport, whether they’re heading to work during the week or travelling in and around the City and Inner West on weekends.
“Under the turn-up-and-go schedule, light rail customers don’t need a timetable, with services every 10 minutes in the peak and real-time information at all the stations.”
As more of the modern purchased vehicles roll out to Sydney over the coming year, four leased vehicles put in place in time for the opening of the Inner West Light Rail Extension will be returned to Spain.
The NSW Government will continue to monitor patronage and as more vehicles become available, look to increase service frequency.