$14.4 billion to deliver public transport
The NSW Government today announced a $14.4 billion budget for public transport and infrastructure, an investment that will continue to fuel the State’s infrastructure boom while providing quality services for customers.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the coming year will see a massive step in the transformation of public transport in Sydney with passenger services commencing on the new Sydney Metro Northwest in the first half of 2019. Australia’s first automated trains will provide customers with a new, world-class rail service between the north west of Sydney and Chatswood.
“In addition to reserving an initial $3 billion for Metro West, the NSW Budget 2018 includes a total of $4.3 billion for the Sydney Metro network, including $1.9 billion to continue building Sydney Metro City and Southwest, $2.4 billion to complete Sydney Metro Northwest,” Mr Constance said.
“The budget includes $258 million to start construction of Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1, to connect the Parramatta CBD with places being transformed across the region, including the Westmead health precinct. A further $20 million is budgeted for planning Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 which will run north of the Parramatta River and link to Sydney Olympic Park.
“There’s also $110 million to deliver Newcastle Light Rail, which will see high capacity, frequent services commence through the Newcastle city centre in 2019, supporting precinct development.”
Mr Constance said that as well as building new and enhanced transport networks, the Budget is also focussed on continuing to deliver fleet enhancements, including $496 million to continue delivering the New Intercity Fleet for Central Coast, Newcastle, Blue Mountains and Illawarra customers, over $400 million for new trains to service the Sydney Trains network and $179 million to purchase new buses to accommodate growth in NSW bus services and to replace old buses.
“We’re starting a rail tech revolution with $880 million committed for digital systems on the rail network to replace legacy signalling and train control with modern, intelligent systems that will improve service reliability and the network’s ability to recover after major incidents.
“These funds will also be used to plan for the initial stages of capacity improvements for the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra and T8 Airport and South lines that will boost frequency on these critical suburban rail lines.”
The budget includes $133 million for the Transport Access Program to continue to make more transport services accessible, with upgrades like lifts, escalators and ramps to stations and wharves to make it easier for people with limited mobility and parents with prams.
Regional public transport customers will benefit from a $31 million investment to continue procurement of a new regional rail fleet and maintenance facility to replace the ageing XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains and create more comfortable and more reliable services for customers travelling long distances.
Other public transport and infrastructure highlights in the 2018-19 NSW Budget include:
· $1.5 billion to maintain the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity networks, helping make journeys more reliable and facilitating rail freight movement through the state’s busiest rail corridors;
· $1.2 billion for public transport concessions including pensioners, seniors, people with disabilities and the school student transport scheme;
· $137 million for the Northern Beaches B-Line, with infrastructure improvements along the route between Mona Vale and the Sydney CBD to further improve reliability;
· $132 million toward the Central Walk project, a new underground pedestrian concourse at Central Station to better connect customers to trains, light rail and new Sydney Metro underground platforms;
· $87 million for Community Transport and Home and Community Care services to help people across the state who have difficulties accessing transport, and;
· Funding for planning of additional commuter car parking at Leppington, Edmondson Park, Engadine, and Schofields.