One year on: More services prove vital in keeping Sydney moving

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Twelve months on from delivering the largest ever uplift in train services, thousands of customers in Western Sydney, South West Sydney and the Inner West are now reaping the benefits with more frequent services, quicker trips and less crowded trains according to a report released by Transport for NSW today.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the report proved that doing nothing was not an option.

“The data doesn’t lie. We’ve had to contend with huge growth on our network- a 30 per cent increase over the last five years, and as the report shows, that trend is set to continue,” Mr Constance said.

In November 2017, the NSW Government introduced a new train timetable, with around 1,500 extra weekly services, including 750 on weekends and 180 late at night in response to unprecedented demand.

“This report is proof that we couldn’t sit back and do nothing, this was the timetable that Sydney needed,” Mr Constance said.
The report highlights a range of benefits delivered to suburban customers by the November 2017 timetable, targeting the T1 Western, T2 Inner West & Leppington, T3 Bankstown, T5 Cumberland, and T8 Airport & South Lines.

Key highlights include:

1. Less crowded trains on targeted lines

Train lines targeted by the timetable to reduce crowding have seen a 4.3% increase in morning peak passengers over the last year. Despite this, average train loads (crowds) on the relevant lines have reduced from 137% to 127%.

Some parts of the network saw train loads drop by as much as 47 percentage points.

2. More services across the week

  • 89% of customers have turn up and go services in the AM and PM peaks, with a train every 10 minutes as a minimum
  • 70% of suburban stations (or 93% of customers) now receive a minimum 15 minute service frequency across most of the day. This is up from 29% of stations before the timetable was introduced.
  • More services have reduced wait times by 5% on weekdays and 8% on weekends

3. Quicker train trips from start to finish

  • Journeys made in the AM peak from 110 out of 178 suburban stations (representing 67% of all trips) have been reduced on average

4. Customer demand on the rise

  • Demand overall has increased by 5 per cent in the last 12 months
  • An extra 750 services on weekends and 180 late night has led to a significant increase in demand. Journeys made on the weekend (13.6%) and late night (10.7%) has outstripped AM (2.5%) and PM (3.1%) peak travel as a result of the more frequent and consistent services provided by the timetable.

“Our focus was to provide more capacity during the peak to key areas where it was needed most, as well as giving customers more services during off peak periods to respond to changing travel patterns,” Mr Constance said.

“For Labor opposition to continue to say they want to abandon the new timetable and walk away from thousands of extra services is just more proof they aren’t ready to be in charge of public transport, or anything in this state.

“Customers now have more choice and more options for travel across the entire day. They’re voting with their feet and coming through the gates in droves, proving that train travel is a convenient option at any time of the day.

“These are pleasing results but we know there’s more to do. Whether it is 24 new Waratah trains, the delivery of the Sydney Metro, or our continued investment to upgrade our rail system through future stages of the More Trains, More Service program, we are focused on delivering a transport network that will keep pace with the city’s growth well into the future,” Mr Constance said.

The full report is available here (PDF, 4.98 MB).