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NSW: Future Transport Strategy

Started by ozbob, October 23, 2017, 07:03:42 AM

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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Sydney Morning Herald --> Pressure on Sydney public transport fares as operating costs set to hit $5.7b

QuoteThe annual cost of funding public transport in NSW is set to hit $5.7 billion within a decade, raising the prospect of commuters being slugged with higher fares to achieve a balance between those who "directly benefit" and others.

The forecast is contained in the draft Future Transport Strategy released on Sunday, which updates the NSW government's 2012 long-term transport master plan by outlining its vision for likely changes led by technology, innovation and population growth to 2056.

Under the plan, two-thirds of Sydneysiders will be able to commute between their jobs, homes and key services within 30 minutes, but they may have to wait 40 years to do so under new long-term strategies that will divide Sydney into three interconnected cities.

The strategy also notes that the gap between the operating cost of public transport and revenue recovered from fares, advertising and other means has grown by an annual average 4.5 per cent since 2012 to hit $3.6 billion in 2016. Due to increasing operational expenses as more infrastructure such as the Sydney Metro is built, it says the gap is expected to rise to $5.6 billion by 2026.

It warns that surging transport operational expenses "will compete with the need to resource other vital services such as education and health".

At present only 29 per cent of operating costs are recovered by the public transport network compared with about 60 per cent "historically".

The document says a level of taxpayer funding by those who do not "directly benefit" from the network is justified because public transport has broad economic, health and environmental benefits for the community.

But it adds that "the imbalance between those who directly benefit from transport investments and those who pay for them should be considered and addressed".

Plan 2017, alongside the Draft Future Transport Strategy. Photo: AAP

Between 2012-16, revenue from public transport fares fell by an average 0.3 per cent per year while patronage grew by eight per cent, the strategy notes.

It says some cities have targets for the proportion of operating costs recovered from fares, such as Chicago at 50 per cent. It highlights London which is increasing fares by inflation plus one per cent annually to reach its target of 100 per cent.

The strategy also notes Sydney public transport fares are "relatively low compared to other jurisdictions", including in London and Munich where they are more than double.

While it says the building and expansion of railway stations and interchanges presents the opportunity to sell airspace to developers, "this will not materially change the nature of the long-term funding challenges the transport system faces".

The document commits the NSW government to exploring these options as well as "balanced beneficiary models" including contributions from developers who build near new transport infrastructure.

The government will also "monitor cost recovery levels and review measurable service quality and quantity improvements" on the public transport network.

In NSW maximum annual public transport fare increases are set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Transport minister Andrew Constance told Fairfax Media there are "no planned changes to public transport fares".

"We will continue delivering affordable fares for our customers, as we have done since coming to government," he said.

"We all know that there is significant public investment in delivering transport services – 75 per cent is covered by operating subsidies from taxpayers.

"Transport for NSW will continue to set Opal fares in accordance with advice from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal."

A Transport for NSW spokesman said the future transport strategy "involves investigating project needs and priorities, and does not represent government commitment".
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Sydney Morning Herald --> Lucy Turnbull unveils plan for three Sydneys

QuoteTwo thirds of Sydneysiders will be able to commute between their jobs, homes and key services within 30 minutes, but they may have to wait 40 years to do so, under new long-term strategies which will divide Sydney into three interconnected cities.

The NSW government claimed a "historic", "first time" collaboration between its planning and infrastructure auspices as it released two 40-year strategies to transform Sydney into a tripartite metropolis with eastern, central, and western cities by 2056.

The three are a western parkland city, west of the M7, a central river city around greater Parramatta, and an eastern harbour city.

Flanked by the government's transport and planning ministers, Greater Sydney Commissioner Lucy Turnbull on Sunday formally handed the government the commission's new strategy – the Draft Greater Sydney Region Plan 2017 – for achieving the three, 30-minute cities.

"Never before has planning and transport come together to actually map out a 40-year vision to make sure we grow properly in the future," Transport Minister Andrew Constance said on Sunday, as he released a corresponding transport strategy.

Ms Turnbull described the commission's report as a "landmark" blueprint designed to dovetail with "a once-in-a-century period of Sydney's infrastructure boom", as Sydney expanded from its current population of 4.6 million to 6 million in 20 years, to 8 million in 2056 with most of the growth taking place in the west.

"This is particularly exciting for Sydney's west, with an entirely new city to emerge west of the M7, where the new western Sydney airport and the surrounding aerotropolis will support tens of thousands of jobs."

Currently, only 39 per cent of Sydney's population can access jobs and services from their homes within 30 minutes. The government said the twin strategies would enable 70 per cent of people to access a "30-minute city" by 2056.

Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said the plans also provided the government with the blueprint to deliver "infrastructure to communities as they grow or before they grow".

"[The plans show] what we need to do as a government over the next 20 to 40 years to ensure those hospitals and schools [are built]," he said.

"We needed a plan like this a generation ago."

Complementing the commission's strategy, Mr Constance unveiled the government's 40-year transport plan.

"You cannot build these three cities without having appropriate mass transit connections," he said.

The strategy consolidated existing transport projects, such as the government's signature Sydney Metro West project, which will put a Metro train line between Sydney's CBD and Parramatta via the Bays Precinct at Rozelle, to be completed by the second half of next decade.

Mr Constance said the Metro West was "a game changer in terms of connecting the three cities".

The strategy also identified for the first time, although without detail, potential future mass-transit projects. The minister singled out for future investigation a train link between Parramatta and Kogarah, which would eliminate the need to travel via the Sydney CBD.

A future plan to link Norwest and Parramatta by train was also foreshadowed.

The plans have already generated criticism however.

Liverpool City Council CEO Kiersten Fishburn said she was disappointed a transport link between Leppington Spur and the new airport was listed as "for investigation" over the next decade, while the Metro extension from Bankstown to Liverpool was listed in the 20-plus years timeframe.

"The NSW government talks a good game about the 30-minute city. That might be true for those in the CBD or Parramatta. But under this strategy people in Liverpool will have to wait until 2050 to join the 30-minute city."

Planning spokesman Michael Daley seized on the lack of granular detail in the plans, criticising the twin strategies as "600 pages of photos and gloss and blur". 

"It's no wonder the government wants to talk about what is happening decades into the future because what's happening in Sydney and NSW today is a mess. We've got a government that's been in power now for seven years and they've not cut a ribbon on a single infrastructure project yet."

The Draft Greater Sydney Region Plan and the Draft Future Transport Strategy are on public exhibition until December.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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The metro reduces operating costs IMHO, as it will replace buses and trains with 2 staff that currently are required to transport


The automation also means high frequency at all hours of the day and night, which will attract many more fare-paying passengers.

Sydney is likely to have higher operating costs because (a) 2 staff per train and (b) unreformed bus network. Density is much higher

in Sydney citywide than any other Australian city.

Now where have I heard that before.
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