Friday, December 16, 2011

Will The North West Rail Link Be Operated By The Private Sector?

The Hills Transport Working Group have made a media release regarding the privatisation of the North West Rail Link. Here's an excerpt:

The Hills Transport Working Group today issued a ‘please explain’ to the NSW Minister for Transport, Ms Gladys Berejiklian, after a leaked internal memo from Mr. Rob Mason the CEO of RailCorp reveals that “a private sector entity will design, construct, commission, operate and maintain the North West rail link including rail and tunnel systems, track, structures and stations for a period of 20 to 30 years” under an “access model”.

The Hills Transport Working Group has previously warned that an airport link-style private operator and station access model on the North West Rail Link could see North West residents paying as much as $20 extra per trip.

For the full release click here.

Restoration of Heritage Ferries - Volunteers Needed

Read how a Mount Druitt volunteers spends his time restoring ships, ferries - you may want to volunteer if you have time!

Here is the story:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WSPTU Steering Committee Supports Parramatta Sydney Light Rail/Metro Network

In a day of age where nothing seems possible - all of a sudden something could be possible whether it is in my lifetime or afterwards. This could take generations to implement - yet if it happens I know, as members of the WSPTU Steering Committee have supported an improved transport infrastructure that meets transport corridors that need to be properly linked. We that represent 14 LGA's of commuters that in looking to the futue will make life easier and better for others, as well as possible tourist attraction for moving peiople around, to common places.

So we do support this transport proposal improvement submitted by Parramatta City Council for  Light Rail/Metro Network catering for future of public transport.

7 December 2011

Parramatta City Council has raised the prospect of a Western Sydney light rail/metro network to service the transport needs of one of Australia’s fastest growing regions – Western Sydney.  
Council strongly believes that a light rail system, which is fully or heavily segregated from road traffic and pedestrians, unlike Melbourne’s tram system, would improve people’s access to heavy rail and jobs. It also has the potential to provide a fast, regular, clean public transport model for other centres as they grow.
Our preferred plan would see this light rail network focussed on a link to Castle Hill, utilising the Carlingford line and connecting to Macquarie Park.
This ‘north-south’ link would basically connect commuters in the Hills right through to Bankstown, with Parramatta being the central stop. The proposal would improve access to employment in Westmead, Parramatta CBD, Macquarie Park and the ‘Global Arc’ with links to the University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University.
It would also go a long way towards relieving congestion on our already over-burdened City services heavy rail network and main roads.
This plan, along with a proposal aimed at improving traffic flow around Parramatta, through a series of intersection upgrades along the M4, James Ruse Drive and Cumberland Highway, was outlined to Infrastructure NSW recently, and I’m confident that along with the State and Federal governments, we can work collaboratively to ensure our City is well-positioned to support NSW’s ‘engine room’ – Western Sydney.

Click for a further details from Parramatta CIty Council Re- Proposed Western Sydney Light Rail

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Updates for the North West Rail Link

There is news in the mainstream media today about plans for the North West Rail Link, especially about the plan to create a 'sky train'. You can read all the details at their website

Wrong Report About Rail Crime Stats

This media release is from the Bureau of Crime Statistics. Media release date: 13 December 2011.

Claims last night by Channel Nine that up to 10 per cent of reports of crime on the rail system are simply ‘disappearing’ are completely false, the Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research said today.

“Police are fully entitled to reject a reported crime if they have reason to believe the report is not genuine (e.g. CCTV footage shows the alleged incident did not take place).”

“The Bureau conducts regular audits of all NSW Police crime data, looking for any evidence that police are improperly rejecting crimes reported to them. The results of these audits are always made public. Click here for the most recent audit findings and our audit processes.

“When Channel Nine’s Kelvin Bissett contacted the Bureau seeking information on crimes on the rail system rejected by police, he was provided with data showing that the overall rejection rate for crimes reported on the rail system was just 3.3 percent.”

“The rejection rate for sexual assault was much higher (15 per cent) but the numbers were quite small; three reports being rejected out of a total of 20 for the entire year.”

“Channel Nine ignored all this and proceeded to make completely unfounded
allegations to the effect that records of crime on the rail system reported to police were being hidden or destroyed.”

“There was and is no evidence that police have been hiding or destroying reports of crime to make the problem of crime on the rail system appear less serious than it is. The story on rail violence by Channel Nine was an example of tabloid journalism at its worst.”

Don Weatherburn

Friday, December 9, 2011

Local Success - Return of Bus in North St Marys

Some local people in North St Marys have worked hard to convince planners and transport providers that they needed an additional service in North St Marys to ensure they were getting adequate access to their local buses. It is a big win for local people who were having trouble using the buses after the changes brought by the bus network review a couple of years ago.
"We've had a letter box drop telling us that we're going to get a bus back commencing 21 December along the same route as before.It'll be the 782E," says local campaigner Patricia Guy.
Click here for the full story.

People Prefer Regular Rail Investment Rather Than High-Speed Rail

The latest TOPS survey by ITLS shows us that people prefer the idea of investing in regular urban rail infrastructure rather than expanding into high-speed rail projects.
See the survey here.

Auditor's Report on Transport for 2011

The NSW Office of Audit has done an audit of various aspects of Transport in NSW including Railcorp and State Transit. There are a number of interesting recommendations in the report. Click here for the full story.

One interesting observation is that the Rail Clearways project is 5 years overdue and $700m over budget. This relates to the current Parliamentary Inquiry into rail infrastucture project costings: See here for info about the inquiry.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Transport Masterplan and Consultations

Here is an excerpt from the recent media release from the Ministers:
Transport planning forums will be held across NSW to ensure customers, businesses and other organisations can have their say on the future of transport in NSW. Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today announced the development of a Long Term Transport Master Plan which will involve unprecedented collaboration with those whose livelihood depends on the quality of the transport network - customers.

They confirmed 10 regions outside of Sydney will each host at least one forum where key stakeholders will be consulted by Transport for NSW as part of the 12-month process to develop a NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.

Consultations will also be held in Sydney.

The forums will be held after the release of a discussion paper in February and the feedback gained will be used to inform development of a draft NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.

Local groups involved with the WSPTU will be interested to find out more about those consultations.

You can find the full release here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

North West Rail Link - Updates

There has been some public discussions this week about the North West Rail Link after the Chairman of Infrastructure NSW, Nick Greiner, suggested that maybe the project should be a privately funded project. Click here for the story in the SMH

The local newspaper, The Hills News, then ran local vox-pops (asking people on the street) what they thought of this idea. Click here to see what they said.

The Sydney Business Park development manager Owen Walsh was then quoted by the Hills Shire Times as advocating for the North West Rail Link to be extended out through Schofields to the new Marsden Park industrial development near Mt Druitt (part of the North West Growth Centre). He also suggested the line could then join into the Western Line via Dunheaved and St Marys using the existing old trainline corridor. See that story here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blake's Revised Bus Masterplan Region 1

Blake now updated his Bus Masterplan for Region and provide a detailed listing of the bus services. It covers all areas that require services and seems to be a sensible way of approaching Bus Network Plans. Let's Hope Transport For NSW, politicians and other bus transport officer take notice what this wonderful 15 year old is doing, thinking of future.

Click here to check it out:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Update on Warwick Farm Carpark

Here are some comments from WSPTU bloggers regarding the Warwick Farm CityRail Commuter Carpark. Note that this commenter tells us you can be fined for not parking in the correct spaces in the carpark. It is worth noting that the Liverpool Hospital is improving parking and access for staff at the hospital so that may reduce pressure on the Commuter Carpark.


Anonymous said...
With this car park so close the Liverpool Hospital and free. I expect most of the car spots to be taken up by hospital staff members. It's already hard to find parking near the hospital and the hospital has expanded. So unfortunately, get there early to find parking in this new car park because I think by about 8.30am, all spots will be taken.

February 22, 2011 3:20 PM
Anonymous said...
Spend a fortune on a car park to a station they have reduced peak hour afternoon services to , make you get of at cabramatta or liverpool and backtrack, the train stops at every station from the city except warwick farm.

March 2, 2011 3:13 PM
Anonymous said...
As every spot was taken outside the carpark where I usually park I ventured into the new multi storey free one. Had to go to top floor where there were still no spaces but cars were parking along one side of the one way lanes and we assumed this was OK as it is a free carpark and no lanes were blocked.
I received a fine as did the other cars in the aisles, they have SDRO on them. Any way I can appeal.

November 17, 2011 7:29 PM

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sydney Alliance Moves Ahead With Improved Public Transport - AT Transport Assembly

Yesterday, the Sydney Alliance Transport Assembly was something new that made me feel fantastic. As being one of the organisers of the "Welcoming' at Penrith Station with bagpie. All member organisations started to arrive at the Train Station, with welcome and hello from people not seen before but were there for the same theme and reason for a better and improved public transport using the formula 400:15:1 SCA squared.

As all participants met members of the NSW Parliament, accompanied by member of the Sydney( from their electoral office) at Penrith Station and from here with a Scottish bagpiper and a traditional Aboriginal smoking welcome ceremony, walking way to the Joan Sutherland Q Theatre. I even spoke to Wayne Purcill City Rail Western Line making connections to improve train infrastructure on the the Western Line.

From here there testimonies of transport issues raise with a nurse at Nepean Hospital and others raise their alarm at similar situation. Individual transport surveys completed by members of the public on trains  and before the assembly started Also there was  support groups, religious and union who has back the Sydney Alliance Transport formula and finally commitment from the parliamentarians to look at meeting the formula - below is a map of the formula , shown in different diversity of efficient transport around Sydney:
Top picture is all services over 400metres radius, The second one  is 30 minutes or less service and 400 metres radius to nearest service and the bottom one is 15 minutes or less with 400 metre radiusNB: Nearest service includes bus stops and trains!
Here are picture from Penrith Station to the Transport Assembly:

I had heard it was an overall fantastic event - never been done before in Sydney. For further information of Sydney Alliance click here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Website for Transport for NSW

The website of Transport for NSW has changed. It has a nice new design, provides more information and sets out the new structure of the Department. As well as links to public transport information, it includes links to the 'live traffic' cameras and other materials about roads, taxis, ferries, the transport projects under construction and Transport media releases.
Click here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CityRail First Aid Officers in Western Sydney - Where Are They?

What happened in front me the other day could have happened to you or any other commuters that are waiting for their transport to arrive:

Here I was on Parramatta Train Station heading home in the afternoon, when I was standing near a pole and a young lady was trying to pass between and the pole to get passed, was undecided which way to go as these was 'chock-a-block' standing commuters everywhere,when all of a sudden she collapsed in front of me and fainted. I called out for medical assistance and one man came - knocked on the platform form of the station and made the station assistant aware of the situation. As I have  no first aid experience - people didn't move away from where she was - which was a a common passageway and entrance  way to enter trains.

I then left the area as Station Assistants and suddenly, two Transit Officers came to her aid - I moved away allowing clearance and went speaking to a lady I knew - Later I discovered the lady collapsed as she wanted to relief herself and could find the ladies toilets. She was eventually taken away and carried for better medical attention. My question is if this happens how quick would Cityrail First Aid Officers Arrive?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Villawood Bus Stop

The bus stop facilities on Woodville Rd at Villawood are very poor (like the train station). This is a very important stop on a very busy, inter-regional link so it's hard to understand why the facilities are so poor.
There is also another stop for local buses within the shopping village, about 50 metres away, but neither stop has adequate information to indicate which buses stop at which bus stop. This is very difficult for bus users and makes it very easy to miss your bus. There is no information about 131500 on the Woodville Rd stop.

Lidcombe Turnback Now Operating

It was interesting to see the Lidcombe turnback operating. This allows additional services to come in from the South Line and the Western Line without continuing on into the city.
As you can see from the photo, some of the signage is still a bit temporary to help people with the new platform.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Schofields Station and More Trains and Buses.

For all those people who have been catching buses instead of trains for quite a while now, here's some good news ...

Taken from

A new station has been built at Schofields as part of the Quakers Hill to Schofields Duplication project and will open on Saturday 29 October 2011.

Customers at Schofields will have access to more frequent services with all trains to and from Richmond stopping at Schofields, and most peak City services that currently start/terminate at Quakers Hill starting/terminating at Schofields. There are 42 additional services per week, including eight extra services to or from the city and an additional service on Saturdays and Sundays.

The T74 bus service (currently Blacktown to the Ponds) will be extended to operate between Riverstone and Blacktown via the new Schofields Station, Stanhope Gardens and Parklea Markets. These services will operate 7 days a week, running every 30 minutes on weekdays and hourly on weekends.

The T-way timetables T70-T75 have also changed by up to 15 minutes with the introduction of the new T74.

Click here for the full story.
For a full description and photos of the project click here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blake's Region 1 Masterplan - Check it out!

here is Blake again thinking of the future - revised bus services in Region 1:

I like it and am impressed because this plan covers areas not covered before and would promote more community members to catch buses/public transport - please feel free to leave your comments

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sydney Alliance Transport Assembly- In Penrith!


6:30pm-8pm November 17th 2011
Q Theatre
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
597 High Street, Penrith

For far too long Sydney’s public transport has been a problem.
It’s broken – now is the time to fix it!
The people of Sydney know what they want from their transport system.
Now is our chance to get the ball rolling to fix public transport for Sydney.

Our Vision is:
Public transport should be within 400 metres

It should come every 15 minutes
It should only require 1 ticket

It should be Safe, Clean, Accessible and Affordable

Race a Pollie: On Nov 17th hop on train and race politicians & others using public transport from your local area to Penrith station. Put them & the system to the test!

Be part of a public discussion: with leading decision makers on how we can all work together to make our vision of better public transport a reality.

Share your ideas, stories & point of view: with people from all over Sydney who are committed to a shared vision of bringing about a world class, sensible transport system for our city.

Let's make sure that WSPTU is a part of this important event.

Contact Amy Williams on if you have any questions, including questions or concerns about the $10 food fee.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Funny Thing That Commuters Leave On Buses!

Well here is a Story Wayne Lu has published which represent a true picture of what actually happened on a Westbus 780 on 8/10/11 on the way home. I witnessed it as I sat next to him. Great story Wayne!

Bus Manufacturer To Concentrate On Electric Buses

Here is an edited extract from today's Daily Telegraph:

ONE of Australia's largest bus manufacturers ... believes fully electric buses are the future.

The Perth-based company, BCI, has established a new bus depot at Milperra in Sydney's south-west, and a new $200 million joint venture in east China to manufacture fully electric buses.

BCI spokeswoman Michelle Nazzari said, "While hybrid was a great stepping stone toward electric vehicles, we believe full electric technology is the future, and we have embarked on a push toward it and all our research and development is now directed at it."

Full story.

Ooops. Shunting Crash In Train Yards

Daily Telegraph

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

'Go Catch' Taxis With NEW Possible Technology To Make It Easier For Both Commuters And Drivers!

I just caught a story on ABC TV Tonight a story on NSW Stateline  - Check the video story on the ABC website:

Also checkout the 'Go Catch' website as well:

We will appreciate any or all comments on this issue - I'm sure this will be  a transport subject to talk about over dinner!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Safety Switches from Trains to Train Station Barriers!

A  New South Wales Transport officer has advised today of what is happening with State Transit Officers.

That is, currently City Rail Transit officers have  mostly been asked to spend more time on train station barriers rather than spending more time looking after revenue offenders and safety on trains. This is come from directions from their superiors.

There are also rumours floating around that their jobs will be replaced by the New South Wales Police. Yet 12 years ago a similar situation happen and as time went by the Police officers on trains were called out to urgent community safety duties and the State Transit officers came back on board!

My question would be, 'Who would replace the New South Wales Police Officers that come off community duty to then do their duty on trains?'

So which protection on public transport would you like?

Commuters Should Have a Say In New Plans - Opinion SMH

Jacob Saulwick, in his opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald today, advocates that commuters should be involved in the discussion about the new plans for CityRail and public transport in general. WSPTU supports this view.

"But this debate should be aired in public, and fostered by the government. Sydney residents would be better off if they were treated like adults, and allowed to consider the various options for improving the city's transport system, instead of being fed another plan."

Commuters Kept In Dark For Too Long - SMH

New Train System Being Considered - SMH

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald today, based on cabinet documents, suggests that the transport bureaucracy are preparing a series of alternative strategies to remake the CityRail Network. One of these strategies involves developing some of the existing system as a Metro system.
SMH - Paris-style Train Plan For City

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Day Course: Understanding Bus Planning

The aim of this one-day course on network planning is to better understand the principles of bus network planning, guidelines for planning in NSW, and trade-offs in planning bus networks. The course will benefit state government planners, local government, bus operators, and community representatives. The course is presented by Professor Corinne Mulley and Dr Rhonda Daniels from ITLS and Clayton Davidson from Busways.
Friday October 28, Newtown, Sydney, $200.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Increase In Train Services For People Of The South West

While the announcement of additional public transport services is welcome it is noticeable that there are no increases to the Cumberland Line or any of the other train lines - the South Line or the Bankstown Line - in the South West.
And while the commitments to make these changes is the follow-through on election commitments, the Minister did have things to say about the Cumberland Line to the people of Liverpool. In November 2010 Minister Berejiklian said;
``I think it’s really sad and very frustrating for consumers that they have fewer services now on the Cumberland line than they did in 2004,’’ Ms Berejiklian said. ``It’s unacceptable in a region of Sydney that’s increasing in growth.’ (see WSPTU blog entry
It is a long-standing policy position held by the WSPTU that the Cumberland Line should be better used and promoted.

NSW Govt Adding New Public Transport Services To The Timetable

The Minister for Transport announced today changes to the public transport timetables which include 63 extra rail services each week, 91 additional NightRide bus services and 165 more ferry services.
Western Sydney gets an additional 20 rail services on the Western Line and 8 additional services to the Blue Mountains on the weekend as well as 30 additional Nightride bus services and 25 additional ferry services into Parramatta.
South Western Sydney gets an additional 25 Nightride services.
You can find the full media release from the Minister here.
And the new timetables, due to start from Oct 23, here.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Taxi Council Survey - You can even complete!

Here is a link to a taxi council survey you can complete

Pre-plan Public Transport in New Estates

This opinion peice was sent to WSPTU by Kimberly Howell, a Master of Architecture student at UTS.

Can I have a train with that?

New housing is supplied to house the city’s growing population, that’s great. But what about the other factors involved in taking care of the city’s growing population leading to a sustainable Sydney?Transport, Culture, Design, Environment, Community and Governance.

Governments need to pre-plan public transport. But how do they do that?

See the full article here:

Minister Announces Change to Penrith Shuttle Bus Route

This is great news for Sue Day and the people in the South Penrith Residents Action Group who have been asking for a change to the Shuttle route to make it more useful for local people.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chaos at Crowded Blacktown Station

Another entry from our WSPTU Facebook:

OMG!! Chaos at Blacktown train station, Lack of signage coming in from city services!! Express service signage does not mean express service. The Poor station staff not given right equipment to manage crowds.... Not very impressed wonder people choose their cars.. I feel bad for the people who have no other option...

Parliamentary Inquiry Into Public Transport Infrastructure Pricing in NSW

This post from the WSPTU Facebook group:

This inquiry is the biggest victory that was won out of the state election by community groups. We need to make the most of it as there is something rotten in the state of NSW - and changes of govt won't fix that- only public scrutiny and action will fix it.

One of the most significant factors preventing adequate public transport investment in Sydney is the inflated costs of rail projects. There are two basic aspects to this: on the one hand there's the mega-crazy Treasury overestimates designed to kill off rail projects and then there's the gold-plated project factor.


Excess Demand on the T80 Bus Transitway Service Into Parramatta

This comment from the WSPTU Facebook group:
Something has to be done about the number of buses running on the T80 during the morning peak. I feel sorry for all the commuters that have to either stand for the entire journey or watch one full bus after another travel past their stop!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ferries Into the Heart of Parramatta Proposal

Interesting story in the Herald regarding bringing ferries up to the Lennox Bridge in Parramatta, renovating the riverfront and making a "Quay" for ferry commuters in Parramatta. At different times, WSPTU members have talked about ways to improve the route, timetable and stopping pattern of the ferry to transform it into real public transport.

Real-Time Shuttle Bus Tracker in Parramatta

Parramatta Council is introducing mobile parking tracker and mobile shuttle bus tracker - apps for mobile phones which show people real-time location of vacant parking spaces and the location of the shuttle bus.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New NCOSS Transport Newsletter - "Interchange"

The Council of Social Services NSW (NCOSS) has started a new transport newsletter called Interchange. The first edition has an interesting article about changes to the way in which people can pay their transport fines and a report from the National Transport Commission conference.
We will archive the link to Interchange on our Transport Links menu on the left of this page.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bus Issues For North-West Rail Link Requested!

Edward, from Stanhope  Gardens, a young gentleman  that travelling with me home today advised that although he hasn't seen the proposal for the North West Rail Link - he would need to travel by car to Rouse Hill train Station, unless the NSW Government places more frequent bus services on the T-Way between Blacktown to Rouse Hill. Currently he catches trains to Blacktown so the He finds the North West Rail Link will provide him with better service

My comment is that if he goes onto the North West Rail Link website on the following:

he will find there is a closer train station at 'Samantha Riley Drive' nearer to his home.

On this train link, I personally would like to see it linked to  Riverstone/ Schofields train stations - so there could be more trains looping around!

Friday, September 9, 2011

South West Rail Link - Glenfield

The work at Glenfield Station and the South West Rail Link junction is progressing. A lot of heavy construction work is being undertaken there at the moment including building the new station, a track junction and train flyovers. Construction for the Southern Frieght Line is also going through there at the moment.

NSW Budget 2011/12

The NSW Budget was delivered this week and was the first budget since the change of Government last March. Here are the transport highlights taken from the Budget papers:
Rail Services
$314 million to develop the 23-kilometre North West Rail Link
$292 million to continue the $2.1 billion South West Rail Link
$103 million to expand light rail in central Sydney and the inner west, integrating it with other forms of transport
$51 million to start building the Wynyard Walk
$159 million for the Country Regional Network
$198 million for the Rail Clearways Program
$106 million to improve infrastructure to meet the needs of new Waratah trains
$152 million to buy and upgrade rollingstock
$7.5 million for a new program to boost Easy Access upgrades and $22.5 million on programmed Easy Access station upgrades
$16.9 million as part of an increased commitment to spend $40 million over four years for Park and Travel Safety improvements
$102 million over four years to provide more express rail services
$2 million to conduct a study of North Coast rail services.
Bus Services
purchase 261 new buses, worth $118.8 million
$45 million for new bus depots
$7.6 million over four years to increase Nightride bus services
$9.2 million over four years to continue support for free bus services
$3 million for studies into a bus rapid transit system for the northern beaches.
Ferry Services
continuing the Fixing Sydney Ferries program, by franchising Sydney Ferries, restoring and expanding services, upgrading wharves and looking at fleet replacement an additional $7.5 million over four years to improve ferry wharves.
Transport Interchanges and Commuter Car Parks
$76 million on interchanges and car parks.
Ticketing, Concessions and Community Transport
$110 million to deliver a fast, convenient and integrated electronic ticketing system for greater Sydney
providing concession schemes for pensioners, tertiary students, people with disabilities and others using public transport, estimated at $438 million
subsidising travel under the School Student Transport Scheme, estimated at $550 million
an extra $12 million over four years to boost community transport services
$1.6 million over four years to deliver free seniors’ photo cards to eligible Seniors Card holders and older people receiving a disability support pension.
You can find a link to the budget overview here . And for the keen people a link to all the budget papers here.
WSPTU will provide some commentary over the next few weeks.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Suggestions For Barriers at Parramatta Train Station

Jeanette from St Claire - travels to and from St Marys to Parramatta on working days has suggested an easier way of ensuring there id less commuter congestion entering and leaving the concourse of the train station.

It is such an easy idea, simple and yet it can work and should work. What the suggestion is will make less commuters bump into each other accidentally. That is,  at the barriers on the western side only have one section of barriers "Entering' (left or right side) and the other side for existing.

At present we have sometimes 2 barriers  'Entering' on the right side and the other four to five other barriers going out, in the afternoon. Sometimes one breaks down or one commuters loses ticket in the machine and then they are calling the station assistants to locate them ,we are then down to one barrier. Jeanette's idea is a good idea and  a lot of good people from Western Sydney have a lot of good ideas as well.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Liverpool Transport Taskforce at the WSPTU Transport Symposium

Here's a nice picture of the people from Liverpool Transport Taskforce at the WSPTU Transport Symposium in August 2011.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bus Contracts Up For Renewal

Sydney's buses are provided through a contracting arrangement between Transport for NSW and the bus service operators. The contracts for each bus region are again coming up for renewal.

You can find a Sydney Morning Herald story about this here.

At this stage, WSPTU is not aware of any public consultation processes (apart from the customer satisfaction survey) that are being undertaken to support the process of renewing the bus contracts. The usual way for the public to make a comment about their bus services is through the 131500 service on the phone or the website.

You can find a full list of the contracted, privately-owned, bus companies from the 131500 website here and the State Transit Authority (STA) here.

You can download a copy of the Service Planning Guidelines here.

You can find the latest Metropolitan Buses Customer Satisfaction Survey for 2010 here.

You can download a useful resource about the provision of bus services in Western Sydney from Western Sydney Community Forum: "Connecting With Buses".

You can read the report from the NSW Auditor General about the measurement of bus contract performance here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

WSPTU AGM on Saturday September 10.

This will be the first WSPTU AGM. We will be asking local groups to affiliate with the WSPTU and to put representatives on the Steering Committee and the Policy Forum. Local groups need to show that they really are a local group working on local residents issues, including transport. The office bearers for the Steering Committee will be decided at the first Steering Committee meeting. There are limits on the terms that a person can be an office bearer of the WSPTU so we need people to step up! At this stage there are no fees or charges for affiliating with the WSPTU.
For all the details look at the WSPTU constitution in the 'Who Is The WSPTU' section on this WSPTU blog. If you are interested to attend email or phone 0466 893 480 and leave a message.

Transport Symposium 2011

We had a great day to all involved in the Transport Symposium 2011. Many thanks to all those who made a contribution. We learned a lot and it was great to see everyone again. It's likely that the WSPTU and the local WSPTU transport groups will want to have things to say about the topics covered at the Symposium in the near future(the topics are listed in the previous post).
Sue Day addresses the Symposium during one of the sessions

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Chance to Register for the Transport Symposium Tomorrow

There are only 5 places left for the WSPTU Transport Symposium which is on tomorrow at the Dooley's Club in Lidcome, tomorrow, Saturday August 13 from 10.30 to 4pm.

Guest Speakers:
Professor Corinne Mulley - Institute of Transport and Logistics
David Borger - Former Minister for Roads and Lord Mayor of Parramatta
Stuart Palmer - Premier Cabs
Amy Williams - Sydney Alliance
Philippa Vale - South West Community Transport

The headline topics are:
Free Shuttle Buses - are they useful and how can people contribute to their evaluation?
Shared Taxis - can shared taxis be used as part of the public transport mix?

Plus the opportunity to meet local people who are interested to improve public transport in their local area. Register now, it's free!

WSPTU Symposium - More Details On Public Public Transport

Check out this story  from the Mount Druitt - St Marys Standard, further info:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Transport options 'don't work'

By Gemma Seymor, 10 Aug, 2011 12:00 AM

THE location of Saturday's western Sydney transport symposium is close to public transport links, at the junction of the south, south-west, west and Richmond train lines.

It's ironic, then, that getting to the Lidcombe venue from Penrith by public transport also highlights missing links.

Sue Day, of the South Penrith Residents Action Group, who is also a member of the Western Sydney Public Transport Users' steering committee, said connections needed to be improved.

She said if someone wanted to get from Glenmore Park, for example, to Penrith railway station by bus on a weekend then "it's quicker by car — put it that way". "That's where the local transport system isn't really working for us," Mrs Day said.

"Connections don't work."

The Western Sydney Public Transport Users symposium presents an opportunity for residents to have a say about what they see as their transport needs.

The organisation is an umbrella one which supports the work of local transport-user groups and action groups.

Groups from areas such as Penrith, Mount Druitt and Parramatta will be taking part.

Mrs Day said that the forum would help commuters understand how they could work to improve public transport for their community.

After the forum the organisation would form policies so they could lobby collectively, Mrs Day said.

Among the topics to be discussed at the forum would be free shuttle buses. "Ours is not working," Mrs Day said. "No one's using it."

She said it wasn't servicing where people needed to go, pointing out that the government-funded shuttle didn't stop at the library, near the Aldi store on High Street nor at Nepean Hospital.

It's on Saturday, August 13, from 10.30am to 4pm, at the Dooleys Club.

Details, registration: or 9633 5068. People who have difficulty getting to the venue can request transport or call Sue, 0411 395 363.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Transport Minister Backs Blacktown Free Bus Shuttles - Blacktown City Sun

here is the story from the Blacktown City Sun regarding the new NSW Transport Ministers, Gladys Berejiklian, backing of the Free Bus Shuttles -  please read this story and if you think that there is a need for Free Bus Shuttle  in your shopping hub area contact us,

Minister backs the shuttle bus

02 Aug, 2011 12:00 AM
THE NSW government has pledged to continue to fund the former Labor government's free shuttle bus service in Blacktown, even though some say that too few people use it.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the government was committed to public transport.

Ms Berejeklian said the government would continue to fund free shuttle bus services for as long as people used them.
She was responding to residents who are concerned with what they say is an under-used bus service that the then transport minister, John Robertson, introduced just before the state election.

Blacktown Healthwise Seniors Centre president Raya Wilkinson welcomed the news that the bus service would stay. Ms Wilkinson said members of the centre were using the bus to go to the hospital, station, Centrelink and shopping centre.
A spokeswoman for NSW Transport said the Blacktown free shuttle bus was carrying about 1400 passengers a week.
She said the total annual funding for the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Cabramatta, Bankstown, Penrith, Gosford, Kogarah, Newcastle and Parramatta shuttles was $3.6 million.
"Individual figures for Blacktown cannot be provided for commercial reasons," she said.

But resident Mary Jones, who wants the service abolished, said she couldn't believe that 1400 people were using the bus every week.
"I often see the buses empty when they pass where I work," she said. "The money saved could be used for better things."

Have a look at a blog that shows you some patronage figures from  Blacktown Free Shuttle Bus - it is available to the public - it is not a big secret as I found out!

Click here:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WSPTU - public forum group on Facebook

The WSPTU has created a public forum group you can join and participate in. We're on Facebook here:
Western Sydney Public Transport Users Public Forum

If you've got anything to say, or want to join in with the discussion, please do! It will be great to hear about your public transport experiences. And don't forget to talk about the good things too!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bright Signs For Free Bus Shuttle Buses - Great Concept!

Free travel to see the Parramatta Eels against the Storm - these signs could be used to advertise other local Sydney and Greater Western Sydney Bus Shuttles, as follows;

Saturday, July 30, 2011

WSPTU Meet The Manager

WSPTU Steering Committee members Sue Day and John Svoboda met the St Marys Station Manager and Dwayne Purcell the CityRail Customer Relations Manager for the Western Line on Friday morning at a regular Cityrail "Meet The Manager" event (at 7.30am!). Among other things they talked about the lift repairs and access to the existing lift for people who can't use the stairs. The 759 bus is now diverting to take passengers to the other side of the station. For more info look here: St Marys Lift Replacement

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fringe parking Stations – A no Brainer for the Council

The Penrith Council need to re-think their priorities in their car park strategy. It is ludicrous that they think enforcing fines on people is a higher priority than using the existing shuttle bus service that could provide express services to safe all day parking stations on the fringe of the city. Wollongong Council implemented a similar model and they have already seen a benefit. 

We currently have a shuttle bus that is being totally under utilised. This is based on a survey conducted by South Penrith Action group just over two weeks ago. When out and about and speaking to some city centre businesses, we heard they are in need of better options. To come up with a solution we need to work collectively with business, council and the residents, this is the only way all stakeholders will get the system they deserve, and the suitable solution needs to be totally funded by the State Government.

The State Government considers Penrith as a regional centre and wants us be attractive to investment. A critical component is a proper utlised funded public transport system. If Penrith City had a service that in peak times offered a reliable 10 minute express shuttle service from fringe parking stations to the train station and city centre and  then 15 minutes off peak, it would improve the flow and influx stages of vehicles that currently occur. If you then consider the long term benefits to the business sector and residents, this solution should be the top priority it’s a no brainer.

Parking will always be a pain as long as you encourage people to use their cars to travel to the city. It doesn’t matter how many car parks you build, there will never be enough. It won’t help congestion or the environment.

A another strategy to help the environment is the option of businesses paying for reserved parking, any charges that are levied could be channeled to a fund which then can be used to improve paths, cycle ways, and public transport, this is far better strategy  than enforcing fines. .

Upgrades At Cabramatta Station

Cabramatta Station is a busy interchange and there are several upgrades going on there at the moment.

There is a new station frontage on both sides of the station - this is the Broomfield Street side. The "Easy Access" program is installing new lifts on both sides of the station.

They are building new street-level car parks and there is a plan to build a multi-level carpark across the road where the drive-through bottle shop currently is (and is being used as a carpark). Click here for the detailed plans for the carpark by the Transport Construction Authority.

These are new 'vandalism proof' toilets being installed on the Broomfield Street side.

There seems to be a new track corridor being made, which may be part of the Southern Sydney Freight Line which is going through from Macarthur to Sefton. Click here for a Wikipedia entry on the Southern Sydney Freight Line.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

North West Rail Link Information Sessions

There will be a series of information sessions about the North West Rail Link held at various locations near the proposed route between the dates July 21 and Sept 3.
See the full release for the dates or go to

All Transport Departments Absorbed into 'Transport for NSW'

On July 15 the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Roads announced that they were formally announcing the new State Department, Transport for NSW. All the State transport bodies are to be absorbed inside Transport for NSW.
Click here for the full release.

400 Million Commuters on Trams in Sydney!

Did you realise that at the height of the tram era in Sydney around 1945, trams were carrying almost 400 million passengers per year which is similar to what trains are carrying now ("Shooting Through" p 6). Interestingly, buses are now carrying more trips per day in Sydney than trains, although it's a smaller proportion of the kilometres. The number of train and bus trips are growing but the number of car trips are declining, slightly (ABS, 2010). Shooting Through

Annoyed Commuter Re Job Seeker Concessions

Posted by an Anonymous WSPTU reader:
Dear Public Transport Folk,
This comment relates to an academic, who was in the paper yesterday, saying unemployed people should not be allowed to have access to free train fares during the peak time. Boy, what planet are these people on? She's probably never been unemployed in her life. The unemployed need access to free transport during peaK times SO THEY CAN GET TO JOB INTERVIEWS.Fares are too much for job seekers who get no concessions. Also they get taken off benefits if they miss too many appointments.

Granville Station, Go Easy on the Garlic Sauce

As a regular commuter living in Guildford, commuting to the University of Western Sydney, I often experience a wait of approximately 10-15 minutes at Granville Station, during the morning or afternoon peak.On weekends if travelling to or from the city, often the wait between trains can be as long as half an hour.

Its ironic, but sometimes due to trackwork on the weekends, its actually far easier for me to travel to Parramatta Station as the Cumberland Line (Campbelltown to Blacktown - not passing through Granville) is in operation. Unfortunately the $13Million dollar (1991 dollars) Y-Link was built to service Western Sydney and now operates only 5 times a day.

Granville is the place where I and many others do a lot of waiting. Waiting for a train is not always pleasant at Granville. Often the physical environment is grey and old, it could do with a bit of brightening up. Security has improved over the years, which is good to see. The sight of five or so transit officers intimidating persons of interest (potential fare evaders) does not make me feel very secure...these people are usually sitting on the floor until they are dealt with... and what happens to them... people glance and try to not get involved, unless there is shouting.

Platform 4, needs perhaps a facelift (perhaps emphasising the heritage of Granville) and perhaps some painting or artwork to brighten it up. The waiting room is fairly bland - I wonder if there was an opportunity to improve this space - maybe even a tv or book swap place? Perhaps make it a connected space to the recently renovated cafe and open it up so that people could meet and talk whilst waiting for the train or even have some music there?Here is a poem I have written about Granville Station....

Granville Station, Go Easy on the Garlic Sauce

Connections, connecting to where I want to go

Hurry up to wait: platform 2 or 4?

Express train and freight trains,

Smell of the city, smell of charcoal chicken;

Go easy on the garlic sauce, it tastes good now, but keep it to yourself.

The subway on the corner & Bikes chained to the rails

Don’t park your bike here.... or anywhere.

A sense of place, a sense of time and tragedy

The Bold Street Bridge memorial

A day of roses every year


Cumberland line in operation on the weekend

Customer Notice: buses replacing trains

"Alllow extra time for waiting"

Graffiti Artist Asks For Cleaner Trains And Buses

Luke, a graffiti artist from  Riverstone - travels everywhere around Western Sydney and suggests that he would like to see cleaner trains and buses and more reliable as well.

He also suggested that graffiti artists that actually ruin trains with their own signature graffiti should be employed by Cityrail to provide beautiful graffiti on  outside of trains that the general commuting public would enjoy and like. The idea is probably not new one but can have genuine great results for everyone concerned.. Recognising great graffiti artists, and providing employment for ones that are in needy can bring great community pride, especially when the community enjoying the positive outcomes.

Beautifully graffitied trains - what can you say!

Frustrated Commuter Waits Long Time For Trains - Parramatta - Going Home!

A lady commuter who has been getting the trains regularly for the last 4 years and has noticed since the last train time tables, they have changed.

She has noticed that on platform 2 in late pm she used to wait for her train for about 10 minutes but now it  has stretched to about half an hour. Her detective work has brought the outcome that that are more Richmond trains on Platform 2 transferred from platform 4, which provided later services for the Western Line & Blue Mountains Line. It appears it could be one addition train for the period of time that waits for the Penrith train.

It has become so drastic that some of her work colleagues hop onto the 'Snail train' on platform 4 that arrives because the arrival  of the Penrith train on platform 4. They then hop off at Blacktown , cross over and hop onto the Parramatta platform 4 train when it reaches Blacktown. Sometimes they miss this train. This is what some commuters do to get home as quick as possible!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

North West Rail Link Will Remove 5,000 People From The Western Line

Research shows that the development of the North West Rail Line will reduce 5,000 people a day from the Western Line peak hour, because a lot of people are driving to the train from the North West to catch the train into the city.
Click here to read the story from the Blacktown Sun.

MyMulti Tickets Work on the Light Rail

Lots of people were using the light rail (between Central and Lilyfield in Sydney city) last Sunday going to Paddy's Markerts, Darling Harbour and especially Star City; there was a show on ("Hairspray" I think).
There was a young guy on the tram promoting the fact that you can now use your pensioner excursion and mymulti tickets on the tram (without additional charge).

Waratah Train On Duty

Gab, a Western Sydney Public Transport Users, is spotted here on the new Waratah train at Circular Quay (after seeing Faustas at the Opera House). The train was operating on the Bankstown Line last Friday night and it's a really smooth ride.