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.

Blacktown Station Car Park is Finished

BLACKTOWN'S new four-storey commuter car park at First Avenue is open at a cost of $42 million — meaning each space cost about $80,000.
It provides only 489 car spaces, including 15 spaces for the disabled, eight motorcycle spaces and 40 dedicated spots for securing bicycles.
Click here to read the story in the Blacktown Sun.

Real-Time Bus Data for Better Bus Services

Article about how real-time bus data makes the system better for public transport users.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Than Western Sydney For Light Rail! Guess........ Who Planned It?

Blake Bardowski, 15 year from from Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group has devised a futuristic plan for Light Rail, covering all suburbs that need it, in and out of Western Sydney and inner City of Sydney:

Starting from Western  part of Western Sydney:

To widening the plann Western Sydney Light Rail: from Penrith to Pennant Hills:

From a wider commuter community for Western Sydney light Rail from Blue Mountains to  Hornsby and City of Sydney: 

And finally here is the the Light Rail for Western Sydney and also City of Sydney. 

This kid has got unbelievable talent. Has anyone got any thoughts about this. Blake in the winner of the Inaugural Chifley Youth Awards 2011.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A NSW Transport Officer Wants This To Happen At Parramatta Concourse.....

People talk and people tell things to me. I am approachable and I will approach people nicely, so a transport officer who I have known for quite a few years has brought up to a brilliant suggestion. And here it is:

On the Western side of Parramatta Train Station concourse where there is the automatic gates on the right side, yet there is a glassed barrier which blocks commuters from entering and leaving. Not too sure what this is used for but the suggestion is to place  another station assistants office on the extreme left side and then that will allow for another automatic gate to be placed on the right side of it.

I will look like the reverse of what is on left side of the concourse( which includes the station assistance office).

Furthermore I had looked at another area that is wasted space that will allow more commuters passing in and out of more automated ticketing gate machines - check this out!

This allows more traffic through employees another transport officer who can assist with the daily needs of commuters and overall a better customer service response from Cityrail staff.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Railway Tracks At Parramatta

Today have taken  photos of railway tracks at  Parramatta. You can see how it needs repair - this may be a safety issue for trains if not fixed up or attended too as well!

St Marys Lifts not 'Out of Lifting (Service)'!

Please check the following blog on the issues affecting commuters requiring lifts at St Marys Station:

You may provide comments on any blog you want too and seeking response for improved transport in St Marys infrastructure.

Thank you to Susan day who has also made enquiries to the Cityrail Western Line Manager, who is assisting us with our enquiries!

All feedback and comments would be appreciated.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lifts Need Facelift

Please check out the story on replacement of new lifts at St Marys Train Station, although they considered improvement , we are just wondering why such a long delay:

Click here for first story:

Click here for second story on it:

Maybe you may experience lift problems, please contact us and tell us your stories!!!!!

Checkout Northwest Rail Website

Please check out the  details of the Northwest Rail Link on the following link:

You can even complete a survey!

WSPTU Transport Symposium 2011

Saturday August 13
Dooleys Club at Lidcombe (next to Lidcombe train station)
10.30am to 4pm (free tea, coffee and cakes from 10.30)

The big topics are:
• Local Shuttle Buses
• 131500 Feedback Processes
• Community Transport
• Shared Taxis
• North West Rail Link

Plus there were be plenty of time to talk to other group members and transport professionals.

We're reserving places for people from local groups until July 18 and then we will open the places to everyone. We only have room for 60 people so don't miss out, register now - it's FREE.

ph: 9633 5068 (leave a message)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More Roads May Pave The Way To More Traffic

This is a fantastic story on NPR radio in response to a $1b road widening program in Los Angeles taking the Highway 405 from 10-lanes wide to 12 lanes. Siting worldwide research done by academics in Toronto the program discusses the idea that as you increase the number of roads in a city you increase the amount of driving. Another interesting issue raised is the idea that providing public transport DOES NOT reduce the amount of driving. Only reducing the amount of road space or increasing the cost of driving will do that.
Click here to read or hear the story.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bus Planning One-day Course

The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) at the University of Sydney run courses and seminars that can be useful for people interested in improving public transport, like members of WSPTU groups.

Here is an advertisement from their website for an upcoming course:

Understanding bus network 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.

Download program
Date: Friday 28 October 2011, 9am to 4.30pm

Cost: $200 (includes morning and afternoon tea, lunch and course materials (copies of the powerpoint presentations and additional written notes and resources).

All of the above courses will be held at ITLS, 144 Burren Street, Newtown, Sydney

Comfy Bus Stop

Bus stop spotted by a WSPTU member in Chatswood. That's a nice comfy bus stop! It's amazing what you can do with some advertising revenue ...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spotted in Parramatta Light Rail Tram Not Moving

The destination sign says it is going to Brisbane Street - but as far as I know there is no Brisbane Street in Parramatta - yet this  tram carriage has been converted into a hot food carriage - this will move people along! Located in Church Street Mall, Parramatta!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fun and Entertainment on Train 'Singing Trainees'!

Here is a story that has grabbed the attention of quite a few Western Sydney Commuters  enjoy the  'Singing Trainees!':

Job Seekers Financial Transport Worries

Here is the link to job seekers issues with fares and looking for jobs as well. Mount Druitt Commuters improvement group  will be campaigning for better fares for job seekers:

This is where all commuters that are job seekers or potential future job seekers may need to lobby your own State members and refer to this blog for support. We can do this as WSPTU as well but thousands of voices speak better than a few representing thousands of voices!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Metrobus Stops Need Improved Signage

While working on the Shuttle Bus Surverys WSPTU local group members also found that the signage for Metrobuses can also be very poor. These high-frequency buses are a new addition to the public transport mix in Western Sydney and need to be properly signposted, with maps included, to enable people to learn how they work and where they are going. This stop at Liverpool station is typical and, as we have seen in previous posts on this blog, the signage at Parramatta is even worse.

Shuttle Bus Signage Is Very Poor

The signage to tell passengers about the Shuttle buses in Liverpool and Penrith is very poor. There are no indicators to show where the bus stops in the interchanges, the signage at the bus stops are just bumber-style stickers on the pole (often oriented the wrong way) and there are no maps at stops to tell people where the buses go.

On the stop at Liverpool Hospital (above left) there is a very large bus stop shelter with no Shuttle signage on it. The signage on most of the Penrith Shuttle bus stops was of a similar quality to the one shown in the photo here (above right).

People surveyed in both areas by local WSPTU resident transport groups didn't know where the Shuttle bus was going or where the stops were. There are flyers available which contain the Shuttle maps. It's a shame that these can't be put on bus stops to tell people where the bus is going.

Given this lack of signage (and the problems with the routes) it won't be a surprise if the patronage data at the end of the trial period (in about 6 months) shows that the buses in some areas aren't used very much.