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Old Posted Jul 2, 2019, 7:21 PM
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Sydney Set For 'Profound' Shift In Spending On Mass Transit

Sydney Set For 'Profound' Shift In Spending On Mass Transit

July 1, 2019

By Matt O'Sullivan

Read More: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/...27-p5220p.html

The billions of dollars invested in Sydney's transport will increasingly be spent on mass transit systems over the coming decades rather than motorways, the head of the state's transport agency says. Following a successful opening of a new metro rail line in Sydney's north-west, Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said a "real shift in the thinking" about transport networks was under way.

- "I certainly see the shift over the generations ahead that you will see in metropolitan Sydney more of the investment going into the mass transit than in the motorway network," he told the Transport Australia Conference. "From the success we have seen on [Metro] Northwest, and the blueprint we have for the future, I think that balance will shift quite profoundly." However, Mr Staples, a former head of Sydney's metro rail projects, said it did not mean there would not be investments made in motorways because there "will always be a need to balance those two". His comments last Thursday come several weeks before the first major stage of Sydney's $16.8 billion WestConnex toll road is due to open to motorists.

- The state government's investment over the next four years on public transport projects such as a new metro rail line from central Sydney to Parramatta is forecast to total $32 billion. In comparison, the NSW budget forecast $23 billion to be spent on roads such as the F6 Extension toll road in the city’s south. The entire $55.6 billion in capital spending on both public transport and roads over the next four years in NSW dwarfs the $10 billion earmarked for health infrastructure and $7 billion for education. While some have been critical of the billions poured into new metro lines rather than extending the existing Sydney Trains network, Mr Staples said the patronage on Metro Northwest line gave transport officials the "opportunity to look at where else it can be applied".

- The government also expects to start construction on a $20 billion metro line from Sydney's CBD to Westmead near Parramatta next year, and complete a metro line from St Marys to the new $5 billion Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek by 2026 as part of a north-south rail spine in the city's outer west. "You can see the real bones of a metro network, complimenting the existing Sydney Trains network, emerging over the next 10 to 20 years off the back of the success of Metro Northwest, just in the same way you saw the motorway network develop over the last 10 to 20 to 30 years," Mr Staples said. More than 1.8 million passenger trips were taken on the $7.3 billion Metro Northwest line from Rouse Hill to Chatswood in its first month of operation. On average, 65,000 trips were made each weekday.


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