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Media Release – Commuters to feel the brunt of Minister’s FART

Passengers will soon be forced off trains and onto buses for more than six months so the government can build its Fully Automated Rapid Transit (FART) network.

Western Sydney commuters will be hit hardest by these changes says Rail, Tram and Bus Union Secretary, Alex Claassens.

“Again, Western Sydney will be the guinea pigs for a government more interested in announcing big projects than delivering good projects,” Mr Claassens said.

“The Minister is completely understating just how bad this will be for passengers. This won’t just be a ‘disruptive time’, it will be absolute chaos more than 25,000 commuters every single day.”

Mr Claassens said that the driverless FART trains posed safety concerns, and was a system no one asked for.

“Passengers that rely on the Bankstown line would rather additional services, new carriages, and better reliability than be faced with this completely chaotic scene.”

“Driverless trains around the world are usually found in closed underground loops, where problems can be minimised, not on long and open air routes like what the Minister is planning for Western Sydney.

“This leaves the network open to unexpected problems caused by weather, or passengers, with no driver or guard on the train to deal with potential hazards.”

With 25,000 passengers taken off the rails and forced onto buses, road users will also face new challenges.

“This move will mean more than 250 extra buses will be clogging our already congested roads every single day.

“Commuters will be left with few options but to crowd onto slow moving road coaches, or make the drive themselves, leaving them paying more in tolls and petrol,” Mr Claassens said.

“This is all so the government can make it look like it is doing something, but it will cost every single passenger on the Bankstown line. Commuters will be spending less time at home with families and more time stuck in traffic.”