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Media Release – Sydney Trains reaching breaking point

Statistics from Transport for NSW show that the train network is at breaking point with the average morning peak train running at 114 per cent capacity, and many lines reaching levels that cause delays and discomfort for passengers.

These numbers represent a 10 per cent increase in patronage in just twelve months, but Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW Branch Secretary Alex Claassens says that the government is not doing enough to ease the squeeze for commuters.

“It’s clear that people want to use the train network, and the government should be encouraging more people to use public transport, but the service is just getting worse,” Mr Claassens said.

“In April, infrastructure failures caused delays on 14 days, and mechanical issues with trains caused delays on 24 days.

“This is the reality when a government is more interested in cutting costs and slashing jobs than delivering a quality service.”

Mr Claassens said that the government’s metro will not reduce pressure on suburban networks, which experience some of the worst delays caused by overcrowding.

“The Illawarra Line, the Northern Line, and the Inner West Line are some of the most crowded routes, each over 135 per cent capacity,” Mr Claassens said.

“The Metro is going to increase overcrowding on the Northern Line even more in the first five years of operation when it starts picking up passengers from as far out as Rouse Hill and dumping them at Chatswood where they will have to join regular commuter services.

“None of the most crowded lines will benefit from the Metro and the government has no plan to improve the experience for these commuters.

“For those people that will be able to eventually use the Metro, they will be faced with driverless single-decker carriages which passengers don’t want, and with fewer seats in Metro trains, more commuters will be forced to stand for lengthy stretches on commutes as long as 40 minutes.”

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