Public transport is key to Sydney’s future – and the Metro won’t cut it
Leaders from politics and industry have called for a greater focus on public transport to cope with Sydney’s population growth, as the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW backs the intent but insists the Metro won’t solve Sydney’s capability challenges.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Population Summit yesterday saw industry and political leaders urge concentration on building public transport capacity as Sydney plays catch up to the rest of the world.
RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said new systems are needed, but Sydney’s multibillion-dollar metro network isn’t the answer.
“The NSW Government has for years poured money into the Metro, billed as the future of the city,” said Mr Claassens. “But it’s an ill-designed system fundamentally unsuited to Sydney.
“The low-capacity Metro is built for a city like New York where the same number of people get on and off at any given station. Sydney isn’t set out like New York, and the vast majority of commuters are headed to the CBD.
“The network is built so passengers need to constantly change trains. That means here you get dangerous situations like mass overcrowding at Chatswood as people are waiting for the next train to the city.
“Sydney needs to plan for the future, and it’s no doubt that transport is the key. But the current plan the NSW Government is pursuing, including its single-minded focus on the Metro, is untenable and unsustainable.
“With the government’s passion for building toll roads and the creeping privatisation of our bus network – which means fewer services – there needs to be more emphasis high capacity public transport across the city.”