Friday, March 1, 2013

Very worthy paper about Sydney rail planning: 1855 revisited

This paper (7mb, 13 pages) gives what I consider to be an almost completely fair review of the current policies of the current Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian.

A couple of points of difference:
  1. The paper appears to be under the impression that freight trains will be able to run via Tempe still.  I'm pretty sure this is incorrect and the only option available now would be a massively longer trip via Moss Vale.
  2. The paper argues that sectorisation i.e. Clearways are to be undone by the plan.  It's not clear that this is correct.
  3. Bus services aren't getting enough attention.
Otherwise, it's a very good paper and probably errs on the side of being generous.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Manly Ferry reviewed

The Bureau of Transport Statistics have released ferry patronage data.  It seems that the iconic Manly ferries actually experience their peak patronage outside of what is normally considered peak hour.  In fact the Manly ferries peak at 83% of seated loaded in the morning peak.  Given that the ferries only come approximately every half an hour, it seems clear that these add only modest value as a commuter service.  There is a sizable number of people making a commute from the area near the wharf, most notably on the E65 bus.  There is no reasonable feeder bus service to the ferry wharf and using the reasonable speed catamaran ferries (around 18 minutes to Circular Quay) would mean that you can't use a MyMulti for the combined journey.

Time the Freshwater class vessels were retired and the fast ferries included in MyZone fares, running more frequently.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Diversion of some AM peak Harbour Bridge buses via the Cahill Expressway

As of Monday 18th February, 2013, selected M2 routes (620, 642, 650, 652) will enter the CBD in the morning via the Cahill Expressway, Transport for NSW has announced.

This is a several years overdue move.  Anecdotal evidence is that this has made an impact on the queues leading in to the York St bottleneck.

The inference I read from this is that these routes will not be removed after the NWRL is implemented.  Given that they would not feed an NWRL station anyway, more like Pennant Hills and Beecroft they are planned to stay and hence a solution needs to be found for them.

So what of the other routes in the North West?  Why would they become feeder routes?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Clover Moore now wants the Light Rail to be in a tunnel through Surry Hills

According to an article from The Telegraph, it seems that Clover Moore is now calling for a tunnel under Devonshire St to prevent the Light Rail from having to go past a few people's houses.

Honestly, if the Light Rail was ever to be built it had to go past someone's house and not all of those people are going to be happy about it.  Surely she should have thought about this before spending more than a decade calling for it.  Putting it in a tunnel also appears to make it not provide any service for the people it is bypassing which is an interesting outcome.

All this really shows is that Clover Moore is only interested in scoring political points.  Time she wasn't listened to at all any more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Airport Line buyout?

According to the SMH today, the Tourism and Transport Forum has again called for a more reasonable charge for services to or from the Airport.  They quote a paper from the NSW government in 2011 which put the value of Airport Link Company at $276 million.  Unfortunately, this price would be increased due to the 70% patronage increase at Green Square and Mascot after the surcharge was removed as one of the last acts of the last state government.  That should add around $56 million to the price, for $332 million plus inflation, less a couple of years life left in the asset.

If it can actually be bought at this price, they should absolutely go for it.  Even Infrastructure NSW can see the need for lower fares to the Airport, in their "First things first" report.  Why they aren't doing so requires a detailed explanation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

MyZone tickets valid on Moore Park-Central event shuttles

In what is a positive move announced a few months ago, people heading to Moore Park can use their MyZone tickets.  Unfortunately, the overpriced tickets for the shuttles are still to be sold.

Ideally they would just make these shuttles free, which is what would happen in Qld or WA.  In the Qld case they would send the bill for the services to the promoter.  Making the shuttles free for everyone would be an equitable outcome and nearly everyone is paying a fare to reach Central anyway.  It is dubious why people who happen to hold a MyMulti ticket should receive free travel on these services - it is very unlikely these services would cause a tipping point to make it worthwhile to purchase a MyMulti.  Fare integration would make such trips of negligible cost anyway.

Making them free would save hassle with selling the tickets as well as hassle for the intending commuters.

In short, while it is a positive move that an anomaly is being reduced, this change isn't going far enough.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Light Rail green lighted to return to George St

Rail returning to George St is a very strange idea if you ask me.  Even the Sydney's Light Rail Future document states that the capacity of Light Rail is 9000 people per hour.  The current bus services along George St already carry more than this.  The document does go on to suggest that buses may be re-directed to Sussex St and Elizabeth St.  It is not clear how they will reach Sussex St along the amber dotted line without interacting with the Light Rail but it is clear that to reach Elizabeth St they will interact with the Light Rail on Eddy Ave, potentially reducing the capacity.

What is worse, is that it seems that some of the passengers who currently access Elizabeth St on bus services are going to be expected to take this sluggish and indirect light rail service, using up some of its capacity.

This is going to be very inconvenient for most.  Sussex St is not near to many places of employment.  Elizabeth St is better, but not nearly as central as George St had been in the past.  Others will have to interchange, probably requiring a separate fare.

So far, they have failed to remove taxis from the bus lane (by making it a "Bus Only Lane") between Market St and Hunter St, but it is OK to remove the buses from this area.

Basically this whole plan is to solve bus congestion by reducing the roads they can access.  Even Labor didn't do anything this stupid.