Ferry Friday 7

Welcome to Ferry Friday. Today we are starting a series as part of Ferry Friday. Over the next few weeks we will go through the various models of ferry that operate in our harbour.

Today we are looking at the Lady-Class ferries. Five were bulit by State Dockyard, The first was Lady Cutler in 1968, followed in 1970 by Lady Woodwardnd Lady McKell. The final two were Lady Street Lady Herron in 1979. Two larger versions were bulit by Carrington Slipways, Lady Wakehurstin 1974 and Lady Northcott in 1975. The ferries have a capacity of around 600 passengers and are approximately 40metres long.

Today, Lady Northcott and Lady Herron remain in service with Harbour City Ferries. They operate on the F2 Taronga Zoo Line. They are expected to continue in service until the end of 2018, which is the end of their workable life.

Western Sydney Bus Changes

From Sunday 28 May, route 751, 783, T72 and T74 bus services in Western Sydney will be changing to improve the bus network. These changes should providing better connections, more services and will extend some routes into new and developing areas.

  • 751 Blacktown to Marsden Park via Colebee most services will be extended to run to and from Marsden Park. The route will also be extending along Alderton Drive to service the new Greenway Living Estate, including 3 new bus stops.
  • 783 Penrith to Jordan Springs will be extended along Sinclair Parade, Flagship Ridge and Greenwood Parkway, including 13 new bus stops. 3 existing stops will be removed from the route, which will no longer run via Cullen Ave and Alinta Promenade.
  • T72 Blacktown to Rouse Hill via Quakers Hill will be extended along Alex Avenue and Schofields Road to Rouse Hill Interchange including 6 new bus stops. Additional new stops will be also be added in the future when the Schofields Road upgrade is completed.
  • T74 Blacktown to Riverstone via The Ponds and Schofields will change to run via Hambledon Road and Riverbank Drive instead of Ridgeline Drive. Services will no longer stop at 6 stops on Ridgeline Drive, instead 4 new stops will be adned along Riverbank Drive. Additional new stops will be added in the future once the Hambledon Road redevelopment is completed.

To accommodate these changes, there will also be some minor changes to the timetables across the Western Sydney network to improve reliability and punctuality.

Western Sydney Station Upgrades

The following stations will be recieving upgrade works begining this week.

  • Glenfield Station
  • Lidcombe Station
  • Seven Hills Station

These works include upgrading and extending the canopies on Platform 1 and 2 at all of the stations and should continue through to September.These upgrades will provide better weather protection along with new lighting, additional indicator screens and signage to improve comfort and safety on platforms. While work on these upgrades take place there may be reduced space on platforms and access to some areas of the platform may be restricted at times.

Sydney Bus Strike – What Are My Options?

With the Bus Strike in the Inner West, you need to make alternative arrangements to get where you need to be! Choosing a differnt public transport option, walking, cycling or driving are all options you can choose.

Information on Bus Services

  • No school bus services will be operating in the inner west or Sydney south, with parents advised to make alternative arrangements. School Opal passes will be valid on any mode of public transport.
  • Routes 438 and 461 will operate a limited and modified service along Parramatta Rd during the morning and afternoon peak (6am-10am and 3pm-7pm). These services will operate in the peak direction only and are expected to fill quickly
  • Metrobus Services (except M41) will continue to operate at a reduced frequency. These include M10, M20, M30 and M50.
  • Cross-City routes that operate within the region will continue to operate at a reduced frequency. These include but are not limited to 348, 370, 400, 418 and 440.

In addition 

  • Real-time apps will not provide accurate information for modified services.
  • Services that do run will be delayed with excessive congestion expected. 

Other Public Transport Options

  • Light Rail on the L1 line, including stops in Dulwich Hill, Lewisham, Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Rozelle Bay and Glebe
  • Ferry Services on the F3 line, including stops in Sydney Olympic Park, Cabarita, Abbotsford, Chiswick, Drummoyne and Balmain.
  • Train Services on the T1 or T2 lines including major stops at Rhodes, Sydney Olympic Park, Strathfield, Burwood, Ashfield and Newtown.

The Following List of Routes Will Have No Service Today

401, 406, 407, 408, 412, 413, 415, 422, 423, 425, 426, 428, 430, 431, 433, 436, 437, 439, 441, 442, 444, 445, 460, 462, 463, 464, 466, 470, 473, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 483, 487, 490, 491, 492, 493, 495, 502, 504, 508, 526, L23, L28, L37, L38, L39, M41, X04 and X25.

Sydney Bus Strike – What You Need To Know

STA services in the Inner West will not operate tomorrow as drivers strike in respone to the planned sell off of Inner West bus services. Services operated from Burwood, Kingsgrove Leichhardt and Tempe are affected.

Some limited services on major routes will still run in addition to routes serviced by depots that are not affected. These include most Victoria Road services and a limited number of M10,M20, M30, M50, 303, 370, 400, 418 and 4440 services. All of these services will be severely limited and not run to a timetable, don’t rely on them. Some routes in other areas will also be affected as they are operated by these depots.

The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) announced the strike on Wednesday evening, saying it will begin at midnight and last for 24 hours. The Rail, Tram and Bus Union sys the strike will “affect all routes across the inner west and southern Sydney”. In a statement, the union said the strike was a reaction to Transport Minister Andrew Constance’s “betrayal of inner western and south Sydney commuters and public transport workers. This action is our members’ initial response to this outrageous action”.

Mr Preston said members of the public should make alternative arrangements to get to work and school, and urged Premier Gladys Berejiklian to intervene in the situation immediately. “Minister Constance needs to understand that you cannot treat the community and public transport workers with such contempt,” he said. “We call on the Premier to intervene as a matter of urgency and put a stop to this attack on our public transport network.”

Services in the area highlighted in blue are affected

In a statement on Wednesday evening, Mr Constance said he hoped workers would break the strike and turn up to work anyway. He said the government is sourcing a fleet of buses to operate a “more limited service in the areas of highest demand”. “This call for a strike is about union bosses putting themselves before customers, egged on by the Labor party,” Mr Constance said. “I hope the majority of bus drivers who want to deliver a better service to customers ignore their union bosses and show up to work tomorrow.

Train Talk Tuesday 6

Over the weekend, Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced more than 200 extra weekly services to the Airport begining later this year as part of the More Trains, More Services program currently being rolled out across the Sydney Trains network.

As part of the changes, there will be more trains out of peak hour including a doubling of trains on weekends from 4 to 8 trains per hour and and increase in frequency late at night from 2 to 4 trains an hour. This means we will see a 7.5 minute frequency from the Airport to City on weekends and a 15 minute frequency late at nights.

These increases have been prompted by a large increase of patronage on the T2 Airport Line with 8.2 million passenger using the stations each year. This is an increase of a million passengers passing through the station gates last year alone. 1.8 million of these passenger are on weekends, a 42% surge in demand.

This is despite the ongoing Airport Access fee of $13.40 each time a passenger passes through the station gates or $25 for a weekly pass. It is understood that the fee will be removed in 2030.

Catching the train is the quickest way from the CBD to the Airport, taking just 10-15 minutes, whilst driving can take up to an hour, with drivers queuing for kilometres on weekends in particular.

Train arriving at Domestic Airport station

The Begining of the End – Plans to Privatise Sydney Buses

Tonight for the first time, the NSW government has confirmed what has been long expected. It plans to privatise the State Tranist Authoritiy Sydney Buses services.

The contract for Region 6, covering most Sydney’s Inner West including Burwood, Drummoyne, Leichhardt, Newtown, Olympic Park, Rockdale and Strathfield, will be put out to private tender. It is one of four regions operated by the government owned State Transit Authority.

The tender will begin in July this year and is expected to be completed with the new operteor in place by July 2018. Large companies such as Keolis Downer and Transit Systems ahve expressed an interested in the lucrative contract.

‘There have been improvements in recent years, but the State Transit (Authority) still lags a long way behind its industry competitors in measures like on-time running and reliability,’  The services had some of the worst on-time running results last year, and attracted the highest number of complaints out of Sydney’s metropolitan area in recent years.’ The Transport Minister Andrew Constance said in a statement on Monday.

Labor’s spokeswoman for transport Jodi McKay says she fears the plans are a prelude to a wholesale sell-off of Sydney’s transport network. ‘This is a government that is rapidly getting out of the business of running public services, Buses should be run for the public benefit, not for private profit.’

About 1200 bus drivers will be affected by the decision, with the workforce highly unionised. The Rail Tram and Bus Union has signalled it will engage in strike action should the tenders go ahead as they claim they have been mislead and betrayed by the government. 

Rail Tram and Bus Union divisional secretary Chris Preston said workers had been told as recently as December that STA’s contract for bus regions in Sydney would remain after a restructure that included the axing of 200 back-office staff. “This is the biggest betrayal this Minister Constance can do to these workers. The rest of Sydney’s bus drivers will be furious as well,” he said.

It is understood that the other regions will be privatised once major new infrastructure is in place. Sydney Metro in Region 7, The B-Line in Region 8 and the CSELR in region 9. It is believed that the operators of those services will take over the STA buses as well.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 6

This weeks route of the week is Route M10. It runs from Maroubra to Leichhardt via UNSW, Taylor Square, Central Station and Parramatta Road

Route M10 was the original route in the Metrobus network, launched on 12 October 2008. It was part of an attempt to provide a bus rapid transit network in Sydney providing an increase in services on busy corridors and also to reduce the number of buses terminating in the CBD where lay-over space is limited.

It initally ran from Kingsford to Leichhardt Marketplace via Town Hall howver the route has had numerous modifications. In 2009 the the route was changed to Maroubra Junction to Leichhardt Town Hall due to availability of suitable bus stops and layover space, in 2011 it was extended to Leichhardt Pioneer Park. In 2015, the part of the route via Town Hall was removed from the route due to the construction on the CSELR.

The service runs every 10 minutes during peak hour, every 15 minutes off peak and every 20 minutes at night and on weekends. The hours of operation are from 6am-8pm daily.

The service is operated by a fleet of Volgren or Custom Coaches bodied Volvo B12BLEA articulated buses from Leichhardt and Port Botany depots.

Custom Coaches Bodied Volvo B12BLEA articulated bus operating a M10

Ferry Friday 6

The NEW Barangaroo Ferry Hub will serve the upcoming Barangaroo district and also help provide a much needed increase in wharf capacity to help meet future demand.

The wharf has an expected opening date of late 2017. The new wharf will initally provide spaces for up to 4 ferries at any one time, with space provided for a later increase to 6 ferries.

The wharfs will ensure customer safety and comfort at each wharf, including seating, lighting, passenger information display and weather protection and also public amenities such as bins, ticket vending machines, wayfinding and signage.

Barangaroo wharf will provide services on the Parramatta River, as well as new direct services to and from the Eastern Suburbs and Lower North Shore. It will provide direct access to these destinations from the Western CBD for the first time.  These changes will be part of wider timetable upgrades in late 2017.

It is expected that the wharf will service as replacement for the aging King street Wharf 250m south at Darling Harbour, which will be decommissioned from Public Transport service.

Opal Price Increases

From July 3 2017, Opal fares will increase in line with inflation. It is understood that this will now be a yearly increase and not a one off.

This is a change to the previous fare freeze related to Opal fares and also a rejection of Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s suggested average annual increase of 4.2 per cent.

A Summary:

  • Limited 2.4 per cent CPI only increase to Opal fares from July 3
  • Gold Opal remains at $2.50 all day travel
  • Popular ‘Transfer Discount’ to remain

Sample CPI Changes.

  • A train fare from Penrith to Town Hall during peak hour will increase from $6.46 to $6.61
  • A bus fare from Blacktown to Baulkham will increase from $4.50 to $4.61
  • A ferry fare from Manly to Circular Quay will increase from $7.18 to $7.35
  • A light rail fare from Dulwich Hill to The Star will increase from $3.50 to $3.58