Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Full Costing of Car Use - PTUA

The Public Transport Users Association in Melbourne has submitted research to the Commonwealth Tax Review which describes the full costs of car use in Australia and made suggestions about how car use should properly be taxed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Windsor Station Upgrade

MoT Director General goes to Westbus/Hillsbus Comfort Delgro

Whenever a senior bureaucrat leaves their Department to go to a business that they have been regulating it leaves you with the feeling "gee, that's a bit close". Many people have talked about a 'cooling-off period' but, for some reason it hasn't happened.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Publicising 131500 at Youth Week

Western Sydney Community Forum were at Youth Week festivals in Blacktown and Fairfield publicising the 131500 services available to people on the internet and their mobile phones. Most people don't realise you can get 'next bus' and 'next train' timetable services via web enabled mobile phones - go to or use the widget on the front page of

Glenfield Transport Interchange


Works on the Seddon Park commuter car park extension at Glenfield have started.

Key features of the Glenfield Transport Interchange include:
• Construction of a rail flyover, north of Glenfield Station
• A major upgrade to Glenfield Station including a new platform, new pedestrian footbridge and easy access lift facilities;
• An upgrade to the transport interchange in Railway Parade including bus facilities, kiss and ride facilities and improved access to the station, and;
• The provision of a new multi-storey commuter car park on Roy Watts Road, in addition to the commuter car park extension at Seddon Park.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

News About North West Bus Timetable Changes

The Minister sent out this media release on May 12:

"Hillsbus have also now established a dedicated phone line available for all local schools to deal with any questions from parents and students – (02) 9890 0021."

New Car Park and EFTPOS machines

The Minister announced a new car park for Penrith:

And new EFTPOS facilities for Mt Druitt, Blacktown, Penrith and Parramatta stations:

You can find other media releases from the Minister, the Ministry of Transport and Rail Corp via the links on the left-hand menu of this blog.

Public Transport in Penrith - Car Parks, Infrastructure and Staff Cuts

I have read with interest about the new car park at North Penrith.

Even though 1000 car spaces may assist people who drive cars, what about the people who have no access to a vehicle and have to rely on public transport?

We need to encourage a shift to public transport and reduce the reliance on the private cars.
In Penrith Council’s submission to Infastructure Australia, they indicated that there is a need to develop public transport facilities.

The lack of Federal funding secured in the national infrastructre program shows the people living in Penrith that investment in public transport systems in our area is not considered a high priority by the Federal Government.

Instead, the NSW Government is slashing jobs from our rail lines. We need to make more jobs in public transport, not cut them. Cutting staff numbers can create unsafe environments, increased graffiti and vandalism. The people who will feel the major impact of these cuts are the most vulnerable people in our community.

We need to work to improve access to transport for the most socially excluded and transport disadvantaged people in Penrith.

What we need is an independent voice who will advocate that it's not only about profitiblity.

We need to provide an independent voice for public transport users who will advocate for the interests of public transport users in Penrith.

Susan Day
South Penrith Residents Action Group
for Western Sydney public transport users - Penrith

To contact Susan send an email to and it will be passed it on.

Going Solar - Transport and Sustainability Newsletter

If you are interested in public transport and sustainability this is a terrific newsletter that you can subscribe to.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Western Sydney Left Standing In The Rain

Earlier this year Western Sydney Community Forum wrote to the Minister responsible for Infrastructure Austalia suggesting that bus stop infrastructure had potential as a "job ready" project which would also help achieve the social inclusion and sustainability objectives that the Government had described for itself.

Western Sydney Community Forum wrote:

"Bus stop infrastructure is very important to improve social inclusion,
reduce transport disadvantage and increase the take-up of public transport
in the general community. Increased use of public transport is an important
part of reducing road trauma and greenhouse gas emissions.

Local government struggles to meet the demands on their resources for bus infrastructure and are sometimes less than enthusiastic about meeting these responsibilities.

Given that the Federal Government is interested in start-ready infrastructure projects to assist with the slowing economy in 2009 and;

Given that the Federal Government has a renewed interest in the provision of public infrastructure to improve the productive capacity of the Australian economy and;

Given that the Federal Government has a stated interest in improving social inclusion in Australian society and;

Given that the Disability Discrimination Act (2002) is Commonwealth legislation;

WSCF recommends that the Commonwealth financially assists Local Government to invest in bus stop infrastructure, particularly in Western Sydney.

WSCF also supports the establishment of a Bus Stop Infrastructure Corporation responsible to ensure all bus stops have sufficient investment in them, are maintained properly and made accessible in a reasonable time."

The Minister responded with:

"I agree that bus stop infrastructure is an important community facility and an
integral part of the public transport infrastructure. However, provision of
public transport and facilities is a state government responsibility.

Although the Rudd Government is now allocating record funding to local government, it does not have a role in the day to day operations of local government or the priorities that local government give to the development of community infrastructure."

There about 10,000 bus stops in Western Sydney and, if you provided accessibility and shelter for half these stops (they don't all need it), at a cost of about $15,000 per stop, it would cost a total of $75m.

Infrastructure Australia Bypasses Western Sydney.

It looks like the Federal Infrastructure spending announced yesterday, described by the SMH as a 'once-in-a-generation' opportunity, has completely missed Western Sydney as far as public transport is concerned.

It's quite mind boggling actually, considering the growth that Western Sydney is experiencing as both in-fill and green-fields developments. Look at this quote from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
"Almost all LGAs in Sydney experienced population growth in the year to June
2008. Nine of the ten LGAs with the largest population growth in NSW were within
the Sydney SD. Blacktown (C) in western Sydney had the largest population
increase of any LGA in NSW, up 5,300 people, followed by the adjacent LGA of
Parramatta (C) (4,000 people). Large population growth also occurred in Baulkham
Hills (A) (3,300 people) in the north-west, Liverpool (C) (3,200 people) in the
south-west, and in the inner-city LGA of Sydney (C) (2,500 people). Within the
Sydney SD, LGAs which experienced population decline in 2007-08 were Ashfield
(A), in the inner west, as well as Manly (A) and Lane Cove (A) in northern

The State population growth is only 1.1% and the national rate is 1.7%. Most of Western Sydney council areas exceed these rates including Auburn (3.1%), Blacktown (1.9%), Camden (2.2%), Holroyd (2.1%), Parramatta (2.5%) and Baulkham Hills (2%). Blacktown has the largest population, by almost a third again, of any of the councils in NSW, (Blacktown, 291,612; Sutherland is the next biggest with 215, 868).

Given the abandoned and postponed railway infrastructure projects and the huge shift of resources to the inner-city based Metro project by the State, and now, the lack of investment proposed by the Commonwealth, we have to wonder what this will mean for Sydney, Australia's largest and busiest city.

Even bus stops, a microscopic proposal in the scheme of things, couldn't get a go.

At least the urban freeway projects didn't get preference over the public transport infrastructure - but that is hardly anything to celebrate.

It's understandable that Infrastructure Australia won't want to provide funding to projects assessed as deficient, but this "you aren't ready so you miss out" approach is not responsible or in the national interest.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CityRail forced to do more with less

From the Blue Mountains Sustainable Transport Alliance:

Blackheath, along with many other mountains stations, will lose its full time station attendant. Railcorp is going to employ a casual for only 4 hours per day, Monday to Friday, from 5.45am to 9.45am. After that the station will be UNMANNED.

Our station is currently manned by a full time station attendant who is trained to deal with a whole range of issues affecting the station, trains and passengers.

Blackheath station will be unmanned during weekdays from 9.45am onwards. This is bad news for wheelchair users, the elderly and those who have problems with the unreliable ticket machine. This is also bad for tourism.

I have been contacted by several Railcorp sources who told me that a meeting was held yesterday in Sydney where staff were told of the news.


If you are interested in campaigning to keep our station manned please contact me.

Michael Paag
Leave a comment for Michael here or we can contact him for you if you email us at

Monday, May 4, 2009

Region 4 - Bus Services in NW Sydney May Be Changing

Region 4 Bus Network - Commencing 11 May 2009

The following is taken from the NSW Bus Network Review Website, about the new bus network for Region 4.

"After community consultation and an extensive review of region 4, a new bus network will be introduced on 11 May, 2009.

Region 4 is bounded by the Hawkesbury River to the north, by Galston and Berrilee to the east, Parramatta and Westmead to the south-east, Box Hill and Rouse Hill to the north-west and Blacktown and Girraween to the south-west.

Region 4 includes the regional city of Parramatta, the major centres of Blacktown, Castle Hill and Rouse Hill, as well as the specialised centres of Macquarie Park, Norwest and Westmead.

Bus services in Region 4 are operated by Hillsbus, operating under contract to the NSW Government. The Ministry of Transport manages and regulates the contracts in each region on behalf of the NSW Government.

Click Here for the final Region 4 - Network Map

Visit Network Review Website for more information on specific suburbs"

What do you think about the changes? Leave a comment below...