Well it was a disaster in the beginning when the swipe card wasn't working for Angie, allowing us access at 12,30pm and then we were allowed in at approximately 1pm. Frustrations can be set in but cool and relaxed we suddenly set the table up Pauline was organising the kitchen.
Tables set on the side for First Aid, Shuttle Bus display and the Historical table by Lester. and myself setting up the power point presentations.
We then started around 1.20 pm, welcome community and guests, apologised for the lateness.
Councillor Jacqueline Donaldson did the welcome to our country
and then Angela went into the house rules.
Hugh Worrall, from Western Sydney Public Transport Users Inc. represented President, Susan Day, (WSPTU) and gave a brief over view of WSPTU and lead into local bus issues.
A written letter by Margaret-Anne from our group about a local community member talking about the previous Westbus 769 service taken away from West Whalan 11th October 2009, read by Angie.
Angie then went on to discuss the 755/758 bus service. How they are 2 different bus services and both do not go down Sedgeman Crescent, Shalvey, covering early mornings, late night and week ends
Lester then gave a historical story on the 762 Busways bus service, which was a fantastic report depicting different types of buses, route that bus went through right through from the beginning, until present, comparisons of before and after the service was taken away.
In summary of questions on buses was can Westbus 780 take over the 674 and then that will provide better service for West Whalan, loop service at Shalvey to cover Sedgeman Crescent, Shalvey and also return of full time services 762, Chestnut Crescent Bidwill.
Also was discussions of the proper bus services needed, on early mornings, late at nights and and especially on weekends.
I introduced Dimitri Hondros, City Rail Western Line Customer Service Manager and I must say that it was Dimitri that offered to speak to our community, whereas I would've like guests just to listen. Yet Dimitri opened this door of opportunity to us and it was more than informative it was pleasing.
He advised the meeting, how he is responsible for trains on the Western Line from Auburn to Emu Plains. He then claims that City Rail employees think they work for trains but they in actual fact, work for the commuters of City Rail trains and so does he.
Dimitri showed his power point presentation of the on Fixing trains (Which I will have available on this blog within the next 2-3 days)
Patronage is expected to increase 50% in the next 25 years, 30% increase in operating costs in the next 4 years, simplifying the business, Major decision not made by Railcorp will be made by NSW for Transport: Sydney trains and NSW Trains established within 12-18 months.
There are 9 train stations that Dimitri has requested for upgrade on the Western Line and he is waiting for the responses by NSW for Transport. By the year 2022 all trains stations along the Western Line will be upgraded, depending on the update required.
There was more but it was detailed, very eye catching and the floor was open for questions after questions came, Dimitri advised that he is aware there are many ideas for improvements. Usually 1 out of five ideas will be something to look at and he suggested that anyone that has any ideas to refer to myself and I will feed them to him and look at improvements.
This is where I will say that Dimitri open the doors to us when I invited him to be a 'listening guest' and he instantaneously invited himself to our group as a speaker. I was sitting at the time and nearly blown away. Although as President, I could have said yes, I had to refer to the Committee and when I mentioned to the Committee/Group they were excited. From the bottom of my heart I thank Dimitri for coming over to us and provide his presentation, on behalf of City Rail/ Rail Corp. By the way he travels to destinations by train and buses - he is also a commuter!
Then I introduced Blake Bardowski from our group, who was doing a powerpoint presentation on the Mount Druitt Free Shuttle bus. Community Leader Robyn Reeves was interested in it and was happy to have people sign petitions. Dimitri asked about whether it used existing bus stops - it was advised that majority of the bus stops are using existing bus stops but the bus stops will have to change to indicate shuttle bus bus stops.
(We will provide his powerpoint presentation within the next 2-3 days)
Then we introduced Mr. Stephen Enticott, who covered all aspects in summary of the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan:
No second airport plan in Badgerys Creek, Sydney access team looking at getting on and off buses in a rather efficient travelling, currently working on 20 challenges, lot of work being done on the Northwest Rail link, better information for commuters, introduction of single decker trains that will lessen waiting time on train stations, new interchange strategy, Cleaning issues at Mount Druitt, land is owned by Blacktown City Council precure land so that land is controlled and owned by City Rail and more items.
It was suggested that the shuttle bus form part of the Masterplan and Peter Kerr's split level Car Park as well.
The meeting was therefore closed and completed around 4.05pm - started late but finished pretty much on time!
Thank all who came and said it was professional. No thank you to the Bus operators who think Community groups are not important and don't realise what they are saying by not turning up.