Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blacktown City Council Public Transport Forum Meeting Number 38 - 20/9/2013 NEWS!`

This was the third  Blacktown City Council Transport Forum, I was invited too.

Yesterday, we had representatives from  North West Rail as an overview from Transport  for NSW - the report indicated that 8 new railway stations 4,000 car spaces 15 km's of Twin Tunneling, 4 km's of elevated viaduct. The Track will be from Epping to Cudgegong Road.

Thee train will be a single deck services operating every 5 minutes ( 12 train services). Run on Headway time tables and  strain station will have platform screen doors for the safety of commuters and the trains will be known as rapid transport trains (driverless).

This is the first section of the North West Rail Link to be completed by 2019, to provide rail for the future and to meet population growth - to meet public transport needs, improved infrastructure. If the design o is right then then there is better reliability and commuting.

Extension of the North West Rail Link will go from Cudgegong Road train station , joining Schofields train station, Marsden Park and join into Mount Druitt train station.  Mount Druitt was picked up the the Minister of Transport one of the major train stations in Western Sydney.

4 boring tools will be 140 metres long and have the weight of 600 Holden cars. Cudgegong Road Train Station will  holding in  their yards up to 76 sets of trains and provide future maintenance for these train carriages.

I raised the question of Double Decker train carriages to carry more commuters, I was told that it was decision by the NSW Government to use these carriages for the rapid trans trains - Bart Basset  (NSW Member for Londonderry) discussed the relevance of  the NSW Government maintaining single service carriages to provide a more rapid trans as opposed to Double-Decker carriages which would at more time to the service and also confirmed this what the Minister of  Transport Gladys Berejiklian, wanted for Sydney Trains new service.

In  Stage One of  the North West Link there is $1.3 Billion on tunneling spent between Epping & Bella Vista, elevated viaduct in the tender process currently and the final part is the fit out of all new  train stations.

John Holland Theiss have won the tendering process for the tunneling and completed  70% of tunneling projects around Australia, totaling 1,200 km's  of tunnels.

The North West Rail Link  has been on the agenda for years as this  corridor has been preserved for the same time for the connection of the North West Rail Link.

The representative from NSW for Transport and North West Rail Link said, 'This is finally a project that is going ahead and we have't had one for a long time.'

Then another representative from Transport for NSW Edward Osiary,  provide a very good in depth discuss ion of local buses and the new time tables. He  advised his position with NSW for Transport was planning Bus and Ferry in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle - within the 0- 5 years of planning.

On a high positive note, he stated that if there is an increase of public transport mobility and patronage then  more finances can be found to improve public transport services and infrastructure for buses in Blacktown LGA.

Bus Region 1, looks at increased demands,  results from Blacktown City Council and NSW Government  survey, commuter travelling and patronage, feedback from 131500, letters from Member of Parliament, feedback from bus companies, NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan 2012 and any other available resources. 

The good news is there is only one bus service having reduced bus service  and  no removal of any services as there hasn't been much of an increase in patronage since last reviewed. With the new time tables Blacktown LGA coming up there will be increased services  in new areas like The Ponds, Eastern Creek and the T74 service to Balcktown.

The only services being decreased is the 721 not as frequently used as expected.

The bus service being introduced in the new time table are as follows:

752 Blacktown to Rouse Hill
T72 Blacktown to Quakers Hill
723 Extended service from Blacktown to Mount Druitt
726 Extended service from Blacktown to Bungarribee (Bunya    
800 Blacktown to Fairfield

In 2014  increase/new bus services
611 Blacktown to Macquarie Park
748 New service  from Blacktown to Colebee - limited services at
T70 Extra services from Blacktown to Castle Hill
825 New services from Prairiewood to St Marys via Eastern Creek
T65, 607X & 602 T-way services covering  the  new Erskine Park 
        Road- catering  for industrial areas.

Questions were raised of  bring back services taken away from important community areas and loss of vital service by Angela Plows - President Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group.

Then came the removal of the Blacktown  Free shuttle Bus removal - Edward claimed 9 free shuttle bus services were removed in sydney and that was based on an economical decision by the NSW Government. He claimed Blacktown Free Shuttle Bus  wasn't the worst shuttle bus with patronage and wasn't the  best from the ones removed.

Question raised was what was the criteria/kpi to keep the service - there was a direct response from Edward( he wasn't sure). Yet I explained what roughly was figure  that was obtain 1 or less commuter per kilometer.

Questioned was raised by a lady  from the audience  in relation to promotion of  public transport to the community what  is taking place? 

I also advised that by lack of  NSW Governments promotion of the service current and past governments that is what made the service been  removed . Edward agreed there could have been better promotion of this - yet this is dependent on available for  advertising on public transport!

I  later asked if  we get patronage figure on Sydney Trains train stations - why can't the public get the figures on bus patronage? I advised it is public transport and should be public knowledge.

He indicated it may be an issue as this may not be accessible pending the bus contracts - if it can be released.

Then  Nirab gave his discussion on Bike Plan you can obtain this on the Blacktown website -  23 bike plan route - 3% of the population either walk or use bikes.

Click here for BCC Bike Plan

Then there was a report from Abdun Noor which was  launching the  Blacktown City Council' Draft Integrated Transport Management Plan. This is a first in Blacktown Council's history as advised by Acting Manager for City Assets, Rudi Svarc. There been mention in many documents of transport but none ever produced before and as he told me personally this is something that is important to a growing city.

It is a plan and vision for the year 2036, A  plan that is to accommodate for the potential population increase of under 200,000 by the year 2036 and a sustaining living conditions. A plan to move people from using private cars to having efficient and reliable transport, better roads and that people have the connections need from their  local communities. What is important is  there is feedback from the community required by 23/10/13. This is a change to have your say, if you live in Blacktown. It talks about the 4 major shopping centres within the LGA Blacktown, Seven Hills, Rooty Hill and Mount Druitt and how and what infrastructure is required for the future  of public transport.

It does also look at the extension of the North West Rail link to reach Mount Druitt as mentioned before.

I suggest that all people living in Mount Druitt and Blacktown LGA,  submit your proposal for  you public transport and how you would like it to be by 2036. This is you chance to have your say?

You can go to the Blacktown City Council website and download the document .  Written submission from the community can be forwarded to  The General Manager, Blacktown City Council, PO Box 63, Blacktown  NSW 2148 or e-mailed to

Steve O'Grady from Busways commended Council for making bus stops more accessible compliant to DDA and has been tell other Western Sydney Council to follow Blacktown City Council and  advised they  have won  contracts from Westbus and Hawkesbury Valley Busabout for  NSW Bus Region 1 area covers Warragamba,  Richmond and Blacktown  from 26th October will be operating in all areas of region 1.

I present a report  on behalf of our group, Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group Inc. that reflected the positive decisions made by NSW Government for public transport improvements with the  2nd stage of the North West Link being extended to Mount Druitt electronic indicators at Mount Druitt - except not enough indicators on the platforms of mount Druitt.

I also provided a brief history of how the group started and why we are still trying to get essential bus services back in the area as well as  seeking improved bus  stops and infrastructure.

 Also commended Blacktown City Council for the Draft Integrated Management Plan and advised we will be provide feedback to council by 23/10/2013.

Improvements we seek are improvements in bus services as previously indicated, Larger Non-smoking signs at Mount Druitt Interchange and the policing of and also Mount Druitt Interchange  extended to cover the heavy traffic that is  in the interchange with buses and also a proposed free shuttle bus for Mount Druitt - yet we believe Council is looking into it.

Highly thanked Council for leading the way for accessible buses making them compliant to DDA, leading the way. and for inviting us to the forum that council held today.

People sometimes say that these forums are a waist of time, I totally disagree as they are part of a community and stake holders consultation looking to  provide future better  and improved public transport services and infrastructure.  People  can be heard - ans stake holders can listen! We have  to remember  that Public  Transport is made by the Government and used by the commuter!

As Blacktown City Council's motto is the 'City of Excellence' this was an excellent  Forum the  Blacktown City Council has organised.

If you want to see how the previous Blacktown City Transport Forum was read here: 
Click here for Previous Blacktown City Council Public Transport Forum

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