Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Long Weekend Queuing For Tickets After Long Weekend!

One thing I have been trying to resist to do in travelling on public transport for nearly 24 years in and around Mount Druitt, is simply prevent myself on not obtain tickets prior to the end of the long weekend.

The queue at Mount Druitt Train Station
Yet this time I had perfect reason to do so, family event night before, walked 20 minutes to get to train station and 'what the heck - the queues weren't that bad!'
That was because the current electronic ticketing  purchasing system at the train station was creating a second queue, which reduced lines for the ticketing office.

Some good things to to look at in the future is the new Electronic Ticketing system that Sydney Trains are in the process to release will actually reduce these queues and make it so much easier for the commuter.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blacktown Train Station Getting Upgrade - Maybe Mount Druitt Could Be Next - Blacktown Advocate

Here is  a story from the Blacktown Advocate that Blacktown Station is getting Lift and lighting upgrade, maybe this will happen to Mount Druitt sooner then we expect.What do you think?

Blacktown train station to receive new lifts and lighting

  • Blacktown Station gets a facelift
    The refurbishment is part of a $20 million state government project to upgrade a number of major train stations. Source: News Limited
    Blacktown train station will receive new lifts, improved lighting and clean toilets as part of a major state government refurbishment project.
    NSW transport minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the project as part of a plan to spend around $20 million on improvements at key train stations this financial year.
    At a cost of $3.1 million, four of Blacktown's hydraulic lifts will be replaced with air-conditioned electric lifts which are wheelchair-friendly and include braille signage.
    The station will also receive improved LED lighting, repair work on broken tiles, thorough cleaning and a new coat of paint.
    "This work together with the lift replacements, which will improve their reliability, will result in customers enjoying much improved facilities at the station," Ms Berejiklian said.
    Alternative lift access between the bus interchange and footbridge will be available while the upgrades are underway and customers are advised to follow signs around the station.
  • JANUARY 24, 2014 10:15AM

Mount Druitt Commuters Improve Group Records Keep On Coming On Blogspot!

I am so proud of the worldwide internet, where  our blogs are being recognised in countries like USA, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and India.

While Australia is seconded to visit on blogspot so far, with 35,817 behind United States of America on 40,754 and Russia third on 8,943, you can see that if any public transport stake holders do not take action to improve public transport from any blogs, that will be picked up by the rest of the world.

Thank you to the world - keep on visiting!  This is the only way to change our public transport direct ion Mount Druitt and surrounding suburbs.

We have received over 50,000 visits on our blogspot last year over 17,000 visits more than the year before. Also was a majority of record monthly visits with September 2013 reaching a record visit of 6,447.  Keep this up everyone we need this kind of support!

Further Statistics:

Country             Visits

Germany            4257 
United Kingdom 3209
France                2537
Ukraine              1887
Poland                  663
Latvia                   530
India                     442

Australia Day 2014 Fireworks at Rooty Hill - Traffic Has Been Altered To Cater For Buses To And From The Event!

The event of the Australia Day Rooty Hill Fireworks for 2014 was outstanding and always leaves a mark of a great way to start the year with, which we should take pride in.

I noticed that the Traffic Management team at Black City Council has changed the traffic/parking conditions as was allowed to happen  for many years. 

You will notice safety barriers placed on Eastern Road, there was always the grassed area where cars were parking near to the Moreau Reserve event - now that means more parking on the hill or  further away from the event - which means this is a good opportunity to  promote  free shuttle buses to the event as previously promoted in other blogs:

Any way enjoy the Rooty Hill Fireworks Australia Day 2014 Moreau Reserve Click here. At at the event:

And....... The traffic on the hill:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Proper Pedestrian Access Required AT Mount Druitt - Currently A Major Hazard!

At the traffic lights of Luxford Road (entrance to Westfield Shops), the traffic lights have pedestrian access only head on one side of the street on the Western end.

I understand the  traffic lights have been there for quite a number of years, I just don't see how traffic transport stake holders have not notice the hazard it is causing. The funny thing is Mount Druitt Police Station is not that far.

I do hope this get fixed up as Council looks at safety of commuters who are entering the north part of Luxford Road from Shennan Walkway, Mount Druitt reaching the streets in North Mount Druitt.

You will see yourself visual evidence for yourself:

When there is no  pedestrian this is how cars will enter
 from Westfields
- Just imagine if a pedestrian gets hit!

Here is a pedestrian taking bought shopping risking her  life!

Hazardous Pedestrian Sign in Mount Druitt!

Yes, I know some people will say to me that pedestrian issues/access is not related to public transport - but  community members use  pedestrian access to get to and from bus stops, stops and other local community conveniences.

Although, this sign is from the entrance of  Luxford Road in the Westfield shopping grounds. I think Blacktown City Council should look at the safety of community members not sharing roads to prevent potential accidents/deaths.

Maybe the solution is to provide safe pedestrian access to the community to enter or leave the Westfield shopping grounds.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cycle Ways: Plans And Visual Directions Need to Be Properly Provided To The Mount Druitt Community

Earl Street Mount Druitt 
As Blacktown has Cycling  Plans - we notice that most of the signs are on the ground level - yet a lot of cyclists would be watching in front of themselves for actual street signs on posts as well as the marked streets. 

In fact the street are weakly marked. If you asked  the  majority of Mount Druitt/ Blacktown residents didn't they know they  had a bike route in their area - they  answer would definitely be unknown.

This one is in Methven Street Mount Druitt

When you search for the bike plan it under the drop down box of  'Visiting Our City' Click Here - and the map is not clearly understandable as another one  that is available Compare it by clicking here!. So if you are not visiting our city (that is living in the city), you cannot find it! When you go to Google maps the cycle ways are different to Councils's Try it by clicking here!

So, I will be looking forward (in future to use the paths of the Council's bike plan), let's hope there is  simple signage that even attracts other members of the community to bike ride  - place the number of the Bike ride plan on the sign. Have outdoor maps promoting it. What more could I say?
Corner of Earl Streets and Hythe Streets
Mount Druitt

W e also have to ensure that the cycling tracks are  being maintained ( right picture shows two way cycling and pedestrian access and no maintenance on the kerb - grass is over growing).

The  below example of of a sign post from Parramatta Council could help a lot!
Example of Parramatta City Council sigange

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blacktown Council Response To ITMP - My Submission!

I have had a response to my own submission to Blacktown City Council Integrated Transport Master Plan .

I commend the initiatives taken by Council Officers to have the First BCC ITMP and although a lot of the suggestions is in day to day business of Transport for Council, it appears a lot of the  important issues are flagged off/passed onto NSW for Transport 'Because they have the final say/decision'. This in itself sends confusing signals as to whether Australia's most populated Council is seriously looking to promote more of the community to catch public transport within the Local Government Area, which in the long term can reduce costs to providing further roads widened, repairs of major or smaller roads, traffic congestion and parking issues in all streets, which can be overcrowding and  in streets. Attributing to a lower budget for Transport in Council's financial books, in the long term years to come.

We have got the buses that currently service NSW Bus Region 1, with recommendations provided from  Bus Companies and also Council as well. I feel it should be major strategic move that Council adopts a more stronger approach to Public Transport. How many Councillors catch public transport  and how many Council Officers catch public transport. If the majority of both do not catch public transport, this is probably where the core problem starts where there is no great emphasis to promote public transport.

This Plan is a plan of the future 20 years, my concern is that it doesn't seem to want to pick up short term plans suggested as it is a longer-term plan. Yet, as speaking to a Council spokesperson today, the short term plans should not be put aside plans for today or tomorrow as short term plans should be part of the BCC ITMP. The other aspect I was told it is based on infrastructure not services. 

That to me is a 'two way traffic' system that needs to be looked at in the plan: you can't have services without proper infrastructure but you cannot plan without knowing what services are required to cater for the future population, an important factor - one cannot go without the other.

Although, they say some of my suggestions are currently in the plan of  BCC ITMP the rest is out of their hands referred to Transport for NSW and their response will not be added to the plan. The BCC ITMP will be reviewed every year, remain on the website once all legal and technical aspects are checked.

We therefor need to change the way Local Council is interested in public transport if not they will be only interest to increase roads for the increase usage of private vehicles.

Please Click Here for my submission: (I believe that Council Officers have  support a majority of the suggestions provided to them). For that I thank them.

Wet'n'wild - Dry And Alone For Commuters In The Far Western Sydney!

Time and time again commuters in Western Sydney complaints about the lack of public transport to get to and from important events.

This time it is apparently difficult for  commuters from as far as the Mountains to reach the new Wet'n'wild in Prospect. This venue has been advertised in the wider community as, 'The most technologically advanced park in the world.' ( Refer to Wet'n'wild website - click here)

Yet it doesn't have the technological advances that is required commuters to be assisted to get to  the venue from Blacktown and far out west. Buses travel only from Parramatta (which covers commuters  from Parramatta to East of Sydney) but there are no bus services from either or all: Blacktown, Mount Druitt and/or Penrith.

So here comes an instance where local planners with NSW for Transport  did not consider providing services for the greater west of Sydney. Maybe someone will wake up and start organising this - even as part of  Blacktown's Integrated Transport Management Plan (ITMP) and the NSW For Transport Long Term Transport Master Plan.

So some commuters will feel 'Dry' getting to the new Wet'n'wild with not have proper public transport infrastructure implemented. The focus indicated from all stake holders is not to promote 'public transport access from the Greater West of Sydney. Let's see if the  all public transport stake holders -  focus on this public transport improvements!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Time Again To Promote Free Public Transport Buses/Taxis To The Blacktown City Council's 'Australia Day Event' 2014!

Here we are again coming to another  Australia Day - where  we would like to see improvements in public transport to get to the Rooty Hill Fireworks display, which  provide so many positive reasons for us to get these improvements implemented.

We all would like to enjoy the fireworks, put our feet up, relax, sit down when we are at the event where we prepare the great display of parachuting and fireworks that bring the residents of the Council area together. Sometimes we even bump into others we know and have that catch up chat that enables us to  bring that community involvement together.

Yet as we have proposed in the last couple of years, we seek Council Officers to provide and promote residents of the area to catch bus services and even maxi-cabs (for the disabled), from one of the 10 train stations that they live closest to: Mount Druitt, Doonside,  Rooty Hill, Blacktown, Seven Hills, Marayong, Quakers Hills, Schofields & Riverstone.

We seem to have new developments arising in the area in the last couple of years - Bunya and Ropes Crossing and The Ponds  and further future developments to come. Not inclusive of the  Blacktown Council Local Environmental Plan for the future were single residential areas have been earmarked to chnage and cater for the growth of population.

Fuel costs have risen in the last many years and as there are thousands upon thousands of motorists on the road, Local Governments  like Blacktown City Council can take the lead by providing free public transport  (by way of buses/maxi taxis), to make the celebration day of  'Australia Day' more comfortable and easier to get too. There  would be less traffic congestion on 'Rooty Hill' as buses could leave every five-ten minutes from all train stations within the area and return. A stream line of buses will be ready to take residents back to their destination at the end of the event.

Yet, for this to happen, there needs to be a great emphasis on promoting and providing extensive advertising - so that people know this is happening. That is local radio announcements, advertising in the calender events for  Council and definitely front page news on every local newspaper and even letter box droppings.

I don't personally know how much Council is funding the 'Australia Day' event and really I do not want to know. Yet I would like to see if Council Budgets can be changed to bring this  great free community service. The Council would be surprised how many cars will be left at home on that day!

Life would be so easy for many thousands as the word spreads.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bus Marshals - What Can Go Wrong If Marshal's Give Wrong Signals!

Check out what can go wrong if we had Bus Marshals along each bus route telling bus drivers where to go!

Maybe there are bus drivers that get off the route and  take commuters to wrong places, but if we had bus marshals this could happen to us as well.

Click Here for Story

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Improvements In Public Transport Must Be Planned Before Catering For Local Growth In Population!

Improvements in community infrastructure, making life better for all the community can eventually mean improved public transport within the area.

A lot of local improvements for community infrastructure are approved a by Local, State & Federal Governments.We always appreciate this and we will eventually all accommodate new changes. This is although we are used to the old and find it difficult with the new.

Being involved in the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan and personally submitting a report  to the Blacktown Council's Integrated Transport Management Plan, I have grown up to learn that it is not good just looking after our own current lives not worrying of everyone's future. We all have an opportunity to plan for the future. If we don't, our future population will be left unplanned as it was in the early pioneering days of inner Sydney (Which I say was an unplanned City).

So, as we need to plan for the future, we need to get used to change. Harsh as it may be for some people who don't like changes or even instant changes 'Out with the old in with the new'.

Even myself, I sometimes find changes difficult to deal with. Yet when it comes to the worrying about the future and catering for the inevitable population growth that will happen tomorrow, next week, next month and also the following years to come, this is my concern.

Strategic plans should be put into place immediately, to ensure that, our land use can be utilised, for population increases we are going to get in 10 years, twenty years and beyond. Plans, discussions and input from today's community, all tiers of governments and  the business community have to be implemented.

So, in our urban community in Mount Druitt part of the Blacktown local government area, have to realise that we are living in 'quality  spaces of land'. This land which includes the houses we live in  may have 4 people living in land area size of 600 metres square. In years to come with median and high density living zones to be implemented in years to come, this will cause people to live  in housing areas of 200-250 square metres or less of land mass. Allowing for essentially more population to be accommodated for within the same land, we are currently living in. 

Major buildings and lands in major hubs will have to be redesigned to cater for the growing population, business and community services provided by Governments and the private sector. 

Before all this can be done, plans must be made for improvements in bus services in general, by ensuring there is is enough services, on the road running on time, comfortable, enough bus tops and shelters, to take the increased population to the daily destination.

There is a local issue that has  been raised in our local community, which I  look at from both sides of the coin and have come to a positive definite resolution that will silence all critics as and promote an improved future community.

It is the closing down of the Mount Druitt swimming pool. It does send a distress signal to the community when community services are reduced or cut down but there is the important issues lying in front of us that is not being raised by either side of  the local political pendulum.

Mt Druitt Swimming Pool when it was open in early 2013.
Photo from The Daily Telegraph

The Mount Druitt Swimming Pool - run by Blacktown City Council for over 40 years. I have actually been there once in  23 years and have previously gone to Emerton Leisure Center or 'Ripples' St. Marys in the past.

Whenever I walk past the Mount Druitt Swimming Pool, I see a venue that it is not well occupied by the community;  I see little numbers of  community members using the pool compared to Emerton and St Marys Pool's. Maybe, past Council's have not promoted the well as a great community venue: No big advertising besides Council calenders and website. That is there was no advertising om the billboards on the side of Mount Druitt train station or Mount Druitt Bus Interchange, advertising family fun days, etc. and promotion of  public transport services to get there.

The above photo show how it really wasn't used by the community that well and more than half empty, plenty of seating!

I understand the Local Labor opposition's protest and rally to keep the pool open for the community but I find it extraordinary when, local identity Ben Price of Ben Price Real Estate Agent, son of a Former Federal Member of Chifley, Roger Price is looking to sell developmental median to High Rise units in Ayres Grove in Mount Druitt - around the corner from where where the Mount Druitt Pool is.

Click Here To View Ben Price Real Estate Agents Selling High Rise Properties

Now another factor to put into place, is 2 kilometers North East of Mount Druitt Swimming Pool is Emerton Swimming Pool as the crows flies and  on  the other side 1 kilometre  as the crow flies East there is the new 'Sydney Gymnastic and Aquatic Centre part of Rooty Hill R.S.L. This indicated we have 3 pools within  close proximity of each other.

So the conclusion is, the current Liberal/Independent Blacktown proposal to sell of the Mount Druitt Swimming Pool could  be  a step in the right direction to cater to the growing population even according prominent local identity's of Labor Party,who are selling land for that purpose.

But public transport planning must be put into action if any major land is sold to develop properties catering for the growth in future population.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

As from Today Public Transport Fares Increases 2014!

As public Transport  users, we all understand that  public transport fares increases, in line with CPI increases (with a few exceptions). In my  many years of catching public transport, I have never known a NSW Government that has reduced any  trains or bus fares. Heaven knows this could happen one day.

A of today we will have to pay extra fares except pensioner excursions, family fun days and Opal Card Owners

Click Here For Public Transport Fare Increases Prices!

Gladys Berejiklian announces rise in fares on trains, buses and ferries next year

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has announced an increase in public transport fares from January 5.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has announced an increase in public transport fares from January 5.
STATE Government rail, bus and ferry fares will rise on January 5 next year, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced today.
MyZone fares on Sydney Trains and Sydney Buses will rise, on average, in line with the current inflation rate, about 2 per cent, Ms Berejiklian said.
The rise is below the 2.6 per cent recommended maximum rise for buses in Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley made last month by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
Last year IPART recommended a maximum rise in train fares of 3.8 per cent for 2014.
Ms Berejiklian said the cost of travel for commuters using the new Opal electronic ticketing system will remain unchanged.
Sydney Buses will raise some fares from early next year.
Sydney Buses will raise some fares from early next year. Source: News Limited
However, some rail journeys on MyZone tickets will rise by as much as 5.5 per cent. A single fare on a short rail journey will move from $3.60 to $3.80.
A current rail weekly costing $60, such as those for people travelling to the city from Newcastle and Wollongong, will increase to $61 - a change of just 1.6 per cent.
A short bus journey will increase by 10c to $2.30.
The cheapest adult bus TravelTen will go up by 4.5 per cent from $17.60 to $18.40 while the $36.80 "TravelTen 3" will not change.
On Sydney Ferries, short single journeys will rise from $5.80 to $6. A TravelTen on the Manly ferry will jump by 2.7 pe cent to $59.20.
Rough waters may be ahead for ferry passengers who are also facing fare increases. Picture: Brett Costello
Rough waters may be ahead for ferry passengers who are also facing fare increases. Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Limited
Ms Berejiklian said the State Government is keeping increases in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as part of its commitment to keep prices low.
"We have always said that fares will only increase in line with CPI until there are demonstrable improvements in customer service, and while we are seeing a significant change for the better, we believe there is still work to do."
There will be no changes to the $2.50 pensioner excursion tickets or Family Funday Sunday tickets.
Ms Berejiklian said from January 5, Opal card holders can save up to 13 per cent more on adult fares compared to MyZone paper tickets. There had been criticism from commuters that for some journeys, the Opal card was proving more expensive

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Safer & More Air-Conditioned Sydney Train Services

Towards the end of last year (not far away), I met George from Penrith who catches Sydney Trains to and from Penrith to Parramatta and then travels to and from Westmead train station to get to and from work. 

Due to his shift work he will use a private car to get to and from work when he leaves at midnight, due to not have efficient safety measures on Sydney Trains around midnight.

One of the issues which he feels is extremely import to himself and other commuters is air conditioning - especially in the summer time where sometimes he catches hot trains or even no air conditioning on trains,  on the return trip. This important issue requires commuters comfort to be emphasised as matter of priority as this then means for a 30 minutes trip to home he gets hot, sweaty and could lead to not feeling better as he reaches home.

He believes that absolutely trains must have Air conditioning - regular maintenance checks may be required as it appears that may be  they aren't regularly checked not enough. Exceptions are the newer times on the T1 line - suggest having implementing more newer trains will place a greater emphasis in resolving the situation. Thus every one has a better comfort trip  home.

He suggested  that he would prefer to leave his car at night, but as he feels there are enough safety measures at night, he considers this as an important issue that needs to be looked into by the NSW Minister of Transport. This is a high matter of importance to promote more  non-commuters of public transport to willingly catch public trans late at nights, when there is complete safety implemented to cater for safer night time commuters. Then people will catch more public transport, reducing cars off the road and this is really what the NSW Government need to do to reduce congestion on roads point people to catch a most reliable & safer public trains network!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


We know there are hundreds of Mount Druitt Commuters  checking  our blogspot as we have had another record year of  visits to  our website, although we understand that once blogs are published  it is an international education to all public transport commuters and/or interest groups.

On behalf of  our group, I am so prod that people take interest even people I speak to as strangers and the public transport stake holders I am  aware of.  My belief is that what we are doing within the area, advocating for improved public transport is not recognised, is  well respected by all. Local newspapers will produce 'items of interest stories' as they have done in the past. Local politicians are printing off each publish blog, filing them and assessing which one is important for them to take up and handle. Locals are getting proud that our group takes important interest to ensure Mount Druitt is recognised as an important public transport hub as part of Western Sydney growth center.

Now for the local community successes we have had in the past  year:

  • Monthly meetings to  promote and improve public transport infrastructure, bus routes  & trains services within the area. 
  • Invitation to the Blacktown City Council Transport Forum that creates great interest  and reviewing of  what is needed to  cater for the future of public transport with  acknowledging that there will be substance growth of population with the area.
  • Local Newspaper press releases both the Mount Druitt Standard and also the St Marys Mount Druitt Star - we  thank them for their wonderful support.
  • Blacktown Council bus stop improvements, by providing concrete slabs on bus stops as per Disability Discrimination Act
  • Draft Blacktown City Council Integrated Transport Management Plan Summary - I participated & provided feedback, where Mount Druitt will be 2nd Stage major train station hub for the Northwest Link.

  • Mount Druitt petitioning of a proposed Free Shuttle Bus nearly 3,000 obtained.
  • Over 50,000 visits on our blogspot this year ( nearly the population of Mount Druitt), overall 111,000 visits on our blogspot

So we ask any community members to provide us with support and feedback as we represent you! And we thank you all  for listening, reading and support our ideas and suggestions.

This year we wish all commuters a  Happy & Prosperous New Year, Happy Commuting!

Save Our Bus Services

Read our story on how we made it our priority to ensure bus services are re-instated from services taken away in 2009.