Thursday, July 25, 2024

NSW Premier onboard with bus network upgrades

NSW Premier, Chris Minns says Western Sydney communities are set to benefit from more buses, more often, as part of a $139.5 million boost to the state’s bus network that will modernise the fleet and create more reliable, accessible services for passengers.

Buses carry more than 40% of public transport passengers in NSW, representing nearly 300 million trips each year.

The NSW Government’s 2024-25 Budget will allocate $91 million towards a Bus System Upgrade program that will deliver major improvements for commuters.

“This vital investment into our bus network means Western Sydney has greater access to services than ever before,” said the Premier.

“These are modest upgrades that will make a major difference to passengers across NSW, while continuing our transition to net zero public transport and driving local jobs and manufacturing in the emission-free bus sector.”

The work, set to begin later this year, will see upgrades to 4,000 Opal-enabled buses in Greater Sydney and another 1,000 in outer metropolitan areas.

This will involve installing modern passenger communications including on-board screens and audio announcements, so commuters know which stop they are at and where to get off. It will also eliminate so-called ‘ghost buses’ by further replacing old technology to provide passengers with live, accurate information about when the next service is coming.

The project represents the first time this number of buses has received a coordinated overhaul in the state’s history.

“People living in our fast-growing suburbs really rely on affordable transport options,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car.

“Buses are an essential service that our community should be able to count on, whether that is their sole form of public transport or a vital connection to a nearby train station.”

The 2024-25 Budget will also inject $24.7 million over four years for more services, new routes and more Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) in Western Sydney.

Key suburbs to receive critical changes include Penrith, St Marys, Mount Druitt, Marsden Park, Riverstone, Blacktown, Eastern Creek, Kemps Creek and Arndell Park.

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