Sydneysiders taking the bus, train and ferry to escape congestion

Sydney is leading the nation when it comes to public transport, with a growing number of people ditching the car to catch the city’s buses, trains and ferries, according to a new report released by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) and L.E.K. Consulting.

The TTF-L.E.K. Consulting Public Transport Barometer provides up-to-date insights into the performance of major metropolitan public transport networks in Australia and tracks just how many Australians are choosing to take public transport in their day-to-day lives.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said the report has found that Sydney’s strong population growth and high levels of economic activity saw public transport patronage surge ahead in 2017.

“Sydney’s love affair with public transport is growing stronger every year,” Ms Osmond said.

“The year on year growth for the city’s bus, train and ferry services are spectacularly eclipsing every other Australian capital city and look set to do so well into the future based on current trends.

“In 2017, Sydneysiders took 386 million rail trips, 254 million bus trips and 16 million ferry trips.

“This is only set to grow this year as the two new Barangaroo ferry wharves that opened in June 2017 grow in popularity, the NSW Government continues to invest in the More Trains, More Services program to increase rail capacity and the light rail and Sydney Metro come on-line.”

L.E.K. Consulting Senior Partner, Simon Barrett, said this edition of the Transport Barometer focused on rising congestion levels in Australia’s capital cities and the subsequent impact on public transportation.

“What this report has found is that Sydney is one of the most congested cities in the world, ranking within the top 30 and experiencing more congestion than San Francisco, New York, and Singapore – cities with similar or larger populations,” Mr Barrett said.

“The congestion choking Sydney adds an additional 41 minutes on to the daily commute of the average Sydneysider – or a staggering 157 hours a year – which is a key reason why we are seeing more and more people leave the car at home to catch public transport.

“Increasing congestion levels in Australia are estimated to cost $16.5 billion to metropolitan cities – $6 billion in private time costs, $8 billion in business time costs, $1.5 billion in extra vehicle operating costs and $1 billion in additional air pollution costs.

“These are avoidable costs. This paper sends a clear message to the NSW and Federal Governments that without increased investment in key congestion-busting projects such as the Sydney Metro West the cost of congestion and the negative impact on people’s day-to-day lives will continue to skyrocket.”