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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First a philosphical question... regardless of what you do, there will always be things that need doing. Therefore, is a 'solution' to a problem actually achievable, and if it is, at what point is it solved?

I ask this because no matter how many train lines, busways and freeways we build, people will always want more - perhaps theres a saturation point, eg. Paris Metro where stations are about 500m apart, but I dont think this will ever be achieved in Sydney

Now onto the proper topic, and taking an idealists view in saying that there is a solution to Sydney's transport problem.

I believe its all about mentality. This is on two levels:
1. PT will work when people, wanting to go out, will think about how they will get there by train, rather than looking for driving directions. People must believe that when they catch PT, they are being fast, efficient, cost efficient and environmentally friendly. So essentially for it to work, journey times must be quicker than in a car and it must cost less
2. The government needs to recognise the hidden costs of cars to the environment, the roads budget and the health of its citizens - they need to realise that money spent on a new rail link is much more cost effective and solves the transport problem to a greater extent than freeways do

The reason Ive written this post is because Im really interested in this kind of thing, and when I finish school I want to do something in this area of interest. I think that you can make lots of ultimate maps (as I have done) but soon enough you realise its not about routes, its about what people think of the system
 

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First a philosphical question... regardless of what you do, there will always be things that need doing. Therefore, is a 'solution' to a problem actually achievable, and if it is, at what point is it solved?

I ask this because no matter how many train lines, busways and freeways we build, people will always want more - perhaps theres a saturation point, eg. Paris Metro where stations are about 500m apart, but I dont think this will ever be achieved in Sydney

Now onto the proper topic, and taking an idealists view in saying that there is a solution to Sydney's transport problem.

I believe its all about mentality. This is on two levels:
1. PT will work when people, wanting to go out, will think about how they will get there by train, rather than looking for driving directions. People must believe that when they catch PT, they are being fast, efficient, cost efficient and environmentally friendly. So essentially for it to work, journey times must be quicker than in a car and it must cost less
2. The government needs to recognise the hidden costs of cars to the environment, the roads budget and the health of its citizens - they need to realise that money spent on a new rail link is much more cost effective and solves the transport problem to a greater extent than freeways do

The reason Ive written this post is because Im really interested in this kind of thing, and when I finish school I want to do something in this area of interest. I think that you can make lots of ultimate maps (as I have done) but soon enough you realise its not about routes, its about what people think of the system
Fair point. New lines are very important, though. Coverage is a very, very important thing - as I know all too well, being limited to the PT system. It basically rules out travelling to places like the Hills District, along with much of Western Sydney, limiting employment opportunities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah, but to get new lines, people need to have a good impression of the existing ones.
for example if apple released ipod today, I hardly think that they would achieve the same number of sales as they do now over say the next yr

we need to get people where there are rail lines to say, wow i love the train - so fast... so that the people without trains, eg. Hills, Northern beaches, East start demanding them from the government since their friends have told them its so good

only then is there going to be the kind of support needed to fast track line building
 

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Many people in London don't own cars, or even believe that they need too. It's because they live within walking distance of a tube station, and the tube (or national rail) covers most of the city. You don't worry about time tables, as you know there is a tube train every few minutes, and it interconnects so well with other lines that you can pretty easily get to most parts of London quickly.
 

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yeah, but to get new lines, people need to have a good impression of the existing ones.
for example if apple released ipod today, I hardly think that they would achieve the same number of sales as they do now over say the next yr
Ironicaly, to get people to have a good impression of the lines, you need to build new lines and increase frequency.

It's a big circle.
 

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I think if governments had more passion, things such as public transport would automatically be a top priority. The way the situation is going now, one would get the impression that governments don't see PT as an investment into the future which is really dissapointing. Another reason why state govts don't invest as much as they should in public transport is because of public fear of budget deficits, which is also unfortunate. So one asks, is it really worth achieving a surplus when the basics will always get ignored, especially when things like transport and education spending end up paying themselves off in the future? People automatically think "budget deficit = evil", but I think it's worth racking up loans for something such as PT since it will end up being in a good thing in the long term. Major European cities have seen the advantages that good PT systems bring, and I'm sure these came at a cost at the time of their construction also.

The moment state government start becoming more PT-oriented, I think a PT mentality will grow with it. But this mentality is again halted by selfish citizens (e.g. people living on the Northern Beaches) that don't want a train line for whatever selfish pathetic argument they put forward. My response to that would be to ignore them and build a train line anyway. Problem again is that governments are too scared to do this because it would win them no votes. What a dilemma. :p
 

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we need to get people where there are rail lines to say, wow i love the train - so fast... so that the people without trains, eg. Hills, Northern beaches, East start demanding them from the government since their friends have told them its so good

only then is there going to be the kind of support needed to fast track line building
Just a quick point. People living in the Hills have been demanding a train line for decades.
 

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Many people in London don't own cars, or even believe that they need too. It's because they live within walking distance of a tube station, and the tube (or national rail) covers most of the city. You don't worry about time tables, as you know there is a tube train every few minutes, and it interconnects so well with other lines that you can pretty easily get to most parts of London quickly.
I reckon you would be crazy to own a car in London anyway. Parking is a nightmare I've heard, some people have to park a few streets away from their home.
 

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1. PT will work when people, wanting to go out, will think about how they will get there by train, rather than looking for driving directions. People must believe that when they catch PT, they are being fast, efficient, cost efficient and environmentally friendly. So essentially for it to work, journey times must be quicker than in a car and it must cost less
I agree strongly with this point. Many Sydneysiders don't seem to know that it is in fact quicker to travel by train to the city than to drive.

It takes 20 minutes to travel by rail from Hurstville to the city yet it takes 30 minutes to drive.

From Sylvania it takes 35 minutes to drive, but it takes 45 minutes on public transport (bus and train). It's longer but given that I don't need to find parking and in peak hours, congested roads mean that there is really no difference

Then add time for parking, and you'll be amazed at how much time you waste.

And from my uni, you can walk 15 minutes to Strathfield, and find yourself in the city another 15 minutes after that. It takes the same time by road, but you get much needed exercise as well :)

Morris Iemma unfortuantely is too pro road and very uncommitted to improving public transport. How will he get people off the roads if he won't commit to improving services. Thats why many drive in the first place. If there was a quick and reliable service, I can see many giving up their cars.

Also at uni, if bus services between the campus and Strathfield were improved (only 1-2 services per hour total for the 407 and 483) students would take public transport rather than battling for spots in our overcrowded carpark.
 

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PT usage increases as density increases. Those apartment buildings along rail corridors in Sydney? That's why PT gets used here and it doesn't really work in Canberra.

I'm not saying that public transport (even heavy rail) doesn't work in quarter-acre suburbia, but if a city like Melbourne wants people to start using the trains more, it has to allow people to live close to the trains, i.e high density hubs in suburban areas.
 

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I grew up in Sydney, but have lived in Japan, London and Dusseldorf.

On a 1st world scale the PT in Sydney is very poor. The biggest problem at the moment is there is no reason for people not to own cars. The frequency of the trains/buses etc can be shocking.

For PT to really work people need to be able to rely on it wherever they need to. Weekends included. The weekend timetable in Sydney is a freaking joke. Trains every 30 minutes! WTF were they thinking. They should be aiming for a train at least every 15 minutes to every station from 6am to 22:30, and then rolling back to a 30 minute service till 0:30 or so. Even if they ever did this it will take some years to train people to rely on PT.

Buese are another big issue. It's good they do currently run till 23:30-0:30 at the moment, but the Sunday PM service is a joke. Many bus runs start to run once an hour after 17:00 on Sundays!. If people need a car for Sunday getting around, they will also use it on other days.

Other things that need fixing? Well Sydney really needs an all day bus ticket. At the moment there is one, but you can only buy it from the bus ticket place at the QVB. Totally pointless. Oh and zone tickets are needed as well. But again this will all be far to obvious and hard for Sydney to do :(

The German PT ticketing is stunning. When I lived in Dusseldorf I had a monthly ticket that covered the Stadtbahn and the buses. After 19:00 I could take a friend for free. All weekend I could take a friend for free. During the week, because I had a monthly ticket I could save 5% on regional tickets (say to Newcastle) and on weekends if I stayed in the Rhine-Ruhr area I couild catch the slow trains toother cities for free.
It really encouraged people to use PT.

PT is not that hard to do. Sydney just needs to look at how well it works elsewhere and copy that.
 

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The biggest problem with PT for the governments is it is an upfront cost with benefits over a long period of time, whereas roads have a drawn out cost with an immediate benefit.

It is like how many government departments rent office space where over a 20 year period they could have bought twice the space for the same amount of money.

PT requires forethought.
 

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Sydney transport is just shocking in general, how the **** people get around in that city I dont know. I have had a friend recently move from Canberra to Sydney and her morning commute has risen from 15mins to 1.5hours. My brother used to live in outer london and it used to take him half that time to get to central london.
 

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I don't think we should be aiming that peakhour is like a sunday morning drive. There will always be congestion in peakhour. Our main thing to do is just to make sure there is the capacity for people to even move.
 

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I am looking at changing jobs and my travel time will increase from around 15 minutes to roughly 1h 15 minutes. I will also start to catch PT instead of driving. I am not really looking forward to the travelling although I will get more exercise as I can walk to the station. The reason for the change is for better career prospects and the travel is only a small part of working life in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just thought I'd add this link - if you read the whole article, you'll see the bit on Bondi. This is what I mean - public transport is probably the best at Bondi Junction than anywhere else in Sydney, and the buses that connect the surrounding suburbs are fast and frequent (400, 353, 378, 333, 389, 380...). But still people have to drive... the only reason people don't catch the bus is because they think itll be slow and dirty and Id even go as far as to say (being the Eastern Suburbs) that people think bus travel is "below" them, so to speak. This is the main problem that needs fixing. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/saturday-sydneys-one-big-car-park/2007/05/18/1178995411708.html
 

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That article is about weekends. The problem with weekends is -
(1) most travel is for bulky shopping
(2) much travel is for indirect locations which is poorly served by the public transport network
(3) buses are less frequent, particularly Sundays, even though trains have used a single weekend timetable for decades
(4) many more cash fares means slower loading
(5) traffic is just as bad as peak

So I can sit on the 389 which has a 10 minute Saturday frequency and be delayed by the traffic and cash loading such that three buses can bunch up...
 

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the only tim ei took PT in sydney was to bondi junction then on to the beach, i found it quite efficient, don't know what the rest of the network is like though. I think all australian cities have the same problem, as so many people have the same mindset, that car > PT, which is probably true. The catch 22 situation though is that the governments won't improve the systems until there is more people using them, but the people won't use them until the governments improve them. In saying that i htink the WA government is doing a fantastic job. When the SSR is finnished it will be quicker for me to take the train and bus than drive, that is fantastic!! However even though it takes longer to take the bus i still do atm.
 

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That article is about weekends. The problem with weekends is -
(1) most travel is for bulky shopping
(2) much travel is for indirect locations which is poorly served by the public transport network
(3) buses are less frequent, particularly Sundays, even though trains have used a single weekend timetable for decades
(4) many more cash fares means slower loading
(5) traffic is just as bad as peak

So I can sit on the 389 which has a 10 minute Saturday frequency and be delayed by the traffic and cash loading such that three buses can bunch up...
(6) People like my family who travelled to a family do by car although we were going between two suburbs on the same train line. :eek:hno:
 

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Also another problem with PT in australia, is that its alright when you are going by yourself, but when there is a group, its always cheaper and easier to go by car. Maybe they need to fix this up before more people use PT.
 
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