Government committed

By: Amie Hickland

BusNSW is pleased with State Government commitment to investigate feasibility of BRT projects

Government committed
BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish

By Amie Hickland | June 18, 2014

BusNSW has welcomed initiatives in the New South Wales 2014-15 State Budget released earlier this week – particularly a commitment to investigate the feasibility of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects.

Under the budget, $91 million will be invested into the state’s bus network and deliver 199 new buses for customers across Sydney, Western Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra.

The State will also invest $633 million in the Northern Beaches over the next five years towards key public transport and road improvements.

Funding in the 2014-15 Budget for projects in Western Sydney including $400 million for work to accelerate a Western Sydney light rail system (subject to feasibility) $863 million for the 36-kilometre North West Rail Link, and $103 million to complete the South West Rail Link from Glenfield to Leppington.

There is also $398 million for WestConnex and $109 million for road upgrades to support Sydney's second airport at Badgerys Creek.

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish is pleased to see the expanded infrastructure funding in the budget and is confident the road based projects will incorporate improved bus priority measures right from the pre planning stages.

"Most major Infrastructure projects have advantages for growing bus and coach travel - for example as feeder services to the North West and South Eastern Rail projects and to support a second airport at Badgerys creek."

In regards to light rail funding, Mellish says he has been reassured by State Government that future rapid transit projects will include full consideration of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) options.

"The budget supports the feasibility study for BRT (with new tunnels) to the northern beaches and is considered a high priority investment," he says.

"BusNSW has previously made submissions promoting various BRT projects which are gaining in support despite the political leanings to light rail solutions."

Mellish understands there is ongoing pressure on recurrent spending on bus services which does not come out in the budget papers - the continued commitment to provide 91 additional growth buses in 2014/15 is most commendable.

"I understand these are in addition to the normal bus replacement program," he says.

"In 2006/7 BusNSW initiated a campaign for the 10000 bus growth program which has been adopted over a 10 year period.

"The additional growth buses will improve frequency and coverage of bus services across all parts of Sydney (majority for Western Sydney) as well as some improvements for the Hunter and Illawarra areas."

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook