Rear alighting in Sydney

Successful two-week trial may see rear-boarding adopted full-time in Sydney’s CBD

Transport for NSW will consider all-door bus boarding, after a trial of the unconventional, but faster method went off without a hitch in Sydney’s CBD last month.

The trial went ahead under the supervision of safety marshals to ensure everyone boarded safely and has been done to improve the efficiency of buses in peak times.

Transport for NSW CBD transport coordinator Marg Prendergast says experts are reviewing data gathered during the trial, which ran from June 15 to 26.

­"We know the CBD is approaching a time of increased activity and significant disruption, so we want to ensure all parts of the network are operating as effectively as possible," she says.

"The trial was conducted to see whether all-door loading under the supervision of marshals could reduce the time buses were waiting at stops without sacrificing safety for customers and other road users."

The trial did result in the faster flow of bus traffic, since passengers did not have to wait to board through the front door and were seated more promptly as a result and there were other benefits.

"As we monitored the trial, we saw there were some noticeable upsides at those busy locations, some of which we hadn’t anticipated," Ms Prendergast  says.

"One example was that while there were no buses at a stop marshals were able to ensure cars and other vehicles didn’t block the bus stop areas."

Changes to bus routes in the CBD from October are part of changes to the city including the construction of light rail along George Street.

"Buses waiting at stops don’t just slow cars, taxis and other vehicles, they delay the buses behind them that have to wait to use the stop," Ms Prendergast says.

"More than ever before, after October we will need to make efficient use of all road space in the CBD."

By reducing the time buses are stopped, it is hoped that journey times will be reduced, reliability will improve and all traffic will get a smoother run through the city.

"An extra one million people are expected to live and work in Sydney within the next decade," Ms Prendergast says.

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