NSW boarding rules relaxed

Rear boarding at Sydney CBD bus stops gets the thumbs up after successful trial

Rear-door bus boarding will be allowed permanently at Sydney’s CBD bus stops from October 6, following a successful trial of the system.

The initial two-week trial showed strong results in moving passengers faster and should help counteract issues causes by the closure of bus lanes during light rail construction in the CBD.

New South Wales minister for transport Andrew Constance says rear boarding will only be allowed for Opal card holders and only during the afternoon peak at five of the city’s busiest stops.

"These are exactly the kinds of improvements we need to be making to the CBD road network to ensure the network keeps operating efficiently and effectively throughout the years of construction ahead of us," he says

A considerable reduction in average bus alighting times was achieved during the trial in June.

"The time it took to board was reduced by more than 30 per cent at a westbound stop on Druitt Street near Kent Street, while Wynyard Stand R and Clarence Street Stand Q produced results better than 20 per cent," Constance says.

"Some services were able to move away from the stop up to 40 seconds faster. It may not sound like much, but every second counts when people are trying to get home."

The move coincides with changes to CBD bus routes that will see buses removed from George Street altogether, and rear boarding will begin under the supervision of marshals at bus stops on Druitt, Clarence and York Streets.

"It was clear that at these busy stops, rear-door loading under the supervision of a marshal made a real difference to dwell-times, reduced footpath crowding and in some cases traffic congestion was reduced," Constance says.

"The biggest improvements were seen between 5pm and 6pm, but there were unexpected benefits such as marshals being able to keep the bus stops clear of other vehicles and some buses loading more evenly, rather than standing passengers congregating near the front of the bus."

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