Australia, Bus Industry News

Western Sydney set to receive better buses thanks to funding boost

Destination screens and audio announcements will be some of the upgrades seen across the state

Western Sydney commuters will soon be riding around in better buses, more often, as the NSW government has allocated $139.5 million to the state’s bus network to modernise the fleet and create more reliable, accessible services.

The work, set to begin later this year, will see upgrades to 4000 Opal-enabled buses in Greater Sydney and another 1000 in outer metropolitan areas.

This will involve installing modern passenger communications including on-board screens and audio announcements – which has been tested in the Northern Beaches – so commuters know which stop they are at and where to get off.

It will also eliminate so-called ‘ghost buses’ by further replacing old technology to provide passengers with live, accurate information about when the next service is coming.

“Millions of people rely on buses – they’re the cornerstone of a thriving, interconnected and reliable public transport network,” transport minister Jo Haylen says.

“We’ve done a lot of positive work with buses since coming to government but there’s still more to do – and that’s what this investment will begin to deliver, especially for communities in our growing West.”

These upgrades will be the largest coordinated overhaul in NSW history, with premier Chris Minns saying it will make a major difference to passengers across NSW.

“This vital investment into our bus network means Western Sydney has greater access to services than ever before,” Minns says.

“These are modest upgrades that will make a major difference to passengers across NSW, while continuing our transition to net zero public transport and driving local jobs and manufacturing in the emission-free bus sector.”

The 2024-25 Budget will also inject $24.7 million over 4 years for more services, new routes and more Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) in Western Sydney which will create opportunities for local manufacturers.

Key suburbs to receive critical changes include Penrith, St Marys, Mount Druitt, Marsden Park, Riverstone, Blacktown, Eastern Creek, Kemps Creek and Arndell Park.

North West suburbs are set to see an increase in frequency and service hours for existing routes, more bus connections to train and metro stations and new routes that will connect passengers with schools, shops and employment hubs.

“People living in our fast-growing suburbs really rely on affordable transport options,” deputy premier Prue Car says.

“Buses are an essential service that our community should be able to count on, whether that is their sole form of public transport or a vital connection to a nearby train station.”

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