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Subject: Mon.20.7.20 daily digest
If you don't like something, then don't read it. That's why items have headings.
Certainly, don't start a flame war online. That is the equivalent of playground bullying, primary and secondary. Most TDU posters are past that age. I spent a career observing the signs and symptoms.
I don't join flame wars.
I don't read any of the football pages in my paid-for newspaper, but don't post to the editor 'I don't want to read this, so nobody should'.
Spend your time posting your own great material.
"171120-Melbourne'Age'-intersections-b.jpg" with atn
"171120-Melbourne'Age'-intersections-a-ss.jpg" with atn
"200720M-'SMH'-bus.driver-mask-ss.jpg" with atn
Mon.20.7.20 Metro Twitter
On Monday 20 July, trains will resume on the Frankston and Stony Point lines, and the new Mentone Station opens.
- Super work. I can’t wait to take the train to work again, perhaps in 2023.
- Such a pity to not replace Werribee station.
6.48 Minor delays (an equipment fault near Stony Point).
7.04 Major delays (an equipment fault near Werribee). Trains may terminate/originate at Laverton.
- 7.30 Trains will depart from altered platforms Werribee - Laverton.
- 8.05 Delays clearing after equipment faults in the Newport and Werribee areas.
Congratulations to Mia, Vinuthi and Chanithu for winning this year's Metro rail-safety poster competition. It’s wonderful to see these important messages interpreted with such creativity
15.35 Craigieburn line: Major delays (equipment faults near Jacana).
- 16.09 clearing.
Buses replace trains Newport - Werribee from 19.25 until the last train (works).
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Upfield from 20.20 until the last train (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains Parliament - Clifton Hill from 20.20 until the last train (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham from 20.30 until the last train (works).
Lilydale/Belgrave: All trains will terminate/originate at Burnley from 20.50 until the last train (works). From Southern Cross and loop stations, take a Pakenham [or Frankston?] train to Richmond, then change to a Glen Waverley train to Burnley.
Glen Waverley line: All trains will run direct to/from Flinders St from 20.50 until the last train maintenance works)
Sunbury/Craigieburn/Upfield lines: All trains run direct to/from Flinders St (works). From loop stations, take a tram to Flinders St [and walk from Market St / Collins St].
November 19 2017 The Sydney commuters facing longer journeys due to train timetable overhaul
The biggest overhaul of Sydney's rail timetable in four years will result in more frequent trains for tens of thousands of commuters but for some it will mean longer travel times because they will have to switch services to get to their destinations.
When the timetable changes kick in next Sunday, those travelling from Campbelltown in Sydney's south-west to Parramatta, Granville, Strathfield and other stations on the Western Line will have to change trains at Glenfield. That is because T2 services will start from Leppington instead of Campbelltown.
And, while extra services will be added to the Bankstown Line quickening journeys for many, trains will skip more stations during peak hours. St Peters in the inner west, in particular, will have fewer trains on the Bankstown Line stop to pick up commuters.
People travelling on the Bankstown Line will need to change trains at Sydenham to get to St Peters. And those travelling from St Peters will have to catch trains on the T8 Line during peak hours to get to the central business district.
How much your Opal fare will rise in July
While Burwood will gain more services via the T2 Inner West Line, passengers at Harris Park, Granville, Clyde, Auburn and Lidcombe will have to rely on T2 services during periods of the day instead of the T1 Western Line.
That's because trains on the T1 Line will skip those stations during the peak as more express trains run between Parramatta and the CBD.
The timetable changes mean those travelling from the CBD to Richmond on the T1 Line after about 10pm will have to switch trains at Parramatta, Seven Hills or Blacktown, adding time to their journeys.
Trains on the Blue Mountains Line will also no longer stop at Redfern, which will mean commuters such as Sydney University students travelling from the west will have to switch services at Strathfield, or travel to Central and then catch a train back to Redfern.
Fewer trains on the Bankstown Line will stop at St Peters during peak hours. Photo: Nick Moir
Labor transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay said the timetable changes should mean improved services, not longer travel times and skipping of stations.
"Commuters aren't being told about any possible negative impacts of this new timetable – just the spin," she said.
T2 services will start from the new Leppington Station instead of Campbelltown in Sydney's south west.
"All we hear from the government's ads is 'improved services', but that's not the case for many people – and those people aren't being told anything."
However, Transport for NSW said the 1500 extra weekly services and 750 at weekends to be introduced from next Sunday as part of the timetable changes amounted to the largest increase in capacity on Sydney's rail network at one time.
"While we recognise some customers will go through some change, we know that the majority of customers will be better off with more services more often," a spokeswoman said.
"We look to deliver improvements where and when they're needed most. It's an evidence-based approach, considering high-priority factors like customer feedback and Opal data."
The transport agency said it had fielded only about 230 complaints since it started a public campaign in mid-October about the timetable changes.
As part of those changes, the network map for Sydney's rail network has been refreshed to make it easier for commuters and tourists to understand, which includes rebadging the T2 Airport Line the T8 and extending the T5 Line to Leppington and Richmond.
Colin Schroeder, from public transport advocacy group EcoTransit, said part of the rationale for the timetable changes was to get commuters accustomed to switching train services more frequently to get to their destinations.
"Dropping St Peters out of the T3 timetable during the peak seems to be a ploy to get people used to changing trains at Sydenham in preparation for the conversion of the Bankstown Line to metro," he said.
A 13.5-kilometre stretch of track between Sydenham and Bankstown will be closed for up to two months each year for five years from 2019 to allow for the rail line to be converted to carry driverless metro trains.
The new timetable will not result in changes to the peak-hour periods for Sydney trains of 7am to 9am and 4pm to 6.30pm on weekdays. Commuters gain a 30 per cent discount on full-price Opal fares for travelling outside the peak-hour periods.
Related Articles 'Choke point': Sydney's train timetable set for 'revolution'
More videos: The reason CBD train trips cost more. A quirk from the time of paper tickets means some commuters are unwittingly paying to travel further than the actual distance of their trip.
* It's not just rail commuters who will have major alterations to their journeys next week. There are many changes to bus routes and journeys. In particular the B-line bus service to/from the Northern Beaches will start. When this bus service was first announced, politicians stated there would be major savings in bus journey times to justify the implementation. But playing around with the timetable, there now, there appears to be little difference between the current trip time from Mona Vale to the City and after the 26th when the new timetables start. The only benefit seems that passengers on B-line services will get to charge their electronic devices on the free USB ports - let's see how long these stay unvandalised. And how bus drivers deal with incidents involving passengers on the upper deck. I for one will not be keen to travel on the upper deck down the Spit Bends!
* Moving the deckchairs when what is needed are cross-linking lines across the existing network, so that we can actually go from A to B without making these ludicrous 30 km detours via Redfern / Central.
* so what do you think of the FTS option for Kogarah-(Kingsgrove?)-Bankstown-Parrramatatta, rather than the historic Hursy-Strathfield?
* Pity the folk from Campbelltown through to Panania who want to travel to Padstow or any other station through to Turrella. Their journey will now be at least 12 minutes longer. Why? The all stations train from Revesby now leaves 3 minutes before the train from Campbelltown/Macarthur arrives. Until this Friday the all stations train leaves 4 minutes after the train from Campbelltown. Is this what passes for progress these days? It appears those undertaking the reverse journey may experience some similar problems.
* You're forgetting Sydney Trains' corporate motto and mission statement: "We are not in the business of providing connections."
* More trains, more services....I think not. I can only assume these more services are for those people they want to assist. The Richmond line has had a service cut during one of it's most busiest times and the services either side of it pushed out so there are even longer wait times. Obviously relying on a computer (opal) rather than physical observation was considered enough. Also changing trains is fine if you have a large number of working gates and platforms are connected without gates which is not the case.
I would expect that non toll roads are going to get busier in some places as the train system will not be favourable over public transport.
* The new 2017 timetable cuts fast trains from Lidcombe, Auburn, Granville and fails to restore direct city services from Berala and Regents Park via the Inner West Line.
* This is "really" an "opening the immigration floodgates problem" not a transport problem. By opening it's borders to an unlimited flood of third world immigrants Australia is, unsurprisingly, transforming itself into an overcrowded third world country so overcrowded transport is just one of the many downsides to come. Cause & effect is obvious.
* There are no changes to T4 (Bondi/Illawarra) services; customers living at Penshurst and Mortdale regularly wait 20 mins for trains that can stop at Hurstville and Oatley but not the 2 stations between !!
* Meanwhile, stations on the South Coast Line such as Otford and Stanwell Park, still are stuck with a measly 2 hourly service on weekends. This is despite their increasing popularity. This is especially so with Otford given that it is the closest station to the Figure 8 Pool which has gained it a substantially increased "customer" usage notably from overseas tourists.
Transport for NSW's Opal stats should tell them about the popularity of Otford on weekends yet these stats are apparently ignored. So much for an "evidence-based approach".
The South Coast Line has ghost tunnels (the abandoned ones near Helensburgh) but I wasn't aware it also has ghost trains! It must have, as I once got a reply from a NSW Trains scribe that Otford and Stanwell Park actually have a train every 90 minutes. These 90 minute services are not in the timetable so they must be the ghost trains!
* The NSW Transport spokesman said “It's an evidence-based approach, considering high-priority factors like customer feedback and Opal data." I doubt that there is evidence or feedback that says Macarthur commuters want slower trips to work in the morning, or that they want to change trains at Campbelltown to get an express via Sydenham.
* The 6.41 express train from Macarthur has been replaced by a 6.39 train Leave earlier and arrive later, journey time to City has increased by 10 minutes.
* It’s time to pack up and get out of this pathetic city. Pathetic country. What a joke this place is.
* A totally insane planning as far a 3 stations (Wenty, Pendle Hill and Toongabbie) concerned. It is an utter discrimination done to commuters of these stations. There is no reason to keep such a low level of service compared to next stations Westmead and Seven hills.
* I spent an enjoyable hour at Wenty station the other month waiting for a train at 8pm. I'd have reached my destination sooner if I'd crawled to Westmead using only my arms. However I did get a good way into The Brothers Karamazov, as well as gain a greater appreciation for the surrounding ambience of Wenty station, its particular architectural design, and so on.
* Great, more agony for the Western & South Western Sydney travellers where a huge portion of Sydney resides. Well done Transport NSW!
Travel times from Rooty Hill to Macquarie Park increased by 5 minutes like it was very short already.
Buses are never on time, either late or early. Transport NSW people should be sent to Japan for training where even 20 seconds matter. Bring back the old timetable.
* The changes are being heavily promoted as an improvement. I fail to see how increasing journey times on the Richmond line by removing limited-stop services with trains now stopping at intermediate stations (from Seven Hills to Westmead) can be called better service! Similarly if travelling in the evening having to change between T1 and T5 is definitely a retrograde step.
* Because it then means that more stations are served. It's overall a good idea. But to be justified, they really need to be increasing density around stations, which they are doing at only a few selected stations. Density needs to be increased around all stations. It's ridiculous for instance that they are going to run a train stopping at Yennora which has a population of about 8 people owing to the zoning every few minutes. Areas 400 metres around every station need to be rezoned for high density. This will boost Sydney Trains income, and reduce the cost of housing (never mind about the silly article claiming the opposite based on very dubious assumptions and conflations) and relieve traffic congestion. Yet the government does nothing about this. The buck is just being passed between the NSW Planning Department, The Housing Minister, and now the Greater Sydney Commision is in the ring for the buck passing round and round the circle while nothing is done to stop urban sprawl. In fact if the GSC have their way it will be car-dependent sprawl on steroids and we will have queues of traffic a mile long waiting to access a station when the oil shock price hike comes.
* EASTWOOD will lose its express services on weekends. That means a journey from Central to Eastwood will now take 31 minutes instead of 22 minutes, a 40% increase. Enough to make driving attractive again. There is no gain for the longer distance travellers from this, the train just sits at Central, departing one minute later than currently.
Transport could have gone half way and retained Eastwood as a stop for the slower of the two express trains, that would retain one per hour while the faster one went straight through.
I think we are being softened up for seriously negative changes on the northern line when (and before) the metro opens.
* The main idea though is a good one. If you're going to run a train from A to B, you might as well have it stop at intervening stops to pick up passengers. Sure that is a big increase in time, but a lot of express trains turn out to be only a few minutes quicker than an all stops. Many express trains also get caught behind an all stops and effectively become an all stops train but one that doesn't open the doors when it's at a station. This is a massive waste.
There's only one single express run that I can think of in the London underground network, and it's only about 5 minutes faster than the all stops. The point of a good network is that all trains are all stops and you get a train every few minutes. The government are trying to implement this idea, which is basically a sound one.
* I wouldn't be too concerned. Gladys B will check the boundaries of the Federal Electorate of Bennelong and realise that Eastwood is almost in the middle of it! You will get your weekend trains back!
* The first priority for Sydney is to terminate Westconnex Stages 3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9. The $50,000 million saved (the government doesn't disclose the number) should be redirected to modes of transport that fast, modern, integrated and high capacity. The independent evaluations of all the options have not been done but probably the highest priority would be Stage 1 of the NSW Fast Train Network, Redfern One to Penrith/ West Sydney International Airport.
* Strap in for more of the same. This is the status quo. Whilst the major political parties run an unsustainable migration rate of over 200K per year, and spend no where near what is needed to cater for the infrastructure and services required for that additional number of people, this is what you get. You vote for any of the majors and this is what you are voting for. More congestion, longer commutues, packed schools ,higher house prices, cheap developer-driven
shoebox style housing solutions. We are bringing in the equivalent of a 747 of people every day, including weekends, into Sydney AND Melbourne. A Ballarat added to each city every year. Its clear this is unsustainable. If you drive, you know it. If you have children at school, you know it. If you need to go to hospital, you know it. If you need a good job, you know it. The economy has been hollowed out. Few high paying jobs. If you need a pay rise, you know it. If you need to buy a house you know it. But the major political parties refuse to acknowledge this. Its their way of getting an increasing GDP figure whilst GDP per capita goes down. That is your living standard and lifestyle disappearing. Germany and Japan are doing fine without a population ponzi scheme, its about time we did to. They are clearly more productive countries.
* The city managers stagger from one crisis to another as they provide new band-aids on old ones.. At present growth rates, Sydney needs to build 6 new suburbs a year and add 3 new train stations annually. It is too much. Government is incapable of solving the problems. Don't give us more migrants; give us a break.
* Certainly not 'improved' timetable if that's what Cityrail is calling it, not for people who change at Glenfield to city. Adds extra minutes to my traveling time. Not well planned at all. And soon they will be pushing increased fares on us. How is this fair. We already paying more on Opal card bet increase fares is on the way!
* The poor people in St Peters. Getting smashed by Westconnex construction, for a road they won't use, and now their train services are being cut.
* Part of the plan to get people into their cars. We are having a 1950s transport policy moment.
* The "Blue Mountains Line" is provided primarily for people living in the Blue Mountains, that is the area west of Penrith. These services should not pander to the needs of suburban travellers who have other options for getting around the system. Redfern is singled out here, but what about passengers who want to go to/from, say, Newtown or Ashfield? For years they have coped with changing at Strathfield for other suburban services; are Redfern travellers less capable?
* I dread 2019 when my track from bankstown line will be shut down for 2 months :( .Its going to be a pain to bus it in peak out to and from and add so much time on the road. Sucksssssssssssssssss donkey doo they did this
* Two months? Judging from the tramway debacle on George St. you will be lucky if it is not shut down for two years. All for a supposed "improvement" in services that Gladys has admitted will be no more than 5 minutes for a typical journey yet will be on single deck trains with minimal seating - just benches along the sides. Billions will be wasted on degrading Bankstown line services just so the line can be handed to private operators.
Why not spend the same funds on building a new line in areas that lack public transport instead of wrecking a perfectly adequate existing service? Perhaps the problem with that idea is that it does fit the LNP's privatization agenda.
* The article's title is misleading. Should be few or some Sydney commuters, instead of "The Sydney commuters". Do not understand why SMH of Fairfax can not report more objectively, instead of such subjectively.
* There are a good many commuters who will be caught up in these changes. Quite a few stations are to be bypassed and some services wil require a change of train. It may be great for those that live at a major station where express services will stop; but for many it is an adjustment that will take time to get used to.
When Carlingford line passengers find out they are getting a tram to Parramatta instead of a train to Clyde, resulting in a much slower commute, the complaints will only increase.
* don’t you think the same way transport nsw is selling the new timetable?
* I think I know why there are few complaints. The travelling public have absolutely no confidence that even the most constructive comment would be heeded. As the article reminds us, this is the mob that is going to close a functioning railway line for two months a year over five years so they can flog it to mates.
* And that line will have no express services when it is rebuilt.
* Previous time for my journey was 38 min between Guildford to Central Station and with new timetable it will be 42min. Wow improved service. Note: that the services was always late previously and with a number of complaint never heard anything back from Transport.
* I think that's because of the stop at Clyde.
* Burwood is in the State Government's sights to cut. It's the place with the 8th largest daylight population in Sydney, and the 17th busiest station. Negative impacts include:
- no express trains on the T1 (Western and Northern) line to / from the city in peak hour
- the semi-express trains on the T2 (South) line will provide a slower journey than people currently get, as they stop at Ashfield and Newtown, and are also sharing a line with slow all stops trains
- currently between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning there are 8 express services from Burwood to Town Hall / Wynyard in the existing timetable....there will only be 5 in the new timetable, and these will be slower. 35 years ago there were probably 15 fast expresses! Ah, the price of progress.
many people will now have to use the slower local / all stations T2 service in peak hours
- these local / all stations trains will now come from places like Parramatta or Leppington, and will likely be filled with people, unlike the current local / all stations trains which come from Homebush and have plenty of seats at stops like Burwood, Croydon and Ashfield.
- no direct services to / from North Shore in peak hours
- no direct services to / from Parramatta on weekends
- no direct services to / from places west of Parramatta at any time
- that no T1 services stop there in peak hour means that if there are delays on the T2 line, then basically Burwood will be at a standstill. The option of taking T1 or T2 is gone. Overdevelopment is putting pressure on Burwood's infrastructure. Now is the time to be improving services, not reducing the quantity or quality of them.
- Granville, Auburn and Lidcombe will also be penalized by the new timetable.
* Burwood's platforms will become dangerously crowded if services are cut.
* Three Central Coast trains in p.m. peak period will stop at Burwood and one in the morning peak. These are just token improvements for Burwood passengers (or "customers") and will do next to nothing to improve things for them.
On the other hand, it will mean that these 3 Central Coast trains in the p.m. will be more overcrowded than ever and Burwood people will be competing for seats not just with Central Coast "customers" but with those travelling to Strathfield, Eastwood and Epping. When the Chatswood-Epping line closes for 6 months next year for the ill-considered conversion to a Metro, the overcrowding of Central Coast trains will be unbearable. Burwood "customers" might not even be able to get on them anyway.
* "People travelling on the Bankstown Line will need to change trains at Sydenham to get to St Peters". The heavily populated station serving half of Newtown, and Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre? Absurd. "And those travelling from St Peters will have to catch trains on the T8 Line during peak hours to get to the central business district." How on earth will that work? Isn't T8 the new name for the airport line? That's an extremely long walk from St Peters. A typo, surely. "Trains on the Blue Mountains Line will also no longer stop at Redfern" This can't be serious. "to make it easier for commuters and tourists to understand, which includes rebadging the T2 Airport Line the T8" Please explain.
* New timetable is no way bringing good for Campbelltown/Macarthur residents traveling to Parramatta/Western Sydney... at the same time, less frequent trains for everyone in the Campbelltown region. I don’t understand how transport nsw/state govt highlighting this as an improvement to the residents of this area! If you’re doing something wrong for the people of certain area then at least first admit it and then try to solve it (selling this as an improvement is a complete lie!)
* The politicians weird logic seems to be that people catch the train from the location that offers the best service. In fact people catch the train from where they live and travel to a destination where they work. Improvements on the Leppington T2 line are absolutely irrelevant to anyone travelling T8 Campbelltown & Macarthur to the City.
* Amazing. They know Redfern is a hub for university students and yet they deny important services from that station. Now that's what I call service. Customer focused. NOT.
* Never mind the improvement for the vast majority of communters, lets focus on one small negative impact!
* What do you expect from the department that names a ferry with a stupid idiotic child like name, something sensible?
* These timetable changes are quite good and improve the overall service for the vast majority of travelers. These improvements can't happen without the disadvantaging passengers at some smaller stations. More express trains can't occur if the train in front of them on the same line stops at all stations.
* Sydney commuters are not accustomed to changing trains to get around; mainly due to the fact that in the past connections never met, and long waits ensued. If the connections work as they do in Europe, there should be no concerns.
However, missing a major hub like Redfern is a mistake. On my line, we already have to make two changes of trains to get to the Blue Mountains. If Intercity services stopped at Lidcombe, that would eliminate one change of train. As it is, there is over half an hour of standing around at Lidcombe and Parramatta to get onto a Blue Mountains service. If such waits are common for people getting to work, especially in inclement weather, there will be more cars on the road.
* The Blue Mountains line has become even less of an "express" service over the last 20 years. There used to be trains that only stopped at Parramatta and Central, but they've had more and more stops added to them to serve stations already served by suburban services. The latest idiocy is to add a stop at Blacktown, so these services will be even slower and more crowded. It's great adding services but why does that have to be at the expense of other commuters, who only have one line available to them?
* Stopping at Redfern is annoying, very few people actually change trains there.
* The silver fish use to always stop at black town and seven hills back in the day.
* I've had to change trains to get where I'm going since I was a kid in the 1960s. It's always been an accepted part of train travel for tens of thousands of Sydneysiders. You would hope that these new timetables have been informed by the wealth of data they must be collecting since the introduction of the Opal card. Hopefully that results in the greatest benefit to the greatest number of customers, which is all you can ask, really.
* Transport for NSW doesn't believe in connections - they tend to spoil on-time running statistics. Can't let passengers' convenience get in the way of those! "Travelers" are "customers" according to Transport for NSW and Minister Constance. (You get low marks for using the U.S. spelling of "travellers", too).
* Overall they are quite good, even though personally it will make my trip about 10 minutes longer. The best thing about the new timetable though is at last we will be getting a 330am train to the Airport on the East Hills and Airport Line from both the City and Campbelltown in order to make the 6am flight.
It took half a decade for Sydney Trains to mull that concept over, but at last we got there!
* Why did Transport for NSW put the weekday 8.08am ex Epping to Central train directly in front of an Express train from Gosford which arrives at Strathfield at 8.28am, just 3 minutes behind the 8.08am train?
The 8.08 ex Epping ALWAYS runs late getting to Strathfield as Sydney Trains has failed to allow for longer dwell times at busy stations like West Ryde, Meadowbank and Rhodes.
Result, the express from Gosford spends several minutes sitting just short of Strathfield Station waiting for that Epping train to clear Platform 1. Meanwhile, Platform 2 stays empty but Sydney Trains won't divert the Gosford train onto it to eliminate its delays.
Meanwhile, "customers" on the Gosford train fume as they watch their connections to other lines, notably the Inner West and Blue Mountains, arrive and then leave Strathfield.
In the case of the next Inner West train it is a 15 minute wait, but for the next Blue Mountains train it is another hour's wait!
Can't have connections, can we? Gets in the way of good on-time running statistics! Can't have that, can we, Andrew.
Matthew Guy's underpass plan could undercut Melbourne's 'liveability', expert says November 20, 2017
Matthew Guy wants to go over and under, ripping up and replacing 55 intersections across Melbourne...Replacing suburban intersections with diamond interchanges would inevitably require compulsory property acquisition, Mr Donnellan said.
Union calls for tough response if physical distancing on public transport ignored July 20, 2020
Rail, Tram and Bus Union is calling for public transport to be included in the state's strict public health orders, meaning a failure to adhere to physical distancing could result in a fine.
The union is also demanding the NSW government provide Sydney's bus drivers with masks as coronavirus cases increase across the city and experts warn public transport poses a risk for both staff and passengers.
A NSW bus driver wears a homemade face mask. CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER
"Our drivers' health should not be left to the goodwill of the public, it's something that needs to be enforced," the union's divisional secretary David Babineau said.
"With the government still refusing to make physical distancing mandatory on public transport, the least they can do is take steps to keep staff and passengers safe."
The union is expected to outline its case for the measures at the Industrial Relations Commission early next month, when it will reference a report from infectious diseases physician David Paterson recommending masks be made available to drivers.
"My conclusions are that face masks should be available for bus drivers in addition to providing them with a comprehensive range of activities to reduce: contact with others, physical proximity to others [and] exposure to disease," Professor Paterson said in his report, seen by the Herald.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance says he isn't discouraging people from wearing face masks.CREDIT:RHETT WYMAN
While the Victorian government has mandated that people wear face masks in public as hundreds of new cases are reported in Melbourne each day, NSW is yet to enforce the measure.
Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiology expert from the University of NSW said Sydney commuters should now be considering wearing face masks on public transport where it is "very difficult to maintain social distancing".
"There's not a lot of downside to it when you're starting to have the numbers creep up a bit like it is in NSW at the moment," Professor McLaws said.
"When you're on public transport you could certainly be at risk."
Professor McLaws is a member of the World Health Organisation panel that recently updated its advice on masks, recommending that they're worthwhile where people can't avoid social distancing and coronavirus prevalence is high in the community.
"The risk is dispersed across a wide geographical area, so it's a wise idea to wear one on public transport," Professor McLaws said of Sydney's current coronavirus spread.
She added that face masks would be less critical for staff and passengers if NSW cases dropped back to single figures as seen through June.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance on Monday said the government was working with unions on the issue of masks and "we are looking at some measures to assist our staff in this regard".
"I'm not going to discourage people from wearing masks on public transport," he added.
"We've obviously seen a change in Victoria, but that change hasn't been forthcoming in NSW."
The calls for face masks on public transport come as some doctors urge the NSW Premier to go even further and mandate similar measures to those seen in Melbourne.
However, Mr Babineau said the government needed to act more quickly and properly manage its current patronage limits, which he described as "limp".
"No one has been paying attention to the loading limits," he said.
"They're not rules, they're guidelines, they're suggestions … we need transport included in the public health order."
Bus drivers have been relying on donations of face masks or paying for their own since the beginning of the pandemic.
Professor McLaws added that face shields might also prove a good option for the city's transport staff as they're more comfortable and easier to breathe in compared to some masks.
Calls for more action come as an extra 200,000 school students are expected to flood back onto the city's transport network on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, public transport patronage has declined about 30 per cent in Sydney's south-west since the end of June, which Mr Constance said was evidence people close to some of the city's more recent COVID-19 clusters were "heeding the message" about staying home.
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Extra 1000 bus, train services to spread out commuters in COVID-19 recovery July 20, 2020
More than 900 bus services will be back on the road in south-east Queensland as patronage numbers are set to recover from the COVID-19 slump next month.
An extra 960 bus services and 105 train services, part of the state’s COVID-19 safe public transport plan, will create an extra 28,875 seats on trains and 28,800 seats on buses every week, starting on August 10.
There will be an extra 11 morning train services and 10 extra afternoon train services around the CBD. (File image)CREDIT:ROBERT SHAKESPEARE
According to Transport Minister Mark Bailey's office, there will be an extra 11 morning train services and 10 extra afternoon train services around the CBD.
Existing 30-minute gaps between trains will be cut to every 15 minutes on the Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Ipswich, Redcliffe Peninsula, Shorncliffe and Springfield lines.
There will also be an extra 85 morning buses and 107 extra afternoon services around the CBD.
The extra trains will run on seven of the region's 12 lines, with commuter who use the Airport, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast lines to miss out.
The additional services will be scheduled just outside peak times in the morning and afternoon, with the hope of spreading out passenger loads and helping commuters maintain social distancing.
Mr Bailey said public transport patronage had halved compared with the same time last year, but was expected to recover as university classes resumed and CBD offices reopened.
"Even with people making changes to their daily commute, we’re still seeing about 330,000 daily passenger trips on the network, as of last week," he said.
"We don’t expect those [patronage] numbers to immediately climb back to where they were before COVID-19 arrived but we still want to spread passengers out as much as we can.
"The plan is to roll out the extra buses until the end of the school year and then assess patronage levels."
Mr Bailey added that temporary hand sanitiser stations would be progressively rolled out at busy bus stops and all 152 train stations in the south-east region from August 10.
Rail Back on Track advocacy group spokesman Robert Dow said the announcement would help move commuters out of those peak travel times and into the "shoulder" timeslots either side.
"Generally at the moment there are enough services during the peak times in most cases, except where they [Queensland Rail] have identified an issue and fixed them with extra buses," he said.
"With trains, the problem has always been to move people out of the peak times, there has to be services there to use in the shoulder peak commute times.
"This [announcement] provides a few more travel options, we appreciate the extra services and believe it will give confidence to those travellers to get out of the peak periods.
"The only other thing is people should consider the option of wearing a mask on public transport - it is a common courtesy and particularly helps when you can't control social distancing."
A Queensland Rail spokesperson wrote on Twitter, in response to a complaint that there were no extra services for the Gold Coast, the extra services were rolled out where "operationally possible".
"Train availability and freight path requirements mean that additional services are not feasible for all lines, including the Gold Coast line," the post said.
* 9.14 From 10.8 you'll have more travel options with over 1000 extra services added across our bus & train network each week. They will run outside peak travel times, along key routes, giving you more opportunities to socially distance.
* 9.38 From 10 August we’re adding more train services to the network following each weekday morning and afternoon peak, allowing you to stagger your work & travel hours where possible.
RELATED ARTICLE Patronage on Queensland trains dropped more than 80 per cent across April and May. Queensland train patronage falls below 80 per cent
* Let’s see the overtime bill for this one.
* Translink should not be criticised over COVID. They have a limited number of trains and buses and a lot of people to move.
Mon.20.7.20 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'
THE regional rail network is to get a multimillion-dollar cash injection touted to help travellers and farmers and boost the economy.
The $126 million dollar package will be spent replacing and repairing equipment including the VLine classic fleet as well as maintaining tracks.
The scheme will create more than 20 jobs in fleet maintenance for engineers, repair workers and cleaners.
Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said the cash splash, part of a $328 million investment in freight, public transport and roads, would support economic growth during the coronavirus.
About $83 million will be spent on repairing 400km of freight-only railway lines, replacing sleepers, and repairing level crossings and ballasts.
Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne said the investment was a win for farmers, who would have more viable freight options to bring their produce to markets.
The Bombardier plant in Bendigo will also carry out $36 million worth of work maintaining the V/Line classic fleet, in a boost for local jobs.
About $7.5 million will go to upgrading tracks for passenger trains from Deer Park Junction to Ballarat, Ballarat to Ararat, Donnybrook to Seymour, Corio to Waurn Ponds, and the Bendigo fast track.