The NSW government will invest $9 billion in public transport infrastructure and services over the next year, according to the latest state budget.
Of that, around $1.5 million has been allocated towards new rail and light rail initiatives in Sydney – a decision welcomed by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).
“Liveable cities are built for walking, with bicycling and public transit as complementary modes. This budget sets Sydney on a course to becoming one of Australia’s, if not the worlds, most liveable cities,” said ARA Chief Executive Officer Bryan Nye in a statement.
“In all, this Budget is reflective of a forward thinking NSW government that is focussed on and committed to delivering a robust transport network for its capital city. I congratulate Premier Baird and Minister Berejiklian on this Budget.”
According to Mr Nye, traffic congestion already costs the NSW capital more than $5 billion per annum. It is hoped that increased investment in rail and other public transport initiatives will pay off by curbing this figure significantly.
Some of the more notable rail investments outlined in the budget include:
- $400 million towards the implementation of a light rail line in Parramatta,
- $265 million towards the CBD and South East Light Rail project,
- $7 million towards the Sydney Rapid Transit project,
- $60 million towards modernising train stations integrated within the existing network,
- $5 million towards commencing procurement of a new intercity train fleet that will be worth an estimated $2.8 billion by the year 2019.
Speaking at the release of the budget earlier this month, NSW Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Andrew Constance noted that NSW’s transport system was the “envy of the world” a century ago.
He and all those responsible for this year’s budget hope that this significant investment will help the state return to that position of high regard.
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