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The highly anticipated extension to Sydney’s Inner West Light Rail, which opened for service at the end of last month, is already proving to be a hit with the city’s commuters.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced late last week that a large number of residents had been testing out the new service, with an extra 20,000 customers recorded since it opened on March 27. This amounts to an increased service capacity of over 30 per cent.
“I’m very pleased that one week since we opened the Inner West Light Rail extension the new services are proving very popular with customers,” she said.
“The NSW government is delivering on its promises, and opening this major piece of public transport infrastructure shows we are listening to customers and providing them with the services they want.”
Nine new stops and 5.6 kilometres of additional track form the bulk of the railway engineering project. Ms Berejiklian explained that a small number of “very minor teething problems” aside, the first week of the extended service met expectations and was a “great success”. A number of small, additional works are set to continue for the next couple of weeks to improve access to the new stops, including new footpaths, signage and landscaping.
One of the greatest benefits of the light rail extension from a consumer perspective is the substantial gain in efficiency – travellers are no longer restricted to timetables as there are services every 10 minutes during peak hours.
“I’m pleased customers are not only keen to use the new services to commute to work, but also travel on the weekends,” she added.
To cope with the increase in demand, the state government had introduced four additional leased vehicles in time for the opening at the end of last month. Over the next 18 months, the government intends to gradually expand the fleet with 12 new vehicles – with three already having arrived from Spain.