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Why doesn’t Sydney have a subway network?


April 10, 2019 by admin

One of Sydney’s underground tunnels, dug by convicts.Sydney’s transport plan long on hopeAnalysis: little change
Nanjing Night Net

Why doesn’t Sydney have a subway system like London or New York? According to transport experts, the city doesn’t need one. While Sydney has a tightly packed central area, it’s much less dense in its suburban areas than, say, New York or Paris, they say.

“In terms of the origin and destination profile of Sydney, it’s fairly low density,” said Professor David Hensher, the director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney.

“Although the Bradfield plan from years ago clearly suggested a more expansive underground network than we currently have, there are good reasons why it didn’t continue. Clearly, if money was no object, we would have done it.”

*Read more about the Bradfield Plan, which was first mooted in 1916.

So what could work for Sydney? A more integrated network that connects origins and destinations, with rail services in higher density areas and buses servicing lower density areas, the experts told the Herald.

A better public transport system would also have to be coupled with changing the behaviour of Sydneysiders.

“It’s all very well to build lots of public transport, but I don’t think that’s going to be enough – in terms of costs – to make a difference on congestion. All the while, the car remains a fairly attractive mode of transport,” Professor Hensher said.

“Despite the concern about traffic congestion being bad in Sydney, many people say it’s not bad enough for me to get out of my car … People will complain because it’s not as good as it used to be, but it’s not bad enough to make a difference.”

Professor Hensher said it would take only 6 per cent of car users (85 per cent of trips in Sydney are by car) to make a switch away from driving during peak hours to make a difference to congestion levels.

“If we price the use of the car in the peak where the congestion’s bad, they’d switch to the off-peak rather than use public transport, because they can do that.”

Professor Hensher is one such commuter. He works from home from 7am to 9.15am to avoid the peak and then drives to work after that.

“It’s much more enjoyable and it’s much more productive. Lots more people could do it. They don’t even bother to think they could do it,” he said.

Another way of reducing congestion in Sydney’s city centre was to minimise car parks in office buildings and tax car spaces, Sydney transport expert Dick Day said. The City of Sydney council already restricts parking, but more could be done, he said.

“The thing that dissuades people from using cars in the end is often congestion. London is a good example and Hong Kong’s the same.

“Having said that, once you get out into suburbs where the industrial areas are … a lot of people have to use cars because the places that they work at are not readily accessible by public transport and never will be.”

Further reading:The Bradfield Plan

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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