Key NSW rail products have received a boost as part of the state government’s $72.3 billion transport and transport infrastructure spend.
New investments contained in this week’s 2023-24 Budget include a $1 billion lifeline for Sydney’s biggest public transport project and $200 million to speed planning, procurement and construction on the Parramatta Light Rail.
Premier Chris Minns announced last month that mega Sydney Metro and Southwest project, which had been under a cloud since the announcement in April of an independent review into cost blowouts and time overruns, would go ahead.
Meanwhile the government says it will now be able to expedite delivery of the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 project, which will connect the Sydney CBD to Olympic park via a 10 km extension including 14 new stops.
Construction of project will be phased, with work on the first phase to begin in 2024.
Other initiatives include $307 million for a rapid bus network in western Sydney, $114 for new and upgraded ferries, and $15.8 million for a Public Transport Information and Priority Sydney to provide real time bus tracking and eliminate ‘ghost buses’.
There’s an additional $300 million to upgrade train station car parks and make stations more accessible, $95.9 million to improve regional rail and $1.4 billion for the delivery of a new regional rail fleet, as well as $60 million for local governments to expand cycleways and increase opportunities for walking.
The announcements have been welcomed by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).
“These city-shaping transport infrastructure projects in NSW not only create tens of thousands of jobs during construction but, once complete, provide a vital connection for communities and reduce congestion on our busy roads,” ARA CEO Caroline Wilkie said.
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