As Sydney’s population grows, so too has the demand for supporting infrastructure, particularly between the city and the suburbs. Two initiatives announced this week aim to try and address this demand through increased capacity.
The NSW Transport Minister announced last week the return of double-decker buses to Sydney’s roads, as part of a trial to free up road space across the city. The trial will start with eight buses in the first year, operating routes between the city, the north-west, and the northern beaches.
According to Fairfax, the buses carry about twice the number of people in the same space occupied by regular buses, and have greater capacity than the articulated or ‘bendy’ buses currently on Sydney’s roads. However they have a far greater ‘dwell time’ as more passengers alight or board the vehicle. As a result, they will be utilised mostly on routes with fewer stops and where passengers spend long periods on board.
Meanwhile, a submission from EcoTransit has proposed the return of light rail to Parramatta Road, running from Broadway as far west as Strathfield. According to Fairfax, the proposal comes amid renewed interest in transport options for the inner west, with the state government also set to consider motorway options for the struggling arterial corridor.
The trams would replace two lanes of general traffic on Parramatta Road, with the proposal claiming that they would carry more people than the equivalent cars and buses using those lanes currently. Park and ride stations would be built at key points where motorists can transfer to the fast light rail service.
Sydney seems to be revisiting transportation solutions dating back to the 1920’s to solve its problems! Watch out for horse drawn carts and bicycles to make a return, and keep an eye over the Harbour Bridge as Zeppelins may be taking to the sky again soon. (PS if you missed our article last week on the effects of bicycles on urban architecture, pick it up again here).