28NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced more than 1,000 rail staff car spaces will be handed over to commuters, as part of Customer First, a new program to deliver benefits to customers.

“While great progress has already been made as we work hard to improve the experience for customers, there is still work to do and the Customer First initiatives we are announcing today renew our focus to make further improvements,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The Customer First initiatives to be rolled out over coming months, include:

· More than 1,000 rail staff car spaces handed over to customers, over the next 12-18 months;

· a comprehensive station refresh program starting with deep cleans and improved security at 19 key stations;

· Targeted operations with the Police Transport Command and Transport Officers;

Ms Berejiklian said this is on the back of recent customer wins including Opal being rolled out on 120 train stations across the network, 68 brand new air-conditioned Waratah trains delivered, dedicated Twitter handles for specific lines, and more than 1,000 services as part of the new timetable.

Initially more than 370 staff car parking spaces will be handed back to customers particularly at interchange hubs, with more than 1,000 to be provided as part of the ongoing Customer First initiatives rolling out over the next 18 months.

The first stage of the rollout of more than 370 staff car spaces given back to customers, subject to final site surveys, includes:

· Campbelltown – 99 car spaces

· Blacktown – 84 car spaces

· Penrith – 77 car spaces

· Liverpool – 56 car spaces

· Gosford – 26 car spaces

· Hornsby – 21 car spaces

· Woy Woy – 8 car spaces

“This is a victory for common sense. For too long, one of the biggest complaints of customers has been the availability of parking at train stations, and today we are showing that the NSW Government is listening, and working hard to improve journeys for public transport customers,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This latest initiative is just one example where by challenging the way things have always been done and putting the customer first, we are able to deliver a win for commuters.”

Many of these car spaces have for decades been fenced off for staff use only, and it is time we gave them over to the customers, Ms Berejiklian said.

“Last year we successfully converted 12 parking spaces at Cronulla Station from staff-only to customer parking by removing boom gates and we are continuing to investigate every train station to look at where we can give back more spaces.”

Ms Berejiklian said right across the network some car parking spaces will be retained for operational purposes, but the NSW Government is determined to return the majority of parking spaces currently reserved for staff back for customers.

The NSW Government has also previously announced construction of 10 new commuter car parks, providing more than 1,200 additional car spaces at Sutherland, Kiama, Oak Flats, Gordon, Glenbrook, Granville, Padstow, Canley Vale, Moss Vale and Lindfield Stations as part of the $770 million Transport Access Program.

Another Customer First initiative also underway is a comprehensive station improvement program, starting with 19 key stations including deep cleans, improved security, de-cluttering, and clearer signage.

“This is aimed at modernising many of our stations that have for decades been ignored – when we came to Government we found the former Labor government had left our network in ruins, and now we are working hard to clean up our stations,” she said.

The 19 key stations undergoing the refresh program include Asquith, Berala, Blacktown, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Caringbah, Carramar, Chester Hill, Granville, Gymea, Hurstville, Kogarah, Lidcombe, Martin Place, Parramatta, Penrith, Redfern, St Leonards and Strathfield.

Howard Collins Chief Executive of Sydney Trains said Customer First is also about empowering staff to focus on the job to improve customer journeys.

“I want to see Sydney Trains introduce more improvements for customers all aimed at making people’s overall travelling experience a better one, and that includes their station environment.

“While improved punctuality and reliability will always be critical to customer satisfaction, this must be matched by better standards across the system.”

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