Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today said bus customers in Sydney’s north west now have more than 2,100 bus services each week to meet increasing demand, as patronage in the region rose to almost 15 million annual journeys.
As part of the NSW Government’s $90 million Growth Buses Program another 65 services have been added this week for services in and between Rouse Hill, Castle Hill and the City, Ms Berejiklian said.
The increase comes as bus patronage figures for the Hills District over the last 12 months show a rise of 16 per cent, to 14.8 million passenger journeys.
“The north west is one of Sydney’s fastest growing areas and we are making sure it has the right mix of public transport to support this extraordinary growth,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The demand for public transport shows why the NSW Government is getting on with the job of building the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link, Ms Berejiklian said.
“The North West Rail Link is on track and on budget – the first of the tunnel boring machines will be in the ground next year, as scheduled,” she said.
The North West Rail Link is forecast to reduce car trips by 14 million a year soon after opening – this is about 12,000 fewer car trips in an average two-hour weekday morning peak.
From this week, the extra bus services include 17 services between the City and Castle Hill on Route 610X, with these services extending later in the evening. Hills customers will also have 48 extra weekend services to the City on Route 607X.
The new double decker buses are also proving popular in the north west, both in peak and non-peak periods, Ms Berejiklian said.
As part of the Growth Buses Program, the Government has also committed more than $90 million this year to fund over 200 new buses in 2013-14, including 65 new buses for Western Sydney and 22 in the north west region.