Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today said Sydney Trains has achieved a strong performance in the first six months, exceeding Peak Punctuality and On Time Running (OTR) targets, and introducing more than 1,000 new services as part of the new timetable.
In the first six months of operation since July 1, 2013, Sydney Trains achieved an overall Peak Punctuality of 94 per cent and OTR of 94.5 per cent – exceeding its 92 per cent target for both measures, Ms Berejiklian said.
“We have worked tirelessly to show customers they are our number one priority and we know from their positive feedback customers are starting to see major improvements,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Customers now have faster journey times, cleaner trains, new technology providing real-time information on mobile apps, and improved announcements.
“Sydney Trains staff now look great with new uniforms and a new positive attitude and are now spending more time on platforms assisting customers with their journey.”
Ms Berejiklian said progress was being made in a number of areas.
“There is still more to do to bring the Sydney Trains network to a standard where we consistently deliver the reliability our customers deserve,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Significantly though, these improvements to punctuality were achieved while we provided more than 1,000 additional services a week under the new timetable in October.
“This includes more than 600 new express train services across the network every week compared to the previous timetable, by making services faster, and more than 690 extra weekly services for Western Sydney.”
There are also more than 65 brand new state-of-the-art Waratah trains, and when the last of the 78 Waratahs is delivered this year, around 95 per cent of the timetabled fleet will be air-conditioned. This is up from about 70 per cent under Labor.
Customers now have access to mobile phone apps with real time travel information, allowing them to plan their journey and see where their train is.
Opal electronic ticketing has also been introduced on 17 stations from the CBD north to Chatswood, in addition to the City Circle and stations to Bondi Junction, giving customers cheaper fares and ensuring they never have to queue again for a ticket.
Sydney Trains has also been working closely with the NSW Police Transport Command to reduce crime on public transport.
Since coming on line in May 2012, NSW Police Transport Command officers have made nearly 3,660 arrests, laid 6,850 charges, issued 70,000 infringements and conducted over 470 operations.
There are now also 150 Transport Officers on the network, checking tickets to ensure customers have paid the correct fare for their journey, and giving customers an additional point of contact about public transport services.
The first proper deep clean of train seats in 10 years was also undertaken, and cleaning continues to be undertaken by a specialist cleaning service so that customers notice the difference when they travel on trains.
There has also been continued significant investment in maintenance to improve reliability, and a special incident response team has been established to deal with major incidents on the network quickly and reduce disruptions to customers.
Sydney Trains is also continuing with a $60 million program to consolidate 127 outdated maintenance depots into eight purpose-built centres of excellence and four smaller satellite depots. Three of the new facilities have already opened.
Ms Berejiklian also thanked chief executive Howard Collins, who joined Sydney Trains in July after heading up the London Underground, who has been instrumental in delivering rail customers a better service.
“Mr Collins has been fantastic taking this new organisation through a huge change, and his ongoing leadership will be vital as we continue to work hard to deliver improvements with a real focus on customer service,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This is a sound base to build on through 2014, and we look forward to making further significant improvements in the year ahead.”