Rail patronage dropped by 11 per cent

Rail usage is down.

Member for Gosford, Ms Kathy Smith said she believed commuters had lost faith in the Baird Government’s ability to deliver public transport and are turning to their cars instead.

“Bureau of Transport figures released by the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that patronage on the Central Coast Line has fallen 11 per cent in the last decade, as commuters gave up on unreliable train services in favour of their cars,” Ms Smith said. “Day after day, frustrated constituents talk to me about the lack of services here on the Central Coast. “I have to say, I share their frustrations.

“It’s clear that this Government has given up on making it easier to commute from the Central Coast. “Now, commuters are giving up on public transport. “Major stations like Gosford and Wyong have seen a devastating fall of almost 20 per cent in the number of patrons over the decade to 2014. The government’s own figures reveal that nearly one million less journeys were made from Gosford Station in 2014 than the high in 2001. “Even when people do manage to get on a train and are lucky enough to get a seat, there is every chance that their train travelling via the North Shore Line will be rerouted, depositing commuters at the opposite end of the city.

“This leaves people in the position of being late for work, job interviews, medical appointments, the works. “My office has received reports from people terrified that their jobs are in jeopardy thanks to rerouting. “Combined with increases in Opal fares of up to $1000 a year for Central Coast commuters, a lack of parking spaces and insufficient carriage numbers, this government is making it less convenient to travel via public transport. “If you can’t get a park and you can’t get a seat, you are going to drive instead. “You can’t expect more people to catch public transport if it’s becoming more and more unaffordable.”

Media release, Mar 29, 2016 Kathy Smith, member for Gosford

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