Coast misses out on extra public transport services

City bound commuters waiting at Gosford station.City bound commuters waiting at Gosford station. Image: Chris Young

The State Opposition and the Central Coast Commuters Association have slammed NSW Government plans to provide more than 3,000 extra public transport services for Sydney but none for the Central Coast.

Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, announced on June 1 that more than 3,100 weekly bus services and more than 250 train services would be added across Sydney to temporarily increase capacity for physical distancing and provide more options for customers.

Constance said the extra services would help customers continue to make smart travel choices and practise physical distancing on all modes.

“Transport for NSW is being more proactive and adaptable to provide customers with more information and options throughout the day to help flatten the peak travel curve,” he said.

“Looking at the data, it is clear that the majority of people have listened and made smart travel choices so far, and we thank them for this.

“However, there has been a slight increase in peak hour travel in the past two weeks and we don’t want to see that continuing.

“We have already added almost 800 extra weekly services across STA buses and light rail in the last month.

“This next step in the COVIDSafe Transport Plan will see 100,000 extra spaces across the network each week to support people returning to jobs and kids getting back to school.”

Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris, said Central Coast commuters were getting “the short end of the stick again”, with no plans to increase services on the Coast.

“Coast commuters spend the most time on the network but seem to be the last when it comes to rail enhancement,” Harris said.

“All this does is force more commuters onto the road.

“With COVID-19, you would have thought that commuters who spend more than an hour on the train should have been the first to be considered for additional trains services to alleviate congestion and potential virus spread.”

Central Coast Commuters Association Vice President, Eddie Ellis, who has been agitating for weeks for extra services for the Coast to help with social distancing, said he was “disappointed”.

“Surely they can manage extra trains or buses around school time for school children, when there is large overcrowding,” Ellis said.

“Perhaps the Government should enquire at the schools and put on extra buses to operate directly from schools.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, declined to comment.

Media release, Jun 1
Minister for Transport Andrew Constance
Media statements, Jun 8
Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris
Central Coast Commuters Association Vice President, Eddie Ellis