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Sydney’s Timetable Changes: are they really as bad as they’re made out to be?

On 26th November 2017, more than 1500 train services, 7000 bus trips and 140 extra ferry services were added to Sydney transport timetable, representing the biggest change ever to Sydney’s public transport system since the 2000 Olympics. While the changes were introduced with the aim of improving travel for commuters around Sydney, the receipt of the new timetables has varied drastically.

Le Courrier Australien hit the streets of Sydney to find out how the public was dealing with the changes just over a week since their introduction.

“My station, Padstow, used to be an express station since 2006 and now it’s been skipped in the afternoon peaks and my only option is the all stops train from the City. It’s basically doubled my train time from about 30 to 60 minutes because I’m the second station from the end” said Michael Tangonan, who travels to Sydney CBD for both university and work.

Commuters travelling to and from Granville were particularly rattled by the timetable changes to the T1 Western Line which mean that trains no longer stop at Granville from 6am to 10pm on weekdays.

Stephen Bezzina who works in a law firm near Town Hall station expressed his annoyance: ‘It used to be 30 minutes home from Town Hall. Now the changes have added an extra 15 minutes onto my trip and that’s assuming the train even comes on time!”

It hasn’t all been chaos and turmoil. Undoubtedly, services for some passengers have improved.

Ragulan Babeendran who frequently takes the train from Wentworthville station in Sydney’s West commented that since the timetable changes, his train trip to work is significantly faster and will save him time in the long term.

He did note however that “weekends haven’t been too great because there are no more direct trains. I now have to switch at Parramatta which adds about 15 minutes onto my trip door to door.”

Annabelle Santos who lives in Mt Druitt and works in Liverpool welcomed the changes. “I still have to change trains but I’m no longer waiting ten to 15 minutes when I do. I have just enough time to get from one platform to the next and I’m on the next train home.”

Surprisingly however, the overwhelming majority of Sydney commuters approached by Le Courrier Australien commented that they had not noticed much difference in their daily commute, either negative or positive and that business went on as usual for them.

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