The Future of Sydney Public Transport

From backed up traffic to congested parking Sydney nightmares to overcrowded metro lines, it’s clear that Sydney transportation isn’t ideal at the moment. But as you’ve probably heard, things are changing. Sydney city officials have heard the call and they have plans to revamp just about everything – the Sydney metro, the light rail, the road system. It’s all getting a whole new look. 

Here at Parkhound, we’ve been staying up to date on the latest transport news. So if you’re wondering how the new public transport changes will affect you and where you’ll be able to find the best new parking Sydney locations, this guide will give you all the info you need. 

Problems of the past – crowded public transport and sparse parking Sydney options

Why exactly are all of these changes happening now? It’s pretty simple. Sydney is growing, and we’ve been long overdue for a transportation upgrade. 

Sydney’s growth rate in 2019 was an astounding 4.56%, up from 2.05% in 2018. While the current population is over 5.2 million, some experts are projecting that this city will be home to 7 million people by 2060. Yet, the city has struggled to account for this rapid population growth when it comes to transportation. 

With very few upgrades to the roads and public transport systems over the last few decades, Sydney has gained a reputation as one of the most congested cities in the country. Commuters frequently spend up to an hour in traffic per day, getting in and out of the CBD. Parking is expensive and competitive. And trains are often overfilled and uncomfortable.

So it makes sense that city planners are looking to upgrade and reform the city’s transportation infrastructure. Quite frankly, many Sydney residents find the upgrades overdue.

Current and future changes

There are quite a few things that Sydney city has already put into effect to make transportation better. The Opal Card, for instance, may now seem like old news, but in the 6 years since it was officially rolled out across the ferry, train, bus, and light rail systems, using public transportation has become much more efficient and easy to navigate. And, the money that’s been saved on labour – after all, you can buy and recharge an Opal Card remotely – is now being used to update technology and pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Here are some of the other current and future changes to keep in your radar:

Light Rail Changes

The new CBD and South East Light Rail is set to be fully operational by March of this year. While the route from Kingsford to CBD is already open, residents in Randwick are soon to have their leg of the Sydney Light Rail up and running very soon. The 12km and 19 stop route from these outer suburbs directly to CBD is a huge deal for everyone along the route, and will run with high frequency to service thousands of commuters every day. 

This line will also have special event services to ease traffic around some of the most sought-out events in Sydney. Instead of fighting for a parking spot in the middle of the action, festival goers and daily commuters will be able to take the Sydney Light Rail.

Taking a look back at the changes that have already been in effect, we should give a nod to the 2014 Inner west light rail extension, which added another 9 stops between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill and another 5.6km more to the route. They’ve since added an additional 90 services per week so that an extra 3,700 people could take the light rail daily. 

Rail Changes

Sydney Metro is a huge project currently underway, and the goal is to extend existing rail lines farther into Parramatta and Bankstown. This metro system will go under the harbour to connect more neighbourhoods of Sydney, and the project website suggests that it will make room for 100,000 additional public transport riders.

Two major lines will consist of the Sydney Metro project. Sydney Metro Northwest, which opened in January 2019, runs from Tallawong to Chatswood. It will be extended to Bankstown by 2024. Sydney Metro West will run from CBD to Westmead and is projected to be finished by 2030. 

In addition to route expansions, Sydney public transport is about to enjoy a whole new fleet of trains. These new trains offer two additional carriages to help address demand increases, and they come with an array of rider-friendly features like more comfortable seating and charging ports. Plus, they are designed with accessibility in mind, with dedicated wheelchair space and accessible toilets. 

In areas where there will be new rail stations, you can also expect to see more parking Sydney options such as station car parks.

Toll Road Changes

If the extensive public transportation upgrades aren’t enough to entice Sydney residents to switch from driving to riding, the increase in toll roads might.

There are expected to be six additional tolls in Sydney’s toll network by 2023, when the motorway construction projects are projected to be completed. That will give Sydney city a total of 21 toll points, which is one of the highest number of tolls in any major city in the world.  

What parking Sydney options should you keep an eye on?

With more public transport options and tolls roads in Sydney’s transportation future, many are wondering how these changes will affect parking Sydney options. Because so many projects are still underway, you won’t find any hard data available yet to understand how driving and parking patterns will be affected. But, we can predict that there will be some new parking hotspots as drivers choose to park next to public transport stations and commute into the city by rail. 

One area where we’ve seen significant growth in anticipation of these public transport changes is Western Sydney. Parramatta in particular seems to be expanding all the time, with more jobs and housing becoming available for new Parramatta residents every year. And when the public transport infrastructure is finished, it’s not a bad guess to assume that people living farther out will park in this suburb to catch a 20 minute train into the CBD. 

If you live around any of the proposed transportation changes, you can also expect to see an increase in car parks and parking rentals as Sydney residents swap out their driving commute for public transport. And if you have a parking space that you think someone would want to rent, you might list your parking bay on Parkhound in anticipation of these public transport changes. Demand will certainly go up with the rail openings and toll hikes.

These are big changes! Make sure to stay up to date

Of course, we only scratched the surface here when it comes to the many sweeping public transport and Sydney city infrastructure changes that are in the works right now. Check back here to learn more about the latest developments and keep a close eye on changes in your neighbourhood. 

And for all your parking Sydney needs during the commotion and construction, make sure to reach out to us with your questions. We’re excited to be introducing more and more parking options around the city where they’re needed the most!