Sydney's CBD in the midst of historic change
20 December, 2018

Transport for NSW Coordinator General Marg Prendergast

A message from Transport for NSW Coordinator General Marg Prendergast

Sydney’s CBD is transforming before our eyes and transport is at the forefront of this historic metamorphosis.

2018 has been a year of progress for major transport infrastructure projects in the city, while initiatives for managing and reducing congestion are leading to robust shifts in the way people commute.

This year we unveiled Sydney City Centre Access 2018, a detailed status report of changes and initiatives made in the CBD.

Among the standout findings were an impressive 11.4 per cent increase in public transport use and 12 per cent reduction in vehicles coming into the city in the morning peak - all this since just 2015. It was an even better story for weekends with total trips on all modes of public transport into the CBD increasing by 20 per cent.

This is a fantastic outcome that tells us our public transport network is working for thousands of customers who depend on it every day.

Our Travel Choices program has been a key driver of transport behaviour change in the CBD, helping reduce the average number of vehicles heading into the city each weekday morning by an average of 7000 to 8000.

Since it began in 2015, the program has targeted more than 660 organisations in the city centre and reached more than 176,000 customers.

The Travel Choices team spent time at Barangaroo during April and May, chatting with workers about the benefits of incorporating walking and cycling into their trip.

We kicked off a successful trial of new technology e-paper bus displays in the CBD in February, with the popular initiative expanded to Sydney Airport and Macquarie Park during the year. The kindle-like passenger displays show real-time bus route information, making it simpler for bus customers to plan their trip.

Wynyard Station’s mesmerising artwork Interloop won two prestigious National Trust Heritage Awards in May, which is well-deserved recognition for Chris Fox’s impressive, gravity-defying piece.

Sydney Metro work in the CBD has been powering ahead with construction at sites across the city well underway. Central Station has been a hive of activity with the construction of temporary stairs to the Olympic tunnel marking a key step for facilitating work on the new metro platforms and Central Walk.

Earlier this year, we commenced a trial and introduced shorter wait times for pedestrians crossing at traffic signals, giving pedestrians more frequent crossing opportunities in the city. This change is helping keep pedestrians moving in the busiest parts of the CBD and could potentially reduce the risk of pedestrian crashes. It’s an interesting fact that 90 per cent of trips made in the heart of the city are by foot, and with shorter wait times we are making walking across the city simpler.

The CBD and South East Light Rail marked a series of significant milestones this year. We saw the Geographical Names Board officially sign off on 17 stop names. Night time tram testing began in Randwick and continues to expand with the first intersection test and daytime run now completed. Vehicles have been arriving throughout the year with 14 of the Citadis X05 trams now taking up residence at the Randwick Stabling Yard. The last concrete track slab pour was completed in December, finishing off the entire length of track slab from Circular Quay through Surry Hills and onwards to Randwick, Kensington and Kingsford.

We’re wrapping up 2018 in style this December with George Street putting on a dazzling display for the Christmas holiday season. Eight giant wreaths and thousands of lights have been installed, creating a giant archway boulevard for shoppers and visitors to admire and enjoy. You only need to take a look at Instagram to see the excitement these fabulous displays are bringing.

Development in Sydney’s CBD is at an unprecedented level, which is why $12 billion is being invested in transport infrastructure in the city.

We are working towards balancing the needs of all people who travel in and around the CBD while also aiming to create a truly integrated network.

This has been a transformative year for the CBD and we’ll be seeing more progress and change in 2019.

It's your city. Know what changes are taking place.