$5 TRAIN ACCESS FEE, NO ACCESS FEE FOR AIRPORT WORKERS AND BETTER BUS CONNECTIONS
NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has announced that improving public transport connections to Sydney Airport will be a priority for a Labor government, if elected in 2019.
Mr Foley has announced a three point plan to reduce congestion around Sydney Airport and make it more affordable for travellers and workers to get there.
1. REDUCE THE AIRPORT ACCESS FEE
A Foley Labor government will enter into negotiations with the airport rail operator to slash the airport access fee to $5, on top of the standard Opal fare.
Currently, passengers are whacked with a $14.30 fee for accessing the Domestic and International Airport stations ($12.80 for children and concession card holders).
2. SCRAP THE ACCESS FEE FOR AIRPORT WORKERS
Even airport workers who catch the train to work every day are slugged the airport access fee, capped at $29 per week for adults.
Labor will scrap the access fee for airport workers altogether.
3. INCREASING PUBLIC BUS ROUTES TO THE AIRPORT
Sydney Airport says there are 30,900 people employed at the airport, and about 34 per cent of them come from the Sutherland-St George area.
Right now there is one only one public bus service to the airport – the 400 from Burwood to Bondi Junction – which cannot cater for the more than 100,000 passengers accessing Sydney Airport each day.
Labor will investigate new bus route options, including, delivering a new bus service from Miranda via St George to the airport, a broken promise from the Liberal government’s 2013 Sydney's Bus Future plan.
Labor will also re-route the 410 bus route from Bondi Junction to Miranda so it stops at the airport.
For eight long years, the Liberal government has done nothing to improve public transport to Sydney Airport.
Yesterday, the Berejiklian government announced that their final design for the Sydney Gateway will stop six kilometres short of Port Botany (the original justification for building WestConnex), dumping tens of thousands of trucks and cars at Mascot, creating congestion chaos.
In 2012, the government’s Long Term Transport Master Plan said: “If 40 percent of journeys to Port Botany and Sydney Airport were made by public transport, there would be around 25,000 fewer people travelling on the roads around the precinct every day, reducing road congestion in the area.”
In March this year the Government released its “Future Transport Strategy 2056” - an update of the 2012 Long Term Transport Master Plan - and the earlier commitments to improve public transport had disappeared.
Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley
“We need immediate action to reduce the traffic congestion around the airport. The solution won’t be found by funnelling more cars onto the already congested roads.
“Labor will slash the access fee for train passengers and scrap it altogether for the more than 30,000 people who work at the airport.
“For eight long years the Liberals have promised to do more to encourage public transport to Sydney Airport and yet nothing has been done.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay
“Six years ago the Government promised to enhance public transport to Sydney Airport. But today there is still only one bus route.
“The Government won’t act, but Labor will. We will provide additional bus services to the airport, to support the up to 10,000 workers who travel from the South every day.
“This is not just important for the long term but creating better public transport access to the airport will reduce the congestion chaos that will occur during the construction of the Sydney Gateway.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Heffron Ron Hoenig
“The solution to congestion around Sydney Airport is moving people onto public transport, but my local residents tell me just how unaffordable the train fare is for them.
“The cost of abolishing the access fee for workers is a tiny amount to pay to free up our roads and keep Sydney moving, far cheaper than exorbitant toll roads.
“The NSW Government can and should reduce the fee today, rather than wasting billions on toll roads which won’t be built for years.”