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The inner west light rail service from Central to Dulwich Hill will receive an additional 90 peak-hour services per week to combat the carriage crush every morning and evening.
State Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the increased services would enable a further 3700 people to use the popular service during peak periods.
The service will run every eight minutes instead of every 10 minutes during peak periods on weekdays.
The afternoon peak will also be extended by an hour on weekdays from 6pm to 7pm, with services running every 10 minutes.
The bulk of the services started yesterday with the remainder due to be timetabled by the end of the year.
Mr Constance said: “Since we extended the Inner West Light Rail in March 2014 and introduced Opal later the same year, customers are really embracing the service. People are flocking to light rail and customer satisfaction is on the rise.
“Demand for light rail is expected to rise so we’re putting on extra services to make sure we’re ahead of the curve,” Mr Constance said.
“We know that more and more people are now travelling from Central Station and the Inner West to Pyrmont for work so these extra services will be a big boost for customers.”
Balmain state Greens MP Jamie Parker said the extra capacity was a perfect opportunity for light rail to finally be included in the School Student Transport Scheme.
School students cannot travel free on the light rail but can on trains and buses.
“The Government has so far refused to allow students to use SSTS on light rail even if it is their most direct route to and from school, due to light rail capacity issues,” Mr Parker said.
“There is now no excuse for the Government to continue to exclude school student travel on the light rail.”
Mr Parker has been advocating for increased services during peak hour, where carriages are frequently so full. “The light rail is an environmentally-sound and efficient transport option that reduces road congestion, and it makes no sense to exclude it from the SSTS,” Mr Parker said.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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