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More than 72,000 commuters on average travelled on Sydney's new $7.3 billion metro line each day during its first working week despite teething problems dogging some services, making it almost as busy as the Eastern Suburbs rail line.
And experts say patronage could surpass 100,000 a day by mid next year as more people who previously drove opt for metro trains and as high-rise residential apartments near the line open.
Including the 140,000 people who took advantage of a fare-free day on May 26, when the 36-kilometre Metro Northwest line opened, figures from Transport for NSW show the total number of passengers who rode on the driverless trains in the first week totalled 546,359.
The metro line was popular in its first week of operation.CREDITETER RAE
The busiest weekday was Thursday when 75,876 people boarded the driverless trains, which run from Rouse Hill in the north west to Chatswood via Epping and Macquarie Park.
Speaking on Sunday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the vast majority of passengers had given the metro line a "thumbs up" in the first week of operation.
"We've seen half a million people use it in the first week alone. There's no doubt that there were some glitches and that's always unfortunate but we always knew there would be," she said.
The metro train line averaged more than 72,000 passengers a day during the working week.CREDITETER RAE
She warned some glitches were likely to occur over the next few weeks because "no matter how much you test a new system, it's always different when customers actually start to use it".
On Friday, a power failure temporarily halted services between Rouse Hill and Hills Showground, a day after a train broke down, causing delays to services. Passengers have also complained of carriage doors failing to open, and trains having to reverse after overshooting platforms.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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