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Dr Rolf Bergmaier, credited with designing the Zurich transport network, calls for an increase in capacity for suburban services through the city and new railway services for densely populated areas in Sydney's southern suburbs.
November 25, 2009
ONE of the world's experts on railways says the Rees Government's plan for a metro defies all international trends in public transport because it is designed to push commuters on to the metro from CityRail services.
Dr Rolf Bergmaier - a Swiss-Australian citizen who designed the acclaimed Zurich transport network and has been, many times, a consultant to CityRail - said that in most European cities, governments were trying to minimise the changes passengers must make.
''The trend in Europe now is to eliminate inconvenient interchanges between modes at the end of trips,'' he said. ''The rail system in Sydney is essentially suburban so the priority must [be] extending that suburban system with an extra CityRail line into and through the central business district, including a second harbour crossing.
''Sydney is not like London, where people interchange a lot because it has a very large central area.''
Even in London - where passengers from neighbouring counties have transferred from overland rail to the Underground at terminals on the edge of the city centre - Dr Bergmaier said the government was upgrading the number of suburban services through the CBD.
There were similar moves in Milan, Munich, Paris, Berlin and Zurich to eliminate need for passenger interchanges by extending suburban systems through the city centres.
The Minister for Transport, David Campbell, who last week challenged expert critics of the metro to come forward, said in an emailed statement: ''Stage one of the metro, from Central to Rozelle, is already under way and will form the spine of the network. Stage two, from Central to Parramatta and Westmead, will be the next to be delivered and when funding becomes available, the metro will extend to other parts of the city.''
He said it was ''short-sighted to look at stage one of the metro in isolation to an entire network'', adding the Government was ''building a public transport network for future generations''. The Government has admitted it has no funds to build the metro between Central and Westmead.
Dr Bergmaier said the metro would ''cannibalise'' patronage on other public transport, such as the successful light rail between Central and Lilyfield, and not attract new travellers.
''The proposed CBD metro basically parallels existing rail infrastructure between Wynyard and Central. The metro will also compete with, and possibly undermine, a very efficient light rail that already goes between Central and Pyrmont.
''Instead of [a] metro that parallels the existing CityRail corridor to Parramatta, there should be an extension to the densely populated suburbs of south-east Sydney,'' he said.
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