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Sydney Trains has poured cold water on proposals to remove expensive access fees at Sydney’s airport stations for local residents.
Transport for NSW will instead focus on increasing peak hour services on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra lines, where demand has surged at Wolli Creek, Rockdale and Hurstville.
A proposal for the large-scale Cook Cove development in Arncliffe suggested eliminating gate access fees at the International Airport station for local residents to alleviate pressure at Wolli Creek, which is swiftly nearing capacity.
The Domestic and International Airport stations are still privately owned and commuters pay between $12.80 and $14.30 in addition to normal Opal fees to travel to and from those locations on the Sydney Trains network.
Wolli Creek station is nearing capacity. Picture: Bill HearneHowever, Transport for NSW said there are no plans to alter the Station Access Fee arrangements.
“We’re aware there has been a surge in demand on the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line over the last few years, particularly at busy stations like Wolli Creek, Rockdale and Hurstville,” a spokesman said.
“This is why we are prioritising capacity improvements for the train lines that serve these busy stations.”
The spokesman said Transport for NSW will invest more than $880 million to overhaul Sydney’s complex rail network.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on a train at Hurstville in 2017. Picture: Richard Dobson“Future stages of the program will focus on increasing the number of trains that can run during the morning and afternoon peak hours on the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra line,” he said.
“This includes an increase of up to five more trains per hour during the morning peak hour services on the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra line as well as additional services for South Coast customers, which is an increase of up to 30 per cent more services.”
The NSW Government is entitled to some of the station fee revenue, and Transport for NSW said every dollar received under the agreement was invested in improving services and delivering better infrastructure for commuters.
The spokesman said Transport for NSW would continue to use Opal data and customer insights to identify where customers need improvements.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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