Locals Apprehensively Excited About Sydney's Big Transit Plans

<p>A recently announced $12.5 billion metropolitan rail system plan for Sydney has many in the region excited about finally getting a good mass transit system. But they are also wary, as many other proposals promising similar services were never kept.</p>
March 24, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The proposal sensibly confirms the earlier commitment to the north-west rail line by 2015, but adds a new connection between Epping and the CBD under Gladesville, Drummoyne, Rozelle, and Pyrmont, to be finished two years later. It promises a new metro-style operation and a new public transport operator that hopefully can bring Sydney's ailing rail system into this century. Additional metro lines to the south-eastern suburbs and between Parramatta and the CBD are proposed."

"This is brave and exciting, and the Government and its planners should be congratulated on their vision. However, there are some technical and operational questions that need answering."

"The biggest question is one of trust. With so many previous rail lines announced and subsequently axed, why should people believe this proposal? The people of Sydney fervently hope this is not a giant con trick to gain union agreement to selling off power stations, only to be replaced by the M4 East road project once the dust settles. Fortunately the Government has committed to starting construction on the north-west rail line by 2010. So the voters will know before the next election whether this announcement, too, is a mirage. If so, there will be opportunities for retribution at the ballot box."

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Published on Friday, March 21, 2008 in The Sydney Morning Herald
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