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Can BRT Ease the Pain of Commuting from Sydney's Northern Suburbs?

Sydney's public transport system has long been criticised for its scant network, aging infrastructure and long journey times. Nicole Hasham reviews whether a new route through the city's northern beach-side suburbs will address these issues.
September 15, 2013, 1pm PDT | Kat Martindale
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Almost 10,000 commuters a day board 210 buses in Sydney's northern suburbs between 7am and 9am headed for the city.  With the population of this area of the city expected to see a 45,000 increase by 2036, the the state government has launched a proposal containing five options aimed at addressing the acknowledged problems of overcrowding on outdated buses. The "bus rapid transit" would operate between the city and Mona Vale and between Chatswood and Dee Why with options including a two-lane tunnel and creating permanent bus only lanes.

With the provision of alternative transport options from Chatswood, Warringah Council supported the route east-west to Dee Why.  Other councils were less positive.  North Sydney Council claimed a preference for the tunnel option given that it avoided removing parking options along Military Road but labelled it "inadequate" in its failure to include other modes of transport and address the anticipated increase in capacity that would accompany the expanding population.  While the Neutral Bay Chamber of Commerce expressed concern at the possibility of reduced parking and that the plans did not resolve the congestion caused by buses.

A spokesman for Transport New South Wales confirmed that efforts to reduce this congestion had commenced and that the state "Long Term Transport Master Plan considered a range of measures for the corridor".

Responses to the proposals will be made available to the public by Transport New South Wales in response to requests by the article's author.

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Published on Saturday, September 7, 2013 in Sydney Morning Herald
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