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The future network

Future Transport Strategy

A service hierarchy for the future

A legible and efficient network

The emergence of new service types will result in customers having more choice than ever. However, it is important that the transport system remains easy to understand. 

Metropolitan areas, such as Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford and Wollongong, will be provided with frequent, high-capacity, city-shaping corridors to move people to and from high-demand areas. With transport becoming increasingly technology led, customers will navigate different modes and travel options to best suit their needs, accessing information on train and bus times, congestion and ridesharing. This will be complemented by city-serving corridors and more flexible or on-demand services on centre-serving corridors, along with walking and cycling infrastructure. 

In regional NSW, the focus is on services that improve local connectivity to, from, between and within regional centres. A ‘hub and spoke’ network comprises a hierarchy of services and modes based on factors such as demand, distance, settlement patterns and time of day. The network is intended to provide integrated services that respond to the needs of our customers for seamless door-to-door journeys. 

In addition to scheduled public transport services, such as in-town bus services, and rail and coach services connecting towns and cities, communities will also be supported by flexible or on-demand services tailored to customer demand providing personalised journeys in specified service areas.

The service hierarchy in NSW will evolve towards:

  • ‘Turn-up-and-go’ rapid public transport services on city-shaping and city-serving corridors. These include services operating on corridors in Greater Sydney and outer metropolitan areas of Greater Newcastle, Central Coast and Illawarra, with turn-up-and-go services already provided as part of Sydney Metro. Services carry large numbers of customers on fast, frequent and reliable services – customers simply ‘turn up and go’. 
  • Frequent and reliable local services. In metropolitan areas, centre-serving networks operate local public transport services with frequencies and capacities to match demand to connect to city-shaping and city-serving networks. In regional areas, services operate on a ‘hub and spoke’ network, with more frequent services on higher demand routes, and reliable services for same day returns between regional cities and centres – together offering regional customers more frequent, reliable, affordable and sustainable connections. 
  • Flexible or on-demand services. These services support both metropolitan and regional services. They operate as on-demand services on centre-serving corridors in metropolitan areas, such as between local train stations and residential areas, and in less densely populated areas where customers’ travel patterns are more disperse. Flexible services include point-to-point services, allowing customers to travel the route they choose, at a time that suits, for a fare.

In regional NSW, they provide more personalised, end-to-end journeys by connecting smaller towns and villages to larger centres and cities, providing efficient transport to areas that traditionally have had few or no services. On demand is also replacing fixed-route buses in some regional centres to deliver better value-for-money services and increase public transport patronage.


Future directions to investigate

  • Prioritise investment in city-shaping and city-serving corridors, including automated systems to support turn-up-and-go rapid public transport services in high-demand areas, supported by a network of frequent and reliable local services.
  • Analyse pilot programs of flexible services in rural and regional areas to inform future planning, provision and government support.
  • Move towards dynamic scheduling for high-demand transport services, so frequency and capacity can match demand.
  • Improve multimodal interchanges, particularly in regional and outer metropolitan NSW, so customers can more easily connect to flexible services and experience seamless and reliable journeys.

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

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