Executive Summary

Future Transport 2056 is an overarching strategy, supported by a suite of plans to achieve a 40 year vision for our transport system

Transport is in a period of immense growth, change and disruption. We are more mobile than ever and our lives more interconnected. Technology presents opportunities - new ways to travel and plan journeys, and new ways to deliver cutting-edge services to our customers.

Future Transport 2056 ensures that we are prepared for rapid changes in technology and innovation to create and maintain a world class, safe, efficient and reliable transport system over the next 40 years.

Just like the 2012 Master Plan, Future Transport 2056 places the customer at the centre of everything we do. It outlines a vision, strategic directions and customer outcomes, with infrastructure and services plans underpinning the delivery of these directions across the state.

Future Transport 2056 acknowledges the vital role transport plays in the land use, tourism, and economic development of towns and cities. It includes issue-specific and place-based supporting plans that shift the focus away from individual modes of transport, toward integrated solutions.

The Strategy and plans also focus on the role of transport in delivering movement and place outcomes that support the character of the places and communities we want for the future.

Technology and innovative service models are providing opportunities to change the way transport solutions are provided. For example, 37 per cent of customers reported using a rideshare service in the past 12 months[1] – a service type that relies heavily on technology and did not exist in Australia five years ago.

Future Transport 2056 is the first plan to unpack how we can harness rapid advancements in technology and innovation to transform the customer experience and boost economic performance across NSW.

Planning for 40 years is bold when rapid technological innovation is the new norm and there is uncertainty as to what the future will look like. Our population is set to increase to 12 million people by 2056, freight volumes are estimated to double in the Greater Sydney area and increase by 25 per cent in regional NSW and the passenger network preparing for 28 million trips a day – this means planning for the future has never been more important.

[1] IPART report on comparing surveys on point to point use – November 2014 to February 2017

Figure 2 NSW’s growing population

Why planning transport for 40 years is critical

Transport matters to every person, business and visitor in the state, and supports economic, social and environmental outcomes

The importance of our choices today

Change is occurring rapidly, which presents challenges when predicting future technologies and customer trends. While it is impossible to predict the future, the options and plans we put in place today can benefit NSW for generations to come.

Economic and population growth, with inevitable constraints on our resources, mean that we face ‘fork in the road’ decisions with long term impacts. This brings with it the opportunity to reshape future travel behaviours, revitalise regional areas, improve safety and reduce the cost of providing infrastructure. We will do this through long term, agile transport planning that supports a productive economy, liveable communities and more sustainable transport solutions.

A productive economy

An efficient transport system, results in greater economic performance. Transport enables businesses to reach new markets, attract new investment, while presenting more job and training opportunities. By contrast, congestion and network inefficiency increase costs, constrain growth, and stifle economic development and the mobility of services and labour.

The long term, vision-led and place based planning introduced by Future Transport will support the economy by giving industry and communities the certainty they need for their own plans – decisions about where to invest, locate and live.

Liveable communities

Liveable communities promote social inclusion and the health and wellbeing of the people who live in them. Transport is vital to mobility as a ‘placemaker’. It can transform the public domain, activate centres and unlock new commercial and housing developments, renewing existing neighbourhoods and spaces.

The best places take time and strong partnerships to develop and flourish. Integrated land use and transport planning can activate public spaces, corridors and networks, and positively impact the delivery of health, education and local government services. Transport can improve the liveability and character of places across the state, achieve wider benefits from investment and encourage more desirable patterns of development.

A sustainable society

Transport accounts for over 42 per cent of the state’s* total energy consumption[1] and a growing share of total public infrastructure investment.  

While growing transport investment is critical to the wellbeing of our communities, unsustainable investment decisions risk deteriorating the government’s budget position and its ability to respond to community needs in health, education, and other critical services.

As a significant emitter of greenhouse gases, transport also has a role in operating in a more sustainable way to limit environmental impacts and contribute to the NSW Government’s aspirational target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Long term planning ensures the delivery of more with less, while we maximise the benefits of planned investment, and improve the emissions intensity and environmental costs.

[1] NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) State of the Environment Report 2015

Building on our achievements

The journey so far…

The 2012 Long Term Transport Master Plan responded to a period of underinvestment and poor planning of transport infrastructure in NSW. It undertook a comprehensive analysis of transport problems and generated an unprecedented pipeline of investment.

In total, over 700 projects are linked to the 2012 Plan, with 485 completed, 168 in progress., and the remainder in the planning stage. These include game-changing projects such as Sydney MetroSydney CBD & South-East Light Rail and WestConnex as well as much needed infrastructure in our regions through programs such as Fixing Country Roads and Fixing Country Rail. The 2012 Plan also extended state-wide programs like the Transport Access Program and delivery of the Disability Action Plan.

The projects set out by the 2012 Plan align with State Priorities to deliver better infrastructure and services, create safer communities, reduce road fatalities by more than 30 per cent by 2021 and improve road travel reliability and on time running.

Since 2012, other government initiatives have also improved alignment across Government to integrate strategic planning and join up service delivery. The Government’s metropolitan plan identifies opportunities for urban renewal and new housing development around major transport investments, while the Greater Sydney Commission’s Growth Infrastructure Compacts bring together service and infrastructure planning to better meet the place-based needs of communities.

The NSW Government and local Councils, in collaboration with industry, are also completing Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) which will cover all regions in NSW. The REDS identify a range of projects and other initiatives, including transport projects and initiatives, which can be undertaken to support and stimulate regional growth. Where these strategies identify state-wide transport projects or initiatives they have been considered in Future Transport. Region-specific or local projects and initiatives will be considered during the development of region-level plans.

Status of 2012 Long Term Transport Masterplan Projects

*Includes Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Commencing the next phase of transport improvement

Improvements resulting from the 2012 Long Term Transport Master Plan have created a solid foundation for the deployment of new technology and innovative service models. 

Outside of planning and service delivery, the last six years have also seen rapid advances in technology and mobility services, effectively altering the transport landscape. The advent of ridesharing services, the introduction of on-demand services, and the widespread use of technology have demonstrated how quickly innovation can reshape transport.

Through Future Transport 2056, NSW will maximise the benefits of emerging technologies and innovation in delivering outcomes for customers and the community, enhancing the productivity, liveability and sustainability of our state.

What change is Future Transport responding to?

The next 40 years will see more technology-led transformation than the past two centuries

Technology is changing how we travel - and how we deliver transport

Transport is a technology business.

Rapid innovation is changing traditional modes of travel. Buses, trains, cars and trucks are increasingly automated, safer, and will gradually need connection to a smarter network. But the changes we are witnessing come not just from the hardware but from the new operating models technology can support.

Data sharing and mobile technology give customers smarter ways to choose and buy services, and allow providers to respond to customer needs flexibly. Customers have more choices about where they want to go and how they want to get there - not necessarily which mode they use. The future will see more mobility services delivered to reflect customers’ personal preferences.

The uptake of ridesharing indicates our customers are early adopters of technology-enabled services. In the two years following the introduction of rideshare services, new service models were extending to outer metropolitan areas, and driver authorities for hire car and rideshare drivers grew ten-fold.

In regional NSW, new technologies could transform transport services, with data-driven models matching demand with a range of service and vehicle types meaning more personalised and economically sustainable transport.

Our approach to technology-enabled mobility is underpinned by the Future Transport Technology Roadmap, delivered in 2016, which set out five strategies:

  1. Personalise customer interactions: moving to customised, integrated service systems, smart digital mobility platforms, and frictionless access and payments
  2. Transform the mass transit network: incorporating automation to improve safety, service frequency and travel times and attract customers from private car use
  3. Foster shared, demand-responsive services: enabling flexible, shared use service models
  4. Enable connected and automated vehicles (CAVs): supporting vehicles and enabling infrastructure that improves mobility services, efficiency, reliability and safety
  5. Create intelligent transport networks, managed with data: installing technologies and building networks that actively gather data, using Artificial Intelligence and real time analytics to optimise capacity and planning.

Future Transport 2056 draws on the Roadmap strategies with an aim to be ready to harness the opportunities created by technology - not to pre-empt future developments.

Figure 3 Responding to rapid change

A new way of planning transport

Future Transport 2056 is a new approach to planning where we closely engage with our customers, industry and communities through ‘co-operative design’, or simply - ‘co-design’.

Co-design means early involvement in the design process and ongoing collaboration with all of our stakeholders – customers, transport staff, the transport supply chain, industry, other government agencies and the wider community. This approach is designed to deliver an end result that meets stakeholders’ needs and ensures that the people who use or are affected by the transport network have a place at the table in making planning decisions.

We used the co-design approach by involving stakeholders as we finalised the Future Transport Strategy and Plans. The Future Transport team visited over 60 regional and metropolitan locations to talk to the community, industry and local councils and directly seek their input. The Future Transport campaign also led to 10,000 website reactions to the Strategy and Plans, 2,000 comments and more than 500 submissions. We also used new ways of engaging young people, including a social media campaign that reached 1.2 million people.

By consolidating and considering all feedback we have refined our plans so that the Future Transport 2056 truly reflects what our customers want. For example, we have heard that more needs to be done to explain the benefits of our proposed initiatives, so a comprehensive list of initiatives and their proposed benefits is now included in each of the Greater Sydney and Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plans.

We heard that more cycling and walking infrastructure needs to be delivered sooner, so we have changed our plans to reflect that too.

How will we work in the future?

Transport for NSW already uses co-design to plan for many new initiatives. The on-demand service trials across the state and the call for Expressions of Interest for a regional Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) trial are examples of how we are getting better at involving our customers and communities at the initial stages of projects.

In the coming months, Transport for NSW will develop a set of co-design principles specific to our transport system that will be introduced and embedded across all agencies in the transport cluster.

Transport for NSW will also introduce processes to ensure regional communities have access to planners and decision makers for all aspects of transport including roads, public and active transport and new technologies and service models.

The lessons learned from Future Transport 2056 will influence how we will work differently in the future by:

  • Enhancing current partnerships and creating new ones and better engaging customers
  • Embracing new methods of planning to respond to changing technology and customer trends
  • Changing our workplace culture and the way we do business internally

Maintaining our ‘living’ document

Future Transport 2056 is not a static document to be placed on the shelf and updated every few years. Its purpose is to guide future transport planning in an unpredictable environment and help us respond and adapt to changes as they arise.

The Strategy and Plans identify a number of strategic directions and visionary initiatives. How these are incorporated into transport planning is not yet determined as their delivery is subject to business case processes, funding availability, the developing network and changing customer needs.

This is why we need to continue to update the Strategy and Plans and constantly monitor and report on our progress in delivering on outcomes.

Information on how we will measure and report on our progress in line with Future Transport outcomes is included at Chapter 10.

Forging the future together

The level of community and stakeholder involvement that Future Transport promotes is unprecedented in transport planning in NSW. We are looking forward to continuing to work with our industry and community partners to deliver an innovative and modern transport system that meets the needs of our customers and supports growth across the state.

Figure 5 Engaging our customers on Future Transport 2056