NSW PUBLIC TRANSPORT: A Lack Of Parking And Bad Seating Drives Rail Users Nuts, But Ferry Users Are Happy

Sydney Trains. Photo: Getty Images

Dissatisfaction among NSW rail users about parking and seating are among the biggest complaints by public transport passengers revealed in the 2014 Transport for NSW customer satisfaction index.

Ferry commuters are the happiest, according to the survey, with overall satisfaction for the aquatic network topping the list at 96%, well ahead of trains at 85% and buses at 87%.

The survey canvassed the contentment levels of more than 34,000 public transport users in May 2014 and compared them with November 2013.

Dissatisfaction with the availability of parking for train customers increased from 29% to 32% over the six-month period, while it jumped 2% to 27% for ferry patrons.

The survey said bus and ferry customers were least satisfied with convenience and information, especially the availability of parking near stops and information about service delays.

Commuters on the inner-west Sydney light rail became increasingly disgruntled with comfort over the six months with dissatisfaction in seat comfort up 12%, seat availability up 6% and train temperature up 3%. Despite the increased popularity of the recently expanded network, concerns about personal space only rose 1%.

NSW train users also had greater concerns with seat comfort, with dissatisfaction up 3% to 12%.

People don’t like hanging around for taxis, with dissatisfaction in comfort at taxi ranks jumping 6% to 17%, while a lack of information also peeved, rising 5% to 15%.

The taxi network was the only mode to see a drop in overall satisfaction, down 1% to 81%, the lowest rating of any form of public transport.

Overall satisfaction levels rose slightly across all other forms of public transport with trains (up 2 per cent), bus (up 2 per cent), ferry (up 1 per cent) and light rail (up 3 per cent).

The government’s $770 million four-year investment in public transport infrastructure should make voters happier.

Work is underway to provide more than 2,600 new car parks, including handing back 1,200 staff car parking spaces at close to 100 stations across NSW.

There are also another 4,000 new car parking spaces being built for the North West Rail Link and 1,250 new car parking spaces for the South West Rail Link project.

Rolling stock is increasing with $2.8 billion being spent on 65 new intercity trains, totalling 520 new carriages by 2024. The Inner West Light Rail has 12 new trains, and there are 129 news buses planned, while design work for six new ferries is already underway.

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