As part of its long-term strategy of getting cars off Sydney’s roads and encouraging the use of public transport, Transport for NSW has announced the start of ‘On Demand Transport’ service trials in the city next month.
Promoted as ‘a bus stop outside your door’, eight pilots of On Demand Transport services will start from October across the Sydney metropolitan region. The pilot schemes will operate in the northwest, southwest, west, eastern suburbs, northern beaches, Sutherland Shire and the Central Coast, and will allow customers to book transport from or near their homes to local transport hubs or other centers, including local hospitals. Transport for NSW will use data from the trials to plan future public transport improvements across all areas of Sydney. The agency says all pilots in the trial will provide a standalone service that will not affect any existing local bus services. Each trial is unique and will have its own pricing scheme ranging from A$2.60 to A$5.60 (US$2-4.4) for a standard trip. Customers will be able to book online, by phone or via a smartphone app.
The areas included in the first rollout of on-demand trials will be:
- Macquarie Park - starting early 2018, service run by Keolis Downer, using eight minivans, six minibuses and one wheelchair-accessible vehicle;
- Bankstown - starts in October, run by Punchbowl Bus Company, with one bus;
- Edmondson Park - starts in early 2018, operated by Interline, with two minibuses;
- Northern Beaches - starts late 2017, run by Keolis Downer, with eight vehicles;
- Sutherland Shire - starts November, operated by Transdev, with five minibuses;
- Manly and Eastern Suburbs - starts November, run by Transdev, with six minibuses;
- Wetherill Park and Greystanes - starts late 2017, using Indi-Link by Transit Systems, with five minibuses;
- Central Coast - starts early 2018, run by Community Transport Central Coast, using five minibuses.
“The trials are a first for NSW, and will transform the daily commute for people across Sydney, noted NSW’s Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance. “We have on-demand movies, on-demand food, and finally, NSW will have on-demand transport. This trial is just the start of our transport future in NSW. Imagine not having to check a timetable because you know your service will be there when and where you need it.”