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On-demand public transport trials to start in New South Wales from October

On demand public transport trials to start in New South Wales from October

Above photo: Screenshot from video of person using Bankstown on-demand app (Bankstown is one of the first areas for the roll-out of the trials) / Credit:Transport for NSW

The New South Wales government in Australia announced today that a series of eight pilots on-demand public transport services will be launched in October.

The pilots in the North West, South West, West, Eastern Suburbs, Northern Beaches, Sutherland Shire and Central Coast will allow customers to book transport from or near their home to a local transport hub, such as train stations, ferries and bus interchanges, or other centres including local hospitals.

Each trial is unique and will have its own pricing scheme ranging from AU$2.60 to AU$5.60 for a standard trip. Customers will be able to book online, by phone or via an app. All pilots in this trial will provide a standalone service that will not affect any existing local bus services.

Key employment region Macquarie Park is part of the first tranche of On Demand pilots, with a service to transport workers living within 15 kilometres of the precinct starting in early 2018, with fares starting at $2.60. This service will be run by Keolis Downer and use a fleet of eight mini vans, six mini buses and one wheelchair accessible vehicle during weekday peaks and shoulders.

Transport for NSW will use data from the trials to plan future public transport improvements across all areas of Sydney. 

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the trials were a first for NSW, and would transform the daily commute for people across Sydney.

“We have on demand movies, on demand food, and finally – NSW will have on demand transport,” Mr Constance said.

Ryde MP and Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello, said that the service would boost capacity for people living in the region ahead of the start of Sydney Metro Northwest in 2019.

“This will encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport, and will bring extra services to this rapidly growing employment precinct,” Mr Dominello said.

In November 2016, Minister Constance had announced plans for a working trial of on-demand buses and trains by the end of 2017. part of the NSW Government’s Future Transport Technology Roadmap

Launched for feedback on 2 November 2016 and published in April 2017, the Roadmap aims to unlock the full value of NSW’s transport networks, and customise and personalise transport services to create a better experience for customers.

The Roadmap presents five technology strategies that will allow the state to meet those objectives: 1) Personalise customer interactions by developing real-time and digital timetable, navigation, customer information and payment platforms; 2) Transform mass transit networks by using automation and dynamic management systems to improve efficiency, boost service frequency, and reduce travel times; 3) Foster shared-use, on-demand services with flexible routes and schedules, to give customers greater choice both in metropolitan and regional areas; 4) Enable connected automated vehicle platforms by continuing to contribute to national standards and regulatory frameworks, and creating the right environment for testing and trial, so we can maximise the early benefits of greater levels of vehicle automation; and 5) Create intelligent transport networks managed by data, to better manage network capacity and improve journey reliability.

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