Sydney Divided in Transport Choice

It seems that Sydney locals are getting more and more divided in terms of opinions about mode of transportation going to and from work.

Unofficially known as Australia’s real capital, Sydney is Australia’s most iconic and most populous city. If you take a look at the city’s history and its recent statistical trends, you’ll observe a very confused city when it comes to choice of transportation. The growth of low density housing in the outer suburbs of Sydney have made cars a necessary. However, compared to other major cities, Sydney has the lowest percentage of people driving to work which is at 26%. Not only that, but Sydney is also a reporting the lowest average number of cars per household which is at 1.6.

This would lead one to assume that maybe more of them are taking public transportation. A closer look reveals that this is not the case, at least outside of the CBD. We have seen that in the past ten years, use of the trains in the outer suburbs have been dropping steadily. This recent article on The Sydney Morning Herald presents some explanation as to why this is.

sydney public transportation

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Anecdotal evidence presented in the article tells of two differing opinions on public transportation. On one hand, some Sydney locals who have chosen to ride trains over their cars say that the trains are much more reliable and cheaper than using cars.

On the other hand, there are those who complain about the trains never being on time, and about not being able to get a seat despite paying for tickets. For those who are unlucky enough not to get a seat will sometimes have to remain standing for the better part of an hour as the average Sydney resident spends around 1.192 hours travelling to and from work per day. According to latest data, Sydney has over 6.95 people living per hectare in the CBD. Then we have suburbs such as Gosford, Penrith, and Campbelltown with population densities of 1.84, 4.90, and 5.09 respectively. The inability of the trains to run on time can be attributed to the heavy concentration of the population in the middle.

While it is true that rail usage increased all across NSW, the increase is not evenly distributed over all suburbs. Convincing the residents who live farther from the CBD to ditch their cars is an issue that’s worth looking into for the powers that be.

For a significant chunk of the population, waiting for the train to arrive is just too much hassle. It also presents a level of uncertainty to people’s daily commute that some end up thinking that sitting in traffic for up to three hours a day is a more acceptable alternative. A study done in 2011 supports this by saying that “the keys to increasing public transport use in outer suburbs are more frequent buses, running at least every 10-15 minutes, and not just in peak hour.”

As the population in these outer suburbs continue to rise, there is a growing demand for alternatives while the government struggles with its public transport problem. Car rental companies such as Alpha Car Hire in Sydney are filling the gap of people getting fed up with the less than ideal transport system but are not yet ready to buy a car. Renting a car, whether for a few days, or for months at a time, can give a welcome respite from the hassle of squeezing into a crowded train at the end of a long work day. Alpha Car Hire is one of the largest independent car rental companies along the east coast of Australia, and you can be sure you will be getting the best cars for the lowest prices.