NSW Business Chamber Western Sydney director David Borger tells PS how the new rail timetable needs to be part of an overall transport strategy.
The new rail timetable is a step in the right direction for improving the public transport connections of western Sydney.
In 2001, the government completed the Y-link west of Granville station that for the first time connected the regional centres in the south-west with those of the west without the need to interchange at Granville.
But this important and simple piece of infrastructure has been neglected for years being limited to only two morning services and three afternoon services.
From October 20, that will change with 45 peak-hour train services operating on the Cumberland Line that links Campbelltown to Blacktown via Liverpool and Parramatta/Westmead.
This is a commonsense change that finally starts to use our rail infrastructure more intelligently. It makes public transport far more attractive to Sydneysiders who live in the south-west and travel to the centres of Parramatta and Westmead for employment.
But this has to represent a beginning for the state government's transport strategy in western Sydney. We need to be encouraging intra-regional public transport for western Sydney.
An obvious candidate to expand on this is the development of a light rail network linking our key residential and employment centres.
Improving access to our regional river cities will help to shrink the western Sydney jobs deficit.
About 200,000 people currently travel outside the region to work. That is a huge cost to business and family life.