The Greens today launched their plan for world-class public transport to create more liveable communities, transform how people in NSW connect with each other and access schools, universities and work.
The Greens Transport Plan for Liveable Communities will improve our quality of life, alleviate traffic congestion, reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and end the era multibillion dollar toll roads.
The people of NSW deserve much better public transport options.
Greens NSW Upper House MP and spokesperson for Transport Dr Mehreen Faruqi was joined by Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker to announce the Greens Transport Plan which will:
- End the dominance of 1950s style transport planning and redirect more than $4.5 billion away from private toll roads towards public transport solutions in Sydney and connect our cities and regions.
- Affordability, accessibility and safety in transport, including extending public transport concessions to all low-income earners in possession of a Low Income Health Care Card, doubling the Taxi Transport Subsidy and expanding the free school travel program to cover the light rail network.
- Transparency in transport decision-making. Legislate to release business cases and cost benefit analyses for major projects and engage in a public participation process before final decisions are made.
- End piecemeal transport planning and establish strategic goals to reduce the share of trips made by private cars to 50% (currently 67%) and a subsequent 17% increase in the share of trips made by public and active transport by 2030.
Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, Greens NSW spokesperson for Transport, said:
“We’re a smart community, the people of NSW know the amount of money being spent on private toll roads and white elephant thought bubbles like the WestConnex could be used to create a transport system that works for all of us. We all need more liveable and vibrant communities, that’s what good transport does and we all deserve that kind of transport in NSW.
“This election is a critical moment for the people of NSW to make it clear we are demanding a transport system that makes our lives easier, that is inclusive and accessible for all of us, and is affordable and smart. We can have that with the Greens Transport Plan for liveable communities.
“The Greens are here today to tell Premier Mike Baird and Opposition Leader Luke Foley that the age of pulling the wool over the public’s eyes and investing billions in unsustainable and failing private toll roads is well and truly over. Sydney and NSW deserve world class public transport.
“We need an end to the piecemeal approach to public transport planning in Sydney dominated by cars and transport projects based on the whims of the political elite, while the public is locked out of decisions.
“The Greens plan for world-class public transport would transform how people in NSW connect with each other and access schools, universities and work.
“The best part of our plan is that we can have a world class public transport system not through selling off poles and wires, but by scrapping wasteful toll road projects like WestConnex.
“The people of NSW are frustrated at not being involved in transport decision-making. It must be compulsory for governments to release cost benefit analyses and business cases for public scrutiny before final approval.
“There has been a piecemeal approach to public transport for far too long with no strategic goal leaving vast swaths of Sydney and indeed New South Wales, with no public transport at all.
“We need to stop the privatisation of Sydney’s transport network by retaining and expanding a publicly owned and operated network that works for people. This means expanding our light rail and heavy rail networks to areas that are underserved in a way that integrates with the wider network.
“Public transport in regional New South Wales has been effectively abandoned by both the Labor and Liberal Parties. The Greens will dedicate $100 million towards community transport options, especially in regional areas.
“The Northern Rivers region has been betrayed by both Labor and Liberals, with the Casino to Murwillumbah Line remaining closed. The Greens will reopen the Casino to Lismore service and invest in local buses and community transport. Over time, the Greens will reopen the whole line and look at extending it to the Queensland border.
Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker said:
“It just shouldn’t be so hard to get around our communities and cities. Our plan will ensure we all get to work on time, have more time with our families and a transport system we can all be proud of. Tollways divide communities, create more pollution and make our cities less liveable.
“Our plan is detailed, transparent and costed, which should be the standard operating procedure for all such plans. The Greens believe the community should be in the driver seat when it comes to determining what we need in transport, not big business. That’s why our plan puts community need at the heart of our policy launch today.
“The Greens Transport plan is fantastic news for people across NSW, and the inner west is no exception. I’m pleased to say the Greens Transport plan would stop WestConnex, and includes a light rail package that would get work started on the Inner West Light Rail Link and expand free school students transport scheme to light rail.
“I have long called for an Inner West Light Rail Link to connect the city with the inner west and link up with the existing light rail line at Taverners Hill. People love light rail and the Greens would ensure that the new line is planned and built through an open, transparent and participatory process with the community.
“Many inner west residents live within a bike ride or a walk from work, or a short car trip from their local bus or train stop. Our plan will deliver more park and ride stations, and more and better cycling and walking infrastructure.
“The Greens plan would finally build the much-needed Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network, which was identified as a national priority by Infrastructure Australia in 2013. Cyclists have been crying out for more and better infrastructure, and the Greens are committed to their safety and accessibility.