Sydney-siders may have noticed the new lightrail system performing practice runs over the few weeks, mostly because they’re generally accompanied by police officers yelling at pedestrians to not walk in front of them.
We now have an official launch date, and the first weekend will be free for all passengers.
The first service will kick off on the L2 Randwick Line from Circular Quay on Saturday December 14. The maiden voyage will leave at 11am and won’t cost a darn cent.
In fact, it will be a fare free weekend across the 14th and 15th of December. But before you get too excited (I’m looking at you, Inner West dwellers), there will be no free rides for the previously existing L1 line or any other public transport services.
But that’s okay. It’s a weekend in Sydney so the trains probably won’t be running anyway.
Each coupled light rail service will hold up to 450 passengers and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian predicts that they will be able to move around 13,500 commuters an hour during peak hours.
Once the new lightrail service is properly up and running there will be services running every 4 to 8 minutes between Central and Circular Quay and every 8 to 12 minutes between Central and Randwick. These services will run from 7am to 7pm for the first six months.
So if you were hoping to get maggot at the Big Bash over summer, you’ll still have to cram onto a bus or fight people for taxis.
While the new tram line was supposed to be completed by April 2018, the project suffered extensive delays and gone $1.3 billion over budget. It’s also not finished yet. The Kingsford section of the new network won’t be in operation until after March 2020.
But the project has been plagued by other issues, as well.
According to the SMH The testing phase over the past few weeks has also resulted in some breakdowns.
The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union has also stated there are at least 11 design flaws and safety issues with the trams.
There’s also been problems with commuters casually walking in front of trams on the reg thanks to phones and headphones.
“We’ve got a lot of continuing education, it won’t just be over the next few months, this will be an ongoing engagement that we will have to drive awareness across the city and across pedestrians,” said Transport Minister Andrew Constance in a statement.