Thursday, April 26, 2012

BrizCommuter becomes SydneyCommuter

BrizCommuter recently spent a week in Sydney, partially on business, and partially as a tourist. How does Sydney compare with Brisbane's "World Class" public transport system?
  • Fares - Sydney's fares are almost as overpriced as Brisbane's making the car (or walking) a very attractive option. There is also no smart card, and poor integration between transport modes. There is no daily option for zone 1 which would be useful for most tourists and visitors, and the cost of singles and (cheaper) returns can really add up. Brisbane wins here, despite also being poor when it comes to fares!
  • Trains - BrizCommuter found the train service to be sufficiently frequent, with no waits longer than 6 minutes for the 11 journeys taken (of which 4 were to/from the suburbs, and 2 of those were late at night). Train services were slow with express services feeling like they were trundling at slightly faster than running pace. Whilst the double decker trains eat up large crowds, with only two sets of doors per car, the dwell times often exceed 60 seconds slowing services down even more. Maybe Sydney needs to look at Paris' new double decker triple door MI09 trains? Only one delay was experienced, and that was approx. 4 minutes. Sydney wins here for frequency, although looses points for slowness. 
  • Ferries - Overpriced single and return tickets. Extensive network, but unlike in Brisbane, you need to check a timetable. 
  • Monorail - Who ever thought that putting a theme park ride in Sydney's CBD was a good idea? 
  • Tram/Light-rail - BrizCommuter didn't use Sydney's light rail as it was faster to walk to required destinations en-route. Not the most frequent light rail system around, and no next tram indicators. 
  • Buses - The free CBD loop bus was useful. However it was poorly advertised, often full, and didn't keep to schedule. BrizCommuter didn't use any other bus services - the confusing fare structure and poor bus route information for the casual user is rather off-putting. 
To conclude, Sydney's trains are frequent, but the fare structure is unintegrated and confusing, which makes using ferries and buses unattractive. Thank god for Melbourne, the only city in Australia that seems to have half-decent public transport with frequent trains, frequent trams, and an integrated fare structure. 


  1. You are too kind! A number of stations in Sydney languish on 30 minute frequency or inconsistent frequency. Evening bus routes are generally infrequent.

  2. Admittedly, BrizCommuter did not have to use the Carlingford Line!

  3. Try telling that stuff about Melbourne to the people in Melbourne though...


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