A SERIES of maps of Sydney's public transport network provides a compelling case for better integration of existing services, according to the Sydney Alliance, a coalition of community organisations and unions.
The maps, produced by Dr Kurt Iveson of the University of Sydney in partnership with the Sydney Alliance and released last week, comprehensively detail Sydney's access to public transport and reveal that frequency of service is a major hurdle to Sydney having a viable and equitable transport system.
Using Geographic Information Software networking tools, Dr Iveson and PhD student Laurence Troy combined three kinds of information: the road network; public transport service points (train stations, bus, ferry and light rail stops); and average frequencies of services at each point between 5am and midnight on a weekday.
The maps show which parts of Sydney are within 400 metres walking distance of public transport, and where a service comes at least every 15 minutes on average across the day. While all regions in Sydney have pockets of access to public transport of this standard, most regions outside of the inner city have significant gaps.
"Geospatial maps produced show large areas of our city lack easy access to public transport at the frequency needed to get commuters where they need to go," said Sydney Alliance Coalition Director Amanda Tattersall.
Dr Tattersall said fixing the gaps in the maps needs to be a priority for the NSW Government, not just the big ticket multi-million dollar infrastructure proposals.
Dr Iveson, who is also Co-Chair of the Sydney Alliance Transport Research Action team, said the city's public transport system has to offer an integrated and flexible network across the entire city, throughout the day, seven days a week.
"So what we really need is a 'forget the timetable' frequency – which means as many people as possible having access to some form of public transport within 400 metres walk that comes at least every 15 minutes," Dr Iveson said.
"Good public transport contributes to social inclusion and a better environment. While major infrastructure projects are important, right now we can improve frequencies and better integrate existing services in the Sydney transport network to make a real difference to people's lives."