Metro Transport, the operator of Sydney’s light rail network, has asked the Australian Government to fund half the network’s running costs once the new CBD Metro project is up and running.
According to The Syndey Morning Herald, Metro Transport’s contract with the government makes light rail the primary public mode of transport between the central business district and the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont, and prompts compensation for the operator if the government plans to set up any other competing service.
The company also claims that it was not approached by any government official to discuss the $4.8bn CBD Metro before it was announced in October 2008.
The company claims that the proposed CBD Metro is faster and has stations located in the same areas — including Star City, John Street Square and Fish Markets — and will therefore affect its revenues.
Nearly four million passengers use Metro Transport every year and the annual compensation is expected to be at least $4m.
However, Acting Transport Minister Michael Daley said that CBD Metro could provide Metro Transport with more customers who will use the light rail to connect to the metro station and vice versa.