The New South Wales government in Australia has earmarked A$6.4bn ($6.12bn) in its latest budget to execute the ‘big six’ public transport infrastructure projects, the majority of which involve rail network expansion around Greater Sydney.
The capital investment, announced under the four-year state budget, is intended to boost Sydney’s rail capacity, as well as create jobs and improve the state’s economy.
The capital expenditure on public transport infrastructure marks a 32% rise over last year’s A$4.1bn investment.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said that the capital investment demonstrated the government’s commitment to build infrastructure.
"This government committed to addressing the public transport challenges in Sydney and here is the proof we are getting on with the job of delivering," O’Farrell said.
Out of the six projects due for construction, the 36km North West Rail Link will receive the maximum funding of A$4bn, with the first tunnel boring machines expected to be in the ground in 2014.
NSW has allocated A$885m for the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor, which is set to improve freight access and the reliability of commuter services from the Central Coast, inner west and northern Sydney.
The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor project aims to take around 200,000 trucks off the road every year.
The next major project due for completion in 2016 is the proposed 11.4km South West Rail Link between Glenfield and Leppington, which received A$782m in the budget.
NSW will invest A$423m to build a 12km light rail line from Circular Quay and Central to Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick, covering George Street, the Moore Park sporting and entertainment precinct, Randwick Racecourse and the University of NSW.
Once operational, the new line is expected to remove nearly 220 buses an hour from the city’s roads.
The government will invest A$76m in the 5.6km Inner West Light Rail Extension, which it plans to launch in 2014 between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill with nine new stops on the route.
The sixth infrastructure project, costing about A$224m, is an underground pedestrian link called Wynyard Walk, which is intended to link up to 20,000 public transport commuters an hour with Barangaroo.
NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said: "We’re investing billions in much-needed infrastructure for public transport customers who have been neglected for so long, but we’ve also invested in 3,000 extra public transport services a week since we came to Government and we have more on the way with new timetables starting in October."
Image: A$4bn will be provided from the NSW state budget for the 36km North West Rail Link project.