Following a slash in bus routes and the discontinuation of a temporary ferry route connecting Pyrmont to Barangaroo, Pyrmont residents are sharing their struggles with commuting to and from the CBD. The Pyrmont Peninsula Public Transport Forum (PPPTF), a long time campaigner for NSW government to address the issues, recently held a meeting with the community to discuss their concerns.
Among the concerns raised are limited stops on the 389 bus route, an essential service connecting Pyrmont to the CBD, as well as as well as re-instating a ferry route. The NSW government removed key stops along the 389 route in January.
Pyrmont residents explained to City Hub why an inner-city peninsula has become a point of isolation in Sydney due to a lack of appropriate public transport.
“I moved to Pyrmont Last year, on the assumption that there was going to be reasonable transport links with the city” a resident, and member of the PPPTF, James Horseman said.
“I’d lived in the inner east previously, and had basically door to door bus services from Woolloomooloo to Barangaroo, and [Pyrmont] was touted as a similar sort of thing.”
Horseman said that he knew there was a ferry travelling from Blackwattle Bay in Glebe to Barangaroo that would stop at Pyrmont.
However, when Horseman moved to Pyrmont, he says he found out the ferry wasn’t running anymore, “because the Transport Minister decided it wasn’t worth it”.
“In city-fringe suburbs you assume that transport is not going to be an issue” Horseman said.
The reinstatement of the ferry route to Barangaroo from Pirrama Park Wharf in Pyrmont is one of the PPPTF’s goals in its campaigning.
Lesley Bentley, convener of the PPPTF, says that the “F10 ferry passes by Pirrama Park and doesn’t stop.”
“Where is the logic? It was providing a much-needed linkage to Barangaroo and Glebe” Bentley said.
A 6 month trial of a temporary on-demand route ran from Pirrama park to Barangaroo during 2019, but the route was discontinued in 2020.
Currently, the Pirrama Park ferry stop does not have any active public routes.
Residents turn to Uber and Taxis over public transport
Horseman, who travels to Barangaroo for work, says it’s faster to walk 40 minutes than it is to take public transport.
“It’s actually faster to get from Strathfield to the CBD than it is from Pyrmont.” Trains to Wynyard from Strathfield train station in Sydney’s west, which is roughly 12km away from Barangaroo, can take anywhere between 31 minutes on the T2 line and just 20 minutes on the T1 line.
Pyrmont is located roughly 2km from Barangaroo, yet commuters say catching the bus to Barangaroo can take over 40 minutes.
“That’s why people are choosing to spend their money if they can, on Ubers, which then goes into private pockets rather than back into public services.”
Carla Parton, another Pyrmont resident and active member of the PPPTF, says she has recently also been turning to private transport between Pyrmont and the CBD.
“You can’t get home after midnight. Because there’s no public transport” Parton said to City Hub.
“I tried to get in a taxi last night… and [the driver] said it would be $40 to get to Pyrmont. And that was from Barangaroo.”
Parton, who works in Barangaroo, says she used to take the bus from Pirrama Road in Pyrmont, and it would drop her at the corner of King Street and Martin Place in the CBD.
“Now there is no bus stop on King Street, and the bus takes you straight to Town Hall” Parton said. “The bus goes past so many bus stops that it could stop at. But it just doesn’t.”
PPPTF receives no word from Transport Minister
The PPPTF has continued to campaign for their three short-term requests: a bus stop for drop off point on York Street, a bus stop on Murray Street, and the reinstatement of the ferry stop at Pirrama Park.
Tram and Bus Secretary for the Rail, Tram and Bus Union David Babineau attended the most recent PPPTF meeting to discuss transport issues with residents.
Babineau told City Hub that “transport has lost sight of the fact that they are supposed to manage the delivery of services, and instead they are more focused on the managing of contracts”.
He said that Transport for NSW is lacking in comprehensive community consultation.
“Basically what they say is, you need to contact us” Babineau said about TfNSW.
“Otherwise [TfNSW] are just going to stick up signs and say what we are going to do. Which is pretty sad in terms of simple community engagement”.
The PPPTF have appealed to state member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, who has previously addressed letters to NSW Transport Minister David Elliott about the concerns over Pyrmont’s connectivity.
On June 23, Greenwich and Sydney’s Mayor Lord Clover Moore addressed another letter to Elliot calling for the minster to meet with a “delegation of residents” to discuss the community concerns.
The PPPTF say they have received no response from Elliott. The group has started a petition, calling for Elliott to take action.
Bentley urges Pyrmont residents to “contact Alex Greenwich and ask him to attend the next forum on 27th August”.