Image: Transport for NSW under fire from Pyrmont locals for decreasing stops on 389 bus route. Photo: Sydney Expert and Wikipedia.
By AMBER GRIFFIN
A Pyrmont resident group says it has been ignored by NSW government about concerns over limited public transport options, after key bus stops were removed from an essential route early in the year.
The Pyrmont Peninsula Public Transport Forum(PPPTF), a group of Pyrmont businesses and residents who advocate for improved public transport options, say that the government hasn’t done enough to address the decrease of viable public transport options in Pyrmont.
The convener of PPPTF, Lesley Bentley, said that Pyrmont residents and businesses need more reliable buses, more bus stops, and more frequent services.
“PPPTF is initially focused on achieving replacement of public transport/amenity which has been recently removed by the Government with minimal, or no, community consultation.”
Bentley says that the community group has been repeatedly ignored by NSW Government about their concerns.
“We cannot get the NSW Minister for Transport (David Elliot) to assist or take an interest in our 3 simple requests.”
The PPPTF is calling for two extra bus stops along the 389 bus route, which connects many Pyrmont residents from the North of the peninsula, to Town Hall station and Bondi Junction The groups also calls for the reinstatement of a Pyrmont Ferry stop on the F10 Ferry route.
In January of this year when Transport for NSW changed the 389 bus route, residents spoke up about the loss of a key stop.
Transport for NSW said in a statement that the changes were made to make “consistent bus stop locations within the Sydney CBD”, but residents complained the change significantly increased travel time into the CBD.
Bentley says PPPTF wants these key stops to be introduced back into the 389 route.
“The Minister also fails to acknowledge that there is a perfectly good location for a bus stop in York St diagonally opposite to the former King St Stop” Bentley said.
“This is very frustrating as we are only asking for a drop off.”
Sydney MP asks Transport Minister for answers
NSW Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich previously sent two separate letters to NSW Minister for Transport David Elliot, the first letter being sent in February of 2022.
Greenwich asked the NSW transport Minister about the government’s plans for public transport connecting Pyrmont with Broadway shops, University of Sydney and The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
The response was that residents could take the light rail to Central station, and use services via Parramatta road to get to Broadway shops.
Greenwich sent an additional letter in May asking what the suggested route for those travelling from Pyrmont to the Western CBD on the 389 route would be, given that essential stops had been removed.
Elliott said that Transport for NSW had explored the 389 route, but “due to operational reasons and limited bus stop opportunities in the Central Business District (CBD), no suitable bus stop locations were identified.”
Transport for NSW also said that they would not be doing anymore formal community consultations on the routes.
Mayor of Sydney passes blame to Transport for NSW
Recently, the convenor of ‘Pyrmont Action Inc’ Elizabeth Elenius sent a letter to the Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore with concerns about changes to the 389 bus route and public transport links between Pyrmont and the city centre.
The Lord Mayor responded to the letter, sharing that the City of Sydney is not responsible for the location of bus stops, and that Transport for NSW introduced the changes as part of its South East Bus Plan, after consulting the community about the draft plan between April and June 2021.
“Transport for NSW determines where bus stops are located, and works with bus operators to meet the needs of their bus routes and timetables” the Lord Mayor said.
“Generally, we will advocate to keep bus stops that retain important transport connections for the community.”
Residents say they ‘rarely’ go out unless by taxi
The PPPTF reports that a Pyrmont resident who has recently moved to the area noted that his prior perception of Pyrmont’s public transport didn’t necessarily align with reality.
“It was really disappointing to learn the F10 ‘Me-Mel’ Ferry no longer services Pyrmont, and it’s infuriating to see it literally sail past you on its way from Glebe to the City” the resident said.
Another long-term resident of Pyrmont commented on how difficult it has become to go out for appointments or social occasions due to mobility issues.
“Our grandson loves to visit Darling Harbour, where he has fun at the children’s facilities.”
“As we’re over 80 years old, it was very convenient on the way back to catch the bus at the Maritime Museum, but it’s become a trek to get back to Pyrmont. Now we rarely go out unless with family or by taxi.”
The Sydney West Metro connecting the CBD with Parramatta and Western Sydney is expected to have a stop in Pyrmont, however the projected completion of the project is 2030.
Lesley Bentley and the PPPTF urge MPs and councils to meet with them, and hear their concerns, asking for small public transport changes that will help residents and businesses now.
“We can’t wait until the Metro opens” Bentley said.
“We need the opportunity to undertake meaningful and timely consultation with Government and Council, and to have a real commitment to listening to the voice of the public, whom they serve.”