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140k ride ‘transformational’ Sydney Metro on opening day

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance has hailed Sydney Metro’s opening as a huge success, with almost 140,000 passenger journeys reported on its opening day on Sunday, and a successful first weekday on Monday.

Constance said 21,000 rode the Sydney Metro Northwest on its first morning peak, between 4.45am and 10am on Monday morning.

That came after tens of thousands flocked to the opening of the new line – the first passenger railway in Australia to be completely driverless.

Constance and Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined the public for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday morning.

“This is truly an historic day for NSW with services starting on one of the world’s greatest metros,” Berejiklian said. “I am so excited that our hard work and discipline has paid off with this rail line opening on time and more than $1 billion under budget.”

“Sydney Metro will forever change how we get around Sydney,” Constance said. “It is a transformational public transport investment on par with the Sydney Harbour Bridge a century ago.”

While some in the media noted crowding at key stations like Epping and Chatswood, public feedback on the project has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Travelling on #SydneyMetro to work today,” one passenger Tweeted. “Left Castle Hill at 7:31am… arrived at Central at 8:24am – a trip that usually took 1hr 45mins and $110 in parking, tolls and petrol just took 53mins and $5… absolutely life changing.”

The Metro’s opening meant the debut of 13 new and upgraded platforms across 36 kilometres of metro railway, and a fleet of 22 new six-car, fully automated metro trains from Alstom.

Each trainset includes three double-doors per car on each side, compared to Sydney’s heavy passenger fleet, which features longer cars with two double-doors on each side. The trains are directed through Alstom’s CBTC signalling system, adapted for the specific needs of the Sydney Metro project.

As the Northwest portion of Sydney Metro opens between the northwest suburbs and Chatswood, construction for the Sydney Metro program’s next stage is well underway.

Sydney Metro City & Southwest will continue the new line on through northern Sydney, under the Sydney Harbour, through the CBD and beyond to Bankstown, in the southwest.

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