Passenger Rail, Intermodal, Operations & Maintenance, Social Governance

Sydney public transport lauded in survey


A new global study has ranked the Sydney public transport system as among the best in the world, despite the disruptions and staff strikes which have occurred recently, affecting the train network in particular.

The only Australian city selected for analysis by the Oliver Wyman Forum and Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, the New South Wales capital ranked 14th out of 60 entries on the list.

The Urban Mobility Readiness Index included cities it said were geographically diverse, representing six regions – North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa.

“They range from sprawling megacities like Tokyo and Delhi, to more compact cities such as Oslo and Washington DC, to fast-developing metropolises like Nairobi,” the Forum said.

“They were selected because of their distinct mobility challenges and the varied solutions they are pursuing. They tend to be leaders in understanding the importance of mobility and serve as economic epicenters for their regions, making their efforts to improve mobility vital to the growth of much wider areas.”

The survey claimed that Sydney boasts a strong multimodal transport network, seamlessly connecting bus, train, and ferry.

“It includes a fully automated metro system, which opened in 2019 and is one of the world’s most innovative transit systems. However, the public transit system still has a low density of stations, which makes them hard to access and results in low ridership,” it said.

“Sydney has a low density of electric vehicle charging stations, which leads to range anxiety for consumers. That has also slowed the uptake of electric vehicles in Sydney, despite Australia’s targets of reducing emissions 43 per cent by 2030 and to achieve net‑zero by 2050.”

The Index grouped together cities’ performance on existing metrics such as the strength of the multi-modal network, public transit usage, electric vehicle (EV) ownership and infrastructure, and walking, and the cycling infrastructure. In addition, a Public Transit sub-index was introduced to this year’s edition covering metrics such as the transit commute speed, public transit station density, strength of the multimodal network, and the public transit utilisation rate.

San Francisco topped the rankings, ahead of Stockholm and Helsinki.