Sydney’s first driverless metro line will begin services this Sunday, May 26. And to help everyone practise for their Monday morning commutes, it’ll be free on its opening day.
Passengers can ride from Tallawong in Rouse Hill to Chatswood on the North West Metro from just after 11am on Sunday. The last metro service will leave Chatswood at 10.05pm and Tallawong at 9.35pm. The Opal gates at each of the 13 metro stations will remain open for the day.
Because the new line finishes at Chatswood, if passengers are travelling on to the city they need to change to the North Shore Line.
Because of interest in the $7.3 billion driverless train line, NSW Transport is warning that large crowds and long queues are expected on the new services on Sunday, so it advises passengers leave plenty of time for their travel.
The biggest test, though, of Sydney’s first privately operated suburban line will come on Monday during the busy morning commute. The biggest hurdle to overcome will be customers switching from the single-deck metro trains at Chatswood to Sydney Trains services on the North Shore Line between 8am and 9am. The Sydney Morning Herald predicts there could be up to 4500 people doing this.
The new 36-kilometre metro line stops at stations including Kellyville, Castle Hill, Epping, Macquarie Park and North Ryde. Eight stations have been newly built for the metro and a further five stations have been upgraded. The metro is fully accessible, from street to platform to train. Trains will depart every five minutes for the first six weeks, ramping up to every four minutes after that, with the potential for departures every two minutes in the future.