The Baird government has announced a brand-new metro rail line to run from the Sydney CBD to Parramatta. The line, which is projected to cost $10 billion, will deliver a much-needed new transport option to those who live along the ailing Western line.
Premier Mike Baird says the new line, dubbed “Sydney Metro West”, will be able to move 40,000 people an hour, effectively doubling public transport capacity between Parramatta and the CBD.
The project is due to start within five years and could take up to 10 years to build. Sydney Metro West will be partly funded by the $16 billion sale of Ausgrid and private investment. The announcement comes with little detail other than the fact the line will run driverless single-deck trains through a series of tunnels, servicing new stations at Olympic Park and the Bays Precinct around Rozelle.
The NSW Labor party has reacted cynically to the lack of detail, with Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley telling the Sydney Morning Herald the announcement is a diversion from the results of the Orange by-election.
"This is the first step – we've identified the need for this project, we're committing the government to delivering it and today we begin the work to bring metro rail to Western Sydney," Baird says in a video posted to Facebook. A similar scheme was announced in 2007 by Morris Iemma’s government, and later abandoned.