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Bus Mode Plan for Sydney

Development of Sydney's Bus Future


MRCagney were part of a consultant team that prepared an integrated, strategic bus network plan for the Greater Sydney metropolitan region (population 4.6 million). The plan also clearly set out a strategic staging plan for operations in the Sydney CBD, and a program of priority interventions for the wider metropolitan area intended to guide further development towards 2031.

Our team developed the guiding principles for the planning of the highest tiers of the new network, which focused on the most frequent, high-priority bus services to define the ‘Rapid’ network, plus the supporting Suburban and Local services. The Rapid bus routes are considered as strategically important as rail and light rail corridors, in terms of their ability to link key centres with frequent, direct, fast and reliable services. Given this significance, the Rapid routes are potential candidates for focused investment in infrastructure improvements, including the development of substantial bus priority measures up to and including the potential for fully segregated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure.

The following tasks were undertaken:

  • Review of the inner-urban bus network to determine which services can either be rationalized, redirected or merged into other routes to create increased levels of through-routing to minimize the number of terminating buses.
  • Definition of key east-west and north-south bus spines, supported by two additional north-south internal corridors. This process focused buses on a smaller number of streets, providing a stronger argument for intensive bus priority measures and requiring their closure to other traffic.
  • The preparation of concept layout plans for these streets, and testing of capacity of intersections and bus stops.
  • Selecting new bus layover and bus stop locations to support the revised network.

The project included detailed review of existing bus services with an emphasis on the Sydney CBD. Over 1000 buses enter the CBD in the AM peak hour, causing significant congestion on the city’s streets. The proposed implementation of a new LRT system will displace over 400 of those buses onto other streets, requiring a significant rethink of the CBD’s bus servicing strategy.

The BMP was released to the public as Government policy in the form of Sydney’s Bus Future in December 2013.

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