Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has announced a $33 million expansion of the Station Refresh program, adding another 28 of the busiest hubs across the network, one year after Sydney Trains was established.
In the past 12 months significant improvements have been delivered to rail customers including meeting tough new punctuality targets, delivery of more than 1,000 extra weekly services, and brand new air-conditioned trains, Berejiklian said.
"Our customers want safe, reliable, clean, air-conditioned trains, and modern stations which are easily accessible and we are delivering," Berejiklian said.
The Station Refresh at 28 stations announced today comes on top of the upgrade of 19 stations across the network announced earlier this year.
"I'm very pleased the deep clean and upgrade of 19 stations outlined earlier this year will be largely completed by the end of July so that customers can enjoy the benefit of cleaner, modern-looking facilities."
Joining the club
The next stations to benefit from the Station Refresh program include:
Ashfield, Auburn, Cabramatta, Fairfield, Rockdale, Macquarie University, Bankstown, Mount Druitt, Liverpool, Edgecliff, Campsie, North Sydney, Rhodes, Chatswood, Hornsby, Epping, Eastwood, Artarmon, Westmead, Gordon, Newtown, Campbelltown, St Peters, Sutherland, Seven Hills, Sydenham, Turramurra and Milsons Point.
Each will receive a deep clean and overhaul of facilities, including upgraded toilets, new furniture, energy-efficient lighting, repainting and landscaping.
Berejiklian said the $33 million upgrade will be completed by the end of 2014, and shows that customers using the system right across the network are now seeing ongoing benefits of the setting up of Sydney Trains.
"We were handed a basket-case from the former Labor government in RailCorp, and the organisation we inherited was inefficient and stifled with endless bureaucracy that was not delivering anything close to standards our customers expect.
"After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, we introduced a new modern organisation a year ago that is now putting the customer first, and we now have a workforce that is proud to say they work at Sydney Trains.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank our staff, ably led by Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins on the lifting of standards and improved customer service."
"Seamless" new timetable introduction
One of the biggest achievements in the last 12 months was the seamless introduction of the new timetable with more than 1,000 extra weekly train services, including more than 600 new express services, Berejiklian said.
"Our new timetable reduced journey times for thousands of customers travelling longer distances, provided frequent turn-up-and-go or clock-face services at many stations, improved connections with buses and ferries and was simpler and easier for customers to understand."
And despite delivering so many extra services Sydney Trains has exceeded performance targets in its first year of operations by more than two per cent, with an overall peak punctuality rating of around 94 per cent, exceeding the 92 per cent target.
Collins, who joined Sydney Trains from the London Underground a year ago, said the first 12 months of the organisation had also seen a significant turnaround in attitude and culture by staff.
"We have come a long way in the first year, but really we have only just started the modernisation of this organisation and we will continue to roll out our improvement programs including the extra focus on customer service, major upgrade of stations and refreshing of our busiest hubs," Collins said.
"Everyone at Sydney Trains knows we have a long way to go before we are consistently delivering the world-class service our customers deserve.
"That includes ongoing improvements in punctuality, modernising the train fleet, ensuring cleaner trains and stations and improved network maintenance. We definitely also have more work to do when we are responding to incidents, so that our communication with customers improves, and delays are reduced."
Collins said the organisation is experiencing a new era of customer focus among the Sydney Trains team, particularly frontline customer service roles.
"Our staff are now on platforms and trains, anticipating our customers' needs and working to exceed them. This is an exciting time to be working at Sydney Trains and I look forward to even more improvements over the next 12 months."