With Sydney’s ever increasing population the strain on the public transport system of course is increasing in tandem, with train lines and bus routes that are over a hundred years old not able to keep up the pace with the boom Sydney has experienced. People commuting to and from work is the main concern, especially given the housing shortage/increase in house prices pushing more and more people out to the western suburbs to live affordably. Hours spent in traffic jams on Sydney’s roads, overcrowded trains and inadequate bus routes all add up to a demand for a solution.
The solution has arrived apparently; Sydney is to go underground and create it’s very own Metro system, aimed at relieving the commuting stress that a lot of Sydney residents currently face, although a solution, it is not a quick solution. The introduction of the Sydney Metro has been deemed “Australia’s biggest public transport project”.
It’s not just Sydney’s west that are experiencing commuting nightmares, but throughout the city the public transport network has been under review, with other projects running alongside such as the Sydney Light Rail project. This is to be tackled in several stages, with the first stage already underway and the second stage recently receiving approval.
Stage One – Sydney Metro Northwest
This $8bn project is currently underway and is estimated to be completed by 2019. It will create a high speed link between the Hills District and Chatswood, aiming for 15 trains an hour (peak); that’s a train every 4 minutes. No need for a timetable, just turn up and go. Over the coming decades it is predicted that an additional 200,000 people will move to Sydney’s North West, taking the population about 600,000 (TWICE the size of Canberra).
Stage Two – Sydney Metro City & Southwest
Estimated to cost in excess of $10bn, this recently approved project will see the first rail system running beneath Sydney’s iconic harbour. The route for this metro will run between Chatswood to Sydenham in Sydney’s south west, providing more options for commuters. The first of five tunnel boring machines are expected to be in the ground as early as 2018 with the line expected to be running by 2024. Although this project isn’t without it’s controversy; it is anticipated that the construction work surrounding the project is set to heavily disrupt Sydneysiders for over 24 months, for example 19 buildings in the CBD alone will be demolished in order to make way for the new system.
Stage Three – Sydney Metro West
This final stage is still awaiting approval but is expected to start within the next 5 years! Taking the metro from Sydenham to the city’s south west, replacing the current Bankstown line.
What does this mean for the construction industry? With the construction of the metro system already underway, with plans for the second stage being put into place and pending approval of a third stage, it is safe to say that for at least the next decade there will be a high demand for skilled workers for the entirety of the project. Good news for construction workers in Sydney! Whether is be demolition workers who are part of demolishing the 19 buildings in the city, truck drivers hired to help move the masses of ground that will be dug out over time, and everyone else in-between, Sydney will continue to be rich in construction jobs.