The Sydney Business Chamber says that as Melbourne has shown, 24 hour weekend public transport is a key driver for the night time economy and Sydney must now have the same to retain its place as Australia’s global city.
“Billions have been spent on transport infrastructure with more to come on the Metro West and South lines, but Government must set aside money to start running trains, light rail and some buses for 24 hours on weekends, if we are to capitalise the multi-billion dollar night time economy,” said Katherine O’Regan, Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber.
“It’s no surprise that recent figures showed Melbourne’s night time economy growing at twice the rate of Sydney’s, carried by their 24 hour weekend public transport that’s been running successfully now for nearly 3 years. As Melbourne Mayor Sally Cripps said ‘The best cities in the world don’t stop when the sun goes down — and neither does Melbourne’ – well neither should Sydney!”
With confirmation this week of Labor’s support for repealing the lock out laws, Government can get the legislation through in time for the busy Christmas period and coincide it with 24 hour operation of the new Sydney Light Rail.
“Not only do Melbourne’s all night weekend trams and trains provide safe and easy transport for locals and tourists, 20% of passengers on the late night services are shift workers. Sydneysiders deserve the same and now is the time to do it.”
“Getting the night right is so much more than having bars open later, it includes late night retail trading, dining, music and other cultural events right across the city. To facilitate this, Government needs to start running 24 hour trams on the Circular Quay to Central line, matched with trains from these stations and key bus routes like the Northern Beaches B-Line.
“Let’s start with a trial through the holiday period on Friday and Saturday nights, backed up with an increased security presence, providing a safe and affordable way home for people who are out for the night and those who work late.”