It’s time to fix Sydney’s transport system

There’s one thing that’s forcing homeowners and renters to live in shoe boxes in Sydney’s inner suburbs – it’s the dreaded infrastructure, or lack thereof.

Anyone who lives in Sydney knows all too well that driving more than an hour each way to and from work is the trains

More than 30 minutes is also expected if you’re catching the train and with that, one or two train line switches might also be necessary

Commuting to work is the nightmare daily routine that can get you in a fluster.

It can make you want to move interstate and it can force you to live in a dump, just so you don’t have to sit in traffic all morning and all night.

Sydney’s shocking commuter delays might be good for landlords who own inner city investments, but many families have been looking further out over the past 12 months, unable to buy something affordable that’s also closer to work.

It’s that compromise between affordability and lifestyle

It’s the challenging choice thousands face – do you buy a property with a bit of space but sit in traffic each day, or do you buy something tiny but get to work without having to suffer 10 incidents of road rage along the way?

sydney-harbourThere’s no doubt that the road networks are holding Sydney back and it’s time to do something about this hair-pulling problem. In fact, it should’ve been done 20 years ago.

The New South Wales Government has proposed three new CBD underground stations, along with a new Sydney Rapid Transit line.

It would include a second Harbour rail crossing and an extension of the North West Rail Link through to the CBD and beyond Bankstown.

The catch is that this $20 billion infrastructure spend, which also includes projects for regional NSW, would be funded by the privitisation and partial sale of electricity.

It’s still just an idea at the moment and will be decided at next year’s state election.

However, the more infrastructure for Sydney, the better I say

Melbourne seems to have got it right and Brisbane is also fast becoming the city of tunnels and bridges.

Last year NSW Premier Mike Baird was suggesting there would be 60 per cent more trains during peak hour – trains so frequent that a timetable wouldn’t even be needed.

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Think London, where a three-minute wait is considered frustrating.

There would also be two extensions to WestConnex, providing an uninterrupted motorway corridor from Sydney’s south to Anzac Bridge, Darling Harbour and Sydney’s north.

As a former Sutherland Shire resident, I know just how hard it is to get from the south to Anzac Bridge. A day trip to Hunters Hill can be a massive mission.

Sydney has the population, the jobs, the wages, but infrastructure will hold this city back if the roads and trains aren’t fixed soon.

If you buy a property in Sydney, you’ll usually be asked, “where is it?” and also “how long does it take you to get to work?”

The commute has become a critical part of daily life and is also likely to become a critical part of investing in this city.

What about property investors?

For investors, moving forward, improved infrastructure could make outer suburbs become more popular and therefore in higher demand, as the commute to work would no longer be a personal fight for survival.

Improved infrastructure could also make areas that are still considered difficult to get to much more sought after, pushing up prices in some of the ’burbs.It’s time to fix Sydney’s transport system

But it would most likely help contain and cater for Sydney’s growing population.

Families might decide to stay put in Sydney, rather than move in search of a better lifestyle.

Whatever the case, and although the proposed plans for Sydney’s infrastructure are still just an idea and a long way from becoming reality, investors should carefully watch these infrastructure projects. You might just find the next hotspot before hundreds of commuters move there.

What do you think?

Do you believe the best areas to invest in around Sydney will be where there’s growing infrastructure? We would love to hear your thoughts – please leave them in the comments below.


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Lauren Day


Lauren Day is the former deputy editor of Australian Property Investor Magazine and an avid property investor.

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