Almost 1 In 3 Sydney Trains Were Late In March But Sure, Charge Me $4.55 For A One Way Trip

Sydney train delays

Some of us joke that a drop of rain could derail Sydney’s entire train system but it turns out it can. Almost one in three Sydney trains arrived late last month because of all the rain (and COVID staff shortages) but sure, let’s keep paying an arm and a leg for it.

New figures reported by The Sydney Morning Herald revealed Sydney train punctuality dropped down to a very sad 71 per cent in March. FYI, it was 93 per cent at the same time last year. And now I’m thinking I have the worst luck in the world because surely more than 7 per cent of my trains were late that month?? Is it me?? Am I the drama??

Apparently Sydney Trains typically aims for at least 92 per cent of its peak services to arrive within five minutes of their scheduled times. Not on time. So, when we say late we mean late.

NSW TrainLink, AKA the group that operates intercity and regional services, fared even worse. Pun intended.

A whopping half of NSW TrainLink services were late last month, compared with the 81 per cent punctuality rate they had in March last year.

Anyway, the factors leading to such shit-house stats for train lateness involve the year’s worth of rain Sydney has received, COVID staff shortages and that one day where all Sydney trains were cancelled with no notice.

Remember how NSW Transport Minister David Elliot wrongly blamed the union for the shutdown and compared them to terrorists? But actually it was our government’s own miscommunication and poor handling that left Sydneysiders stranded? So fun.

Opposition transport spokesman Jo Haylen said in a parliamentary hearing on Thursday the government has no fkn clue what they’re doing and she couldn’t be more right.

“Cancellations and delays are now just a part of life for passengers across Sydney,” she said, per SMH.

“Everyone knows that on time running has plummeted because of the government’s rail shutdown, their mishandling of industrial negotiations, and their failure to strengthen our rail infrastructure so it can continue to run if there’s a spell of bad weather.”

Labor actually obtained NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s text messages to the CEO of Sydney Trains on the day of the train shutdown and lo and behold, things are not adding up.

In the text Perrottet tells CEO Matt Longland: “I want to crystal clear [sic]. I want the trains back on the tracks tomorrow morning.

“You need to take whatever steps are required to make that happen.”

This might not seem like a big deal, except transport officials said the shutdown was for safety reasons.

“If the safety report that recommended the shutdown was legitimate, then why was just one text from Dom Perrottet to the CEO of Sydney Trains enough to turn the network back on?” Haylen enquired.

The second most expensive public transport in the world, everybody. Sigh.