Alternative scenarios with different travel time, route and station combinations have been considered in the SGS modelling, which has been undertaken at a Greater Sydney metropolitan level to understand the city-wide impacts of the Sydney Metro West project.
Scenarios focusing on travel times between Parramatta and Sydney CBD of 15, 20 and 25 minutes were assessed. The 15-minute scenario included five core stations along the route. As additional stations are included in the Inner West the route travel times increased.
The modelling identified the potential of each scenario to generate employment and housing uplift along the corridor. The modelling is a ‘top down’ perspective and did not consider development or built form capacity constraints to accommodate uplift around stations.
The analysis of effective job density and accessibility improvements in the Parramatta to Sydney CBD corridor shows that the project provides a range of benefits depending on the travel time and the number of stations included.
With a fast 15-minute travel time between Parramatta and Sydney CBD (with fewer stations) the benefits of the project are focussed on uplift and improved accessibility to Greater Parramatta and Olympic Park, thereby contributing most significantly to the integration of job-rich centres and the achievement of agglomeration economies supportive of the economic development of Greater Parramatta. This scenario also preserves the potential for a fast connection (e.g. 30 minutes) to Western Sydney Airport from Sydney CBD via Parramatta. As the travel time along the route increases to 20-25 minutes with more stations included, the benefits shift toward uplift and urban renewal opportunities in the Inner West.
Sydney Metro West has the potential to be a city-shaping transport investment supporting the three cities vision of the NSW Government for Greater Sydney, which is about ‘rebalancing’ jobs and activity concentrations from the eastern Sydney CBD and Eastern Harbour City towards the Central River City focussed on Greater Parramatta and, in future, the Western Parkland City.
Maintaining the fastest possible travel time along the Sydney Metro West route between Parramatta and the CBD is crucial to realise this vision. Although increasing the number of stations along the route will provide benefits, including the urban renewal of inner-western Sydney and help in addressing existing capacity constraints, with more stations included and related slower travel times the city shaping benefits of Sydney Metro West are likely to be diluted.