Tranzwatching in Sydney's northern suburbs
Sydney's lower North Shore, close to the city is served by commuter rail but this does not reach all corners of the area, home to about 200,000 people or about half the population of greater Christchurch.
Local authorities are now discussing bus rapid transit as an effective solution for commuters to access downtown Sydney.
SHOROC, the regional body representing Mosman, Manly, Pittwater and Warringah councils, last year created a strategic plan for the northern region entitled Shaping Our Future. The state government endorsed this year a feasibility study into the bus rapid transit system.
“The bus rapid transit system is ... a practical solution that can be built and fully operational at a realistic cost and in a short-term time frame,” SHOROC president and Pittwater Mayor Harvey Rose said.
According to a report in the Mosman Daily the plan outlines an idea to create both a north-south and east-west bus rapid transit system, linking the Northern Beaches to the city via Mosman and from Dee Why to Chatswood. A system sometimes used in light rail is proposed, running buses along a central median busway of multi-laned roads until entering existing bus lanes crossing the Harbour Bridge.
As is the case with Auckland's Northern busway the bus rapid transit system will offer departures as every three minutes apart in peak hours and use the advantage offered by segregated lanes to reduce the journey time to city by half.