Airport Rail Link

Ask:

Will the Government, in line with the recommendations in the inquiry report, commit to removing the Airport Line usage fee?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Sydney Alliance working on this?

A:

We are working on this issue because it significantly affects a large and diverse population of Sydneysiders, it has a fairly simple and achievable solution that could be implemented quickly by the NSW government and there is a broad base of support for the issue.

Currently 28,000 workers commute to Kingsford Smith Airport to reach their places of employment. Many of these workers cannot afford the exorbitant station access fee at the International and Domestic train stations ($12.60 per trip in addition to the regular train fare)[1]. In addition to being an injustice for these employees, the fee results in thousands of additional cars on the road in the Botany Bay area as both employees and less frequent users of the airport choose to drive rather than catch the train in order to save on the fare.

Local businesses are also concerned that their employees drive rather than catch the train because even though the airport stations are close by, employees cannot afford the Station Access Fees and are reluctant to walk to either Green Square or Mascot stations due to the lack of pedestrian infrastructure and perceived lack of safety after dark.[2]

Scrapping the Station Access Fee would mean less traffic in Sydney’s inner south, a more equitable transport system and a more accessible airport to make Sydney more tourist and business friendly.

 

[1] Source: p29 Legislative Council Report "Removing or reducing station access fees at Sydney Airport" 28th February 2014

[2] Source: p3 Sydney Business Chamber Submission to Parliament dated 11th March 2013

Is this achievable?

A:

The issue is very achievable, and in fact the Sydney Alliance recently campaigned around the abolition of the fee by visiting members of a key upper house inquiry which then recommended that airport train fares be dropped for workers, groups and families. Read more about this action here.

We have the support of a large variety of groups across Sydney on this issue, and costings from several sources confirm the move is affordable for the NSW government. Read the Parliamentary Inquiry into this issue.

Who else supports this issue?

A:

The issue has wide support in the Sydney community. Groups who have stated either publicly or in submissions to the recent inquiry that they support at least a partial abolition of the Station Access Fee include the Sydney Business Chamber, the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia and the City of Sydney Council.

What is the government's position?

A:

The government has no currently stated plans to abolish the Station Access Fee, although they have undertaken a review of the fee. They have just heard from an upper house inquiry which recommended abolishing the fee for workers, families and certain groups. The issue is “on their radar” and now is the time to campaign strongly on this issue if we want our voice heard on the matter.

How is this ask in line with the NSW government's own vision?

A:

On the NSW government’s transport website it states that “The vision of the NSW Government is for a truly integrated transport authority which drives better transport outcomes for the NSW community.[3]

Abolishing the Station Access Fee at the two airport train stations means that these two key stations will be properly integrated into the Sydney Trains system, better access to the airport for people across Sydney and less traffic congestion around the airport – all of which would contribute to achieving the NSW government’s vision for the future of transport in Sydney.

 

[3] Transport for NSW

Who decides this issue?

A:

The solution to this issue – whether it be a subsidy to cover the Station Access Fee or Sydney Trains purchasing the line so that it is no longer privately owned – can only be enacted by the NSW government. In particular, this issue falls to Gladys Berejiklian, the current Minister for Transport.

Is this issue felt citywide?

A:

Yes, this issue if felt city wide. It is felt by workers who commute to the airport from across Sydney, it is felt by residents living within the vicinity of the airport who have to contend with terrible traffic congestion – which then causes a stop to traffic flow in areas further out – and it is felt by businesses who depend on road access to the airport and our strong tourist economy.

How does this issue stand for the common good?

A:

Sydney Alliance is campaigning to have the airport station access fees be abolished so that workers can reach their destination without being discriminated against and travellers can use what is one of the most convenient public transport airport links in the world. This would reduce the congestion in and around Sydney Airport, and would also have the positive effect of reducing or removing substantial futures costs to address road access problems in and around the airport.

This is an issue that affects a huge range of people around Sydney and something we can all support as being for the common good.

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