A seat is all Illawarra rail commuters want, according to Keira MP Ryan Park.
Mr Park spoke in parliament this week about overcrowding on South Coast trains, particularly the four-carriage 3.24pm service.
“The users of this train service spend at least one-and-a-half hours for a 90-kilometre trip,” Mr Park said.
“It is a difficult journey that they do early in the morning and repeat in the afternoon to return home.
“These passengers often are unable to get a seat even if they arrive at Central Station half an hour before the train leaves.”
After receiving complaints about this train service, Mr Park chose to catch it himself.
“Young women told me that they must sit in the train vestibule and on the carriage stairs,” Mr Park said.
“It is ridiculous in this day and age that we cannot provide additional services to one of the largest commuter populations in this state.”
What was needed was not a “luxury service”, Mr Park said, and not even a service every 10 or 15 minutes like “what our friends in northern Sydney get”.
“We are simply asking that when people get on a peak-hour train to travel for approximately 90 kilometres for an hour and a half they can get a seat and that they are not crammed into train vestibules,” he said.
A Transport for NSW spokesman effectively said the 3.24pm was too early to get extra carriages.
“Eight-carriage services operate mostly during the peak periods and are prioritised for our busiest services,” the spokesman said.
“During the 4pm and 7pm peak, there are six trains that operate as eight-carriages and only one train that operates as four-carriage.”
He said Transport for NSW would continue to monitor the network for further improvements.