Light rail should be considered for the growing West Dapto area, according to NSW Greens’ Cate Faehrmann.
The party’s transport spokeswoman also criticised the government for not having a “public transport plan” for the region – despite the fact the government has already released one.
She said light rail could be one of the options for addressing the future public transport needs of West Dapto.
She acknowledged light rail “does need a certain quantity of people to make it work”.
“The Greens are calling for a feasibility study to determine what’s the best form of transport for West Dapto,” Ms Faehrmann said.
“Possibly it is light rail, possibly it’s something more like on demand buses to begin with.”
In addition, she called for land to be set aside at West Dapto for transport purposes.
“What we should be seeing there is transport corridors in West Dapto, whether that’s for train, whether that’s for light rail, whether it’s for buses,” she said.
“It’s imperative that the government puts that land aside as they’re releasing land for housing development.”
The Greens also wanted a study to look into the possibility of having trains arriving every 10-15 minutes.
“At the moment it’s not good enough that we have trains that run once every hour in this part of the world,” Ms Faehrmann.
“They’re overcrowded, they don’t come regularly enough.”
Whether that meant a train to Sydney arriving every 10-15 minutes, Ms Faehrmann said “that’s what we need to look at”.
As part of the Greens policy they wanted to set a public transport usage target of 30 per cent by 2025 and was looking for the government to set targets as well.
“In 2014 they set a target of 15 per cent of people in the Wollongong region to be taking public transport,” she said.
“They failed. At the moment it’s only about 7 per cent.”
However, the government’s 15 per cent target only covered the Wollongong CBD, not the whole region – a fact the Greens transport spokeswoman was not aware of.
Ms Faehrmann criticised the government for treating the Illawarra as a “provincial city” by not creating a transport plan for the region.
“That’s what’s needed for government to get back on track to invest in desperately needed public transport infrastructure for the Illawarra region,” she said.
In 2013 the government released the Illawarra Regional Transport Plan.
That plan was updated in 2014.