The release of the Future Transport Strategy 2056 by Transport for NSW supports more housing density.

The Transport Strategy when related to Greater Sydney supports greater density to make public transport more viable. The Strategy compares Sydney at 5 million people with New York, Paris and London at 8 million people and says Sydney will be at the same population in 40 years’ time. But the Strategy indicates that these global cities have densities more than 4 times denser than Sydney and this makes the public transport systems that underpin those cities viable.

London recovers 91 percent of its public transport costs due to the large proportion of travellers who use public rather than private transport. Sydney currently only recovers 22 percent of its public transport costs.

The Transport Strategy clearly indicates that Sydney’s future is to head to the modal splits of larger global cities (see chart below) but this requires the planning system to support these densities. Currently there are concerns by some communities about changing from low rise suburbs to more dense living around railway stations.

The Transport Strategy is surprisingly strong about where growth should be located by defining City- Shaping Corridors, City-Serving Corridors and Centre-Serving Corridors. The Strategy also identifies possible extensions to the Sydney Metro, including a line from the CBD to Malabar via Eastlakes and Maroubra Junction and a separate link that would connect Eastlakes with Sydney Airport, Kogarah and Miranda.

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The Transport Strategy looks into the future with statements that as two thirds of residents will live within 2 kilometres of a centre that E- bikes and other personal movement devices will become popular. The Strategy also proposed that ‘air strata’ will be required for drone traffic and that electric vehicles will become very popular.

The biggest change in the future could be the growth in ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ (CAVs) with some suggestions that 100 percent of all vehicles could be CAVs by 2036. Clearly this would have a dramatic impact on the shape of Sydney within a short 18 year time span.