A new international survey has ranked Sydney’s public transport system as among the “best” in the world, a move that has sparked outrage and confusion for its “odd” results.
The NSW capital ranked 14th out of 60 cities on the list and was the only Australian city to make the cut in the international survey by the Oliver Wyman Forum and Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Sydney’s public transport network has ranked 14 out of 60 cities in an international survey. Picture: NCA NewsWire /Gaye Gerard
The study of public transport was taken as part of the Oliver Wyman Forum’s Urban Mobility Readiness Index, which measures how well cities used and maintained their public transport networks.
Results were based on “volume of traffic, network density and infrastructure quality”.
“Sydney boasts a strong multimodal transport network, seamlessly connecting bus, train, and ferry,” the study’s website reports, adding that the “fully automated metro system … is one of the world’s most innovative transit systems”.
“However, the public transit system still has a low density of stations, which makes them hard to access and results in low ridership.”
The study also pointed out the “low density of electric vehicle charging stations, which leads to range anxiety for consumers” and slowed the uptake of vehicles.
Hong Kong topped the list, while Sydney came in at 14. Picture: Facebook.
But many are not convinced by the results, given the Sydney transport network’s notorious history of delays and disruptions, last-minute cancellations, inconvenient “repairs”, technical errors, and widespread staff strikes.
“How the hell is Sydney sitting at 14? Clearly the author of this list has not experienced Sydney public transport recently,” one man wrote.
“Sydney rail network has disruptions due to stoppage and maintenance work almost every weekend, I won’t put it in top 50 best public transport in the world,” another wrote.
“This survey may be too old or show people who don’t travel around the world.”
Meanwhile, others declared the rankings a “joke” when cities such as Melbourne were not included.
“Sydney? Please, (it) shouldn’t be in the top 200. I’m yet to travel to a city where the public
transport has been worse than Sydney.”
Many were shocked Melbourne’s ‘better’ public transport system was snubbed. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
Earlier this month, Sydney’s rail network suffered a “train communication issue” that effectively shut down the entire system and wrought havoc across peak hour services.
Crowds of commuters were seen moshing outside of stations as thousands of people were effectively shut-out of stations in the afternoon rush on March 8.
“Oh my god, Sydney is 14th? I would’ve thought we’d be off the chart. It’s so wrong – Melbourne is so, so much better and easier,” one Sydneysider wrote, deeming it a “bad list”.
“I say this with complete astonishment and relevant experience: there is absolutely no universe in which San Francisco has better public transit than Melbourne,” another wrote.
“This list is a bad joke made by the deranged.”
Some could not believe the ranking, given the city’s infamous public transport reputation. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
Hong Kong was crowned the city with the best public transport, praised for its affordability, high station density, and railway infrastructure.
Zurich, Stockholm, Singapore, and Helsinki round out the top five best public transport networks. Oslo, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin and London finish the best 10.
Sydney’s public transport network ranks just below New York (13th) and one above Moscow (15th).
Sitting at the bottom of the list are Nairobi (Kenya), Riyadh and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
A spate of rail worker strikes in August 2022 caused widespread commuter chaos. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
Though the debate will rage on whether Sydney is truly deserving of the recognition, it is worth noting that Melbourne was not included in the ranking because it was not surveyed at all.
Major plan for quicker trains in one stateSydney chaos as entire train network fails
Perhaps the next “world’s best” list should include all the major cities in the world?
Or, maybe, with Melbourne set to become Australia’s largest city within the decade, it will boot Sydney from the list.
Read related topics:Sydney