We’re asking employers across Sydney’s CBD to work with employees and allow them to alter their normal travel plans during construction of the new light rail line through the city. It’s hoped that by doing so, the peak hour load will be spread out to ease pressure on Sydney’s transport network during the works.
The Transport for NSW’s Travel Choices Program has been launched aimed at helping businesses and employees develop effective travel plans. The program’s aim is to reduce peak hour car travel by asking drivers to ‘re-route, re-mode and re-time’ their journeys.
We have just days to go the first major transport change, which is the removal of buses from George Street and we are working with everyone to prepare. George Street will eventually be out of action, so we’re strongly encouraging commuters to avoid driving where possible.
CBD Coordinator General Marg Prendergast has reached a combined total of 63,000 employees to make sure the upcoming changes are communicated.
Travel Choices is an Olympic style campaign that encourages employers to understand the travel needs of their employees and be as flexible as possible in the work place.
CBD businesses of every size will be catered for in the program with those employing over 500 staff entitled to help from a dedicated specialist travel advisor who will provide individual support and solutions to manage construction impacts.
Targeted workshops will be available for the mid-tier employers with tool-kits and support information available for smaller employers.
A key component of the Travel Choices program is to encourage businesses to work with delivery drivers and couriers to adjust to the new CBD environment and plan ahead to avoid peak periods.
An online tool to assist freight and delivery drivers locate loading zones in the CBD has been developed and can be found here http://mysydney.nsw.gov.au/guides/commercial-drivers#loading. Businesses can register to be a Travel Choices participant at: http://travelchoices.eventbrite.com.au or call 1800 632 500.
Finally, it was good to get down to Manly Beach this week to announce the Australian Open of Surfing has been secured there for the next three years. I was joined at the launch of next year’s Australian Open of Surfing by legends Mark Occhilupo and Damien Hardman, and future star Isabella Nichols.
The Open is Australia’s biggest action sports and youth culture festival and I’m so glad the event has been secured at my local beach until 2018. Sydney’s Northern Beaches really comes alive when this event is on and each year thousands of people take part to watch some of the world’s best surfers and skateboarders compete. It’s also a great opportunity for tourists and visitors to Sydney to head down to one of the world’s best beaches and experience Australian surf culture first hand.
The 2016 Australian Open of Surfing will be held from 27 February to 6 March and more details can be found at: www.australianopenofsurfing.com