SYDNEY (Australia) – Western Sydney commuters are being promised more express trains to the city and extra ferries under a re-elected Baird government. Though commuters would have to wait until 2017 or 2018 for two extra morning services the Baird government is promising between Parramatta and Central.

The Premier, Mike Baird, and the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, recently announced the extra express services on Monday alongside a pledge to spend $100 million on upgrading ferry services along the Parramatta River. The investment plan is expected to boost Parramatta River ferry services including new vessels, additional services and wharf upgrades.

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said a re-elected Baird Government would deliver a new wharf at Rhodes and improvements at eight others.

“There is no better city in the world than Sydney to commute by ferry – this package will make ferry travel to and from Western Sydney more accessible than ever before,” Mr Baird said.

“Our $100 million boost to Parramatta River ferries will deliver four brand new vessels purposely designed for the river and an extra 80 weekly services.”

Ms Berejiklian said if the Government is re-elected, work will begin this year on the new Rhodes Wharf.

“We know these areas along Parramatta River are growing so fast, and by providing a brand new wharf and upgrading eight existing wharves we will be giving residents from this region another reason to use public transport,” she said.

“The first of the brand new ferries will be delivered in around two years. These vessels will be clean, spacious, and state-of-the-art, bolstering the Sydney Ferries fleet and giving customers a better journey – whether they’re using ferries to commute, or as weekend recreation.

NSW Premier Mike Baird, Parramatta MP Geoff Lee and NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian leave Parramatta Station after announcing new transport measures. Photo: Daniel Munoz

NSW Premier Mike Baird, Parramatta MP Geoff Lee and NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian leave Parramatta Station after announcing new transport measures. Photo: Daniel Munoz

“The majority of the 80 extra services each week will be in the peak to take customers in to Circular Quay, but there will also be extra services to the new Barangaroo ferry wharf, and extra services on the weekend when ferries are extremely popular.

“Since March 2011, we have introduced 220 extra weekly ferry services, and introduced a private operator who is delivering unprecedented customer service, all in the name of making life easier for ferry customers. The Government is also delivering six new inner harbour ferries.”

Drummoyne MP John Sidoti said a brand new wharf at Rhodes and four major upgrades to wharves at Abbotsford, Cabarita, Chiswick and Cockatoo Island were fantastic news for local residents in the Drummoyne community.

 “I’m delighted to have been able to campaign on behalf of the local community for this brand new wharf to be built at Rhodes, which will be a fantastic addition to this fast-growing community,” Mr Sidoti said.

 “These major wharf upgrades will also make a huge difference to the morning commute, and there will also be around 50 new car spaces delivered at Cabarita wharf for the community, to make it easier for residents to catch a ferry.

“It is also great news these brand new modern ferries and extra services will be delivered to help reduce crowding during busy times, improve the customer experience along Parramatta River and into the CBD.”

 The other four wharves set for major accessibility upgrades from this year are Birchgrove, Parramatta, Meadowbank and Rydalmere.

 Work will include new or upgraded ramps on the eight wharves being upgraded, covered roof and glass panels to provide better protection from the weather, and additional seating.