2,500 Northern Beaches residents commute to Macquarie Park every day

As the 3rd largest contributor to GDP in NSW, the precinct is a desirable place to work, with rewarding, high-tech jobs in pharmaceutical, IT, telecommunications and academia. We know that more than 2,500 Northern Beaches residents commute to Macquarie Park every day – nearly all commute by driving alone in heavy traffic.

Connecting the Northern Beaches to Macquarie Park will boost productivity

Due to the current absence of rail or bus rapid transit services linking Macquarie Park jobs to Northern Beaches residents, the public transport workhorse must be the existing in-direct suburban and local bus routes. Travel times on public transport to Macquarie Park from the Northern Beaches are not competitive with driving. For example:

  • Mona Vale - 80 minutes by bus vs 32 minutes by car - 500 commuters in Pittwater LGA, 2011 Census JTW
  • Dee Why - 70 minutes by bus and then train vs 39 minutes by car - 1,500 commuters in Warringah LGA, 2011 Census JTW
  • Manly - 70 minutes from Manly vs 36 minutes - 360 commuters in Manly LGA, 2011 Census JTW. Note: residents can only travel by route 140 which runs twice daily and skips the stops serving Riverside Corporate Park

Employee residential address data collected from members of Connect Macquarie Park + North Ryde indicates that Macquarie Park employees live in all areas of the Northern Beaches, with concentrations in Dee Why and Collaroy.

Improvements to bus connections: turn plans for the future into reality today

Several plans are outlined below for bus service improvements from the Northern Beaches, including Sydney’s Bus Future and the Northern Beaches Transport Action Plan.

Sydney’s Bus Future plan outlined three levels of bus service:

  • Rapid Routes – highly frequent “turn up and go” services, stops every 800m - 1km, bus priority measures to achieve fast journeys (p. 6)
  • Suburban Routes – minimum 10-minute peak frequency, 15-minute off-peak frequency, 400m stop spacing and targeted bus priority measures (p. 15)
  • Local – all other bus services including peak express and local service.

Planning documents identify Rapid and Suburban Routes improvements to connections between Macquarie Park and the Northern Beaches as follows:

  • Manly to Chatswood via Dee Why is either a Suburban Route (Sydney’s Bus Future, p. 16) or a Rapid Route (Northern Beaches Transport Action Plan, p. 8). With an interchange at Chatswood to the high frequency Sydney Metro services, public transport could become competitive for Warringah residents – yet to be implemented.
  • Mona Vale to Macquarie Park is identified as a new Suburban Route (Northern Beaches Transport Action Plan, p. 6) – yet to be implemented.
  • Bus priority improvements such as rapid transit lanes – yet to be implemented.

Priority recommendations

For public transport to become a realistic option for Northern Beaches residents, it is essential to prioritise bus service and infrastructure improvements between the Northern Beaches and Macquarie Park. Connect recommends these next steps:

  • Implement all day, direct, limited stop bus routes from Dee Why and Mona Vale to Macquarie Park.
  • Implement T3 lanes along Ryde Rd and Lane Cove Rd to increase reliability of Mona Vale bus services and encourage carpooling
  • Add trips to the 140 bus route, from two per day to four per hour
  • Add a bus stop at Pittwater Rd in North Ryde to cover employees at Riverside Corporate Park

Speak to your local member today to ensure we don't miss this opportunity to connect the Northern Beaches.