Connect Conversation Series


As a member of Connect you're invited to inform government on the transport issues that matter to your business. 
Each month Connect Member gather to share insights, explore travel solutions and receive news from our partners.

MAcquarie Park Transport Issues report


Add these dates to your diary

to join the conversation with your fellow Connect members over a light lunch

Tuesday 13th March                                                  Tuesday 18th September

Tuesday 10th April                                                    Tuesday 16 October

Tuesday 15th May                                                      Tuesday 13th November

Tuesday 12th June                                                    Tuesday 11th December

Tuesday 17th July                                                      Tuesday 15th January

Tuesday 14th August


TWG #8

Attendees at the November Transport Working Group

Attendees at the November Transport Working Group

November 2017


  1. Hack-a-thon presentation
  2. 2016 Census vs Connect data
  3. Update from TfNSW Macquarie Park Transport Taskforce Meeting on 28 November
  4. Other area and Connect updates
  5. Rail upgrade and TTP
  6. Frequency of future TWG’s



Zara (ZC) opened the meeting, introduced attendees and set the scene for meeting.



Jeff and Ronald presented their scheduling system called ‘Off Peak’ to the Group.  Once developed the tool would help individuals and organisations spread arrivals to avoid the peak of the peak traffic – also factors in cost and time savings at individual and company level.  Connect are investigating further support of this great initiative. Link to presentation


2016 census vs connect data

ZC discussed Connects benchmarking of member vs 2016 Census.  Key insights:

·        Since last Census in 2011 there's been a 36% increase in residents (8,144 total in Mac Park).  Projected to grow 25k in next 5 years.

·       Drive-alone rate Mac Park-wide in 2011 was 75%, fallen to 69% in 2016.  Connect members drive-alone rate is 48% which equates to 4,992                less cars on the road and a carbon saving of 22,646 metric tonnes of carbon per year.

·       Currently have 1,800 registered Co-Hoppers, 28k buddy matches since inception and average 8 buddy matches per search.



ZC updated the group on Transport Taskforce on 28 November attended by Marg Prendergast (Co-ordinator General at TfNSW) and other key stakeholders.

Dr Deborah Dearing (DD) presented her vision for the Greater Sydney area.  Connect was excited to hear plans for longer-term horizons including focus on a single economic corridor connecting Parramatta to the Northern Beaches via Mac park.  Read the Plan.

DD also spoke of Mac Park not as a single place but a series of places each with mixed purposes / functions / feelings.



Optus transport infrastructure video

  • ZC discussed Connects support for the $100m bus interchange announced yesterday pending final design.

  • State Government announced buy back of the Peter Board Public School.  Read more here.

  • Department of Planning due to deliver Master Plan late 2018 with first round feedback possibly in February.

  • ZC thanked CoR and John Brown (JB) for their investment towards Co-Hop platform enhancements and the development of an intra-park bus service.

  • On-demand pilot scheduled to begin on January 29.  Connect will distribute update and further information on this trial as it becomes available.

  • JB from Council indicated his support of Connects work.

  • ZC introduced Andrew Parker (AP) and Nikki Talentine who introduced a video on Optus transport infrastructure.  AP mentioned the incongruence between the various proposals which needs to be addressed to bring alignment.   



Unlikely we are working to a 12-month notice period with the planned rail shutdown with Metro projects running well and to plan.

Quick roundtable where members updated others on progress towards readiness with most groups having initiated conversations and considering flexible working practices.

TWG agreed to meet on monthly basis from end of January onwards.


TWG #4

February 2017


  1. Welcome from Andrew Parker - Connect Chair 
  2. Connect update from Zara Crichton - GM Connect
  3. Q&A with Marg Prendergast - TfNSW Coordinator General


  • Jan Zesach opened the meeting by welcoming Connect members to Novartis
  • Andrew Parker welcomed new members Fuji Xerox and Schneider Electric

Connect update

  • We are approximately 18-months out from the rail shutdown and planning is underway to help members during this disruptive period. Some of the planning includes but is not limited to; 
    • Re-time - campaigns to increase the number commuters arriving and departing on the shoulder of the peak - first campaign goes live in Q3 2017.
    • Reduce - encouraging select employees to work offsite 1 or 2 days per week will reduce overall commuters to the precinct. The Connect Remote Working Pilot is due to be completed in March with results being issued to members around Mid-March. Aristocrat and Optus participated in the pilot and initial results are promising with managers wishing to continue with remote working practices for their staff.
    • Reroute - the Connect Concierge has been busy helping member employees plan their trip to and from work - we encourage all member to make use of this service.
    • Re-mode - "Give your car the day off" campaign will go live late March and will focus on raising awareness of new bus service to Macquarie Park and North Ryde. The Micro Transit On-Demand Pilot will ultimately offer more options for commuters provided bus priority is functional by the shutdown period.
    • Results from travel surveys since 2014 display a positive trend with all concurrent members sitting under the 60% drive alone City of Ryde mode share target.
    • Renewed efforts are underway to advocate improvements the bus corridor from the Northern Beaches which has the highest drive-alone rate of 73% within our member base and this figure would be higher once non-members are considered.
    • 17% of our member employees live in the City of Ryde - efforts to advocate improved bus services from this catchment are underway.
    • Micro Transit On-demand Pilot will go live on 1 July 2017 - workshops with members will be held soon to ensure pilot meets immediate needs and future considerations post-pilot. See the video explainer on micro transit on-demand for more details.

    View Connect TWG 4 update presentation

    Marg Prendergast – Coordinator General TfNSW

    Marg Prendergast – Coordinator General TfNSW

    Q&A with Marg Prendergast – Coordinator General TfNSW

    Currently being updated.



    TWG #3

    November 2016

    Working Group Summary

    1.     Connect has prepared a small survey for our business members in response to the questions asked during the workshop by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to help provide input to those who were not present.

    Please provide your input by clicking HERE.

    TWG 3 was focused on a workshop by Malcom McDonald (NSW Department of Planning and Environment) as part of the Macquarie Park Investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to develop a vision and planning framework that transitions Macquarie Park from a business park to an active employment centre through place making. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is seeking to achieve this via:

    • A vibrant and enhanced commercial centre
    • Improved public domain and public spaces
    • Greater mix of uses, including retail, civic and community uses
    • Better connections, including walking and cycling paths

    The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has a list of priorities for Macquarie Park as stated in A Plan for Growing Sydney 2014, through district plans, in which Macquarie Park is part of the North District.

    The list of questions in the workshop is available for viewing in the attached presentation by NSW Department of Planning and Environment. It is beneficial to read the Strategic Employment Review: Macquarie Park, prepared by BIS-Shrapnel.

    The list of questions in the workshop is available for viewing in the attached presentation by NSW Department of Planning and Environment. It is beneficial to read the Strategic Employment Review: Macquarie Park, prepared by BIS-Shrapnel on behalf of NSW Department of Planning and Environment, for an insight into the current situation and possible future of Macquarie Park.

    2.     Marg Prendergast – the CBD Coordinator General has been appointed to deliver the Macquarie Park Temporary Transport Plan - overseeing planning and operations of traffic, transport and communications for the Sydney Metro temporary rail shutdown from 2017. Marg and her team will provide government insight into the Sydney Metro temporary rail shutdown to the Connect Board from January 2017.

    Connect has been compiling the current demographics of employee locations and the modes of travel to Macquarie Park and North Ryde in preparation for the North West Metro shutdown. One of the key observations indicated by the data, is that employees from Parramatta and the surrounding areas have the highest car usage rate at 81.8% and second lowest public transport usage, despite being an adjoining region to Macquarie Park. This is in sharp contrast to the adjoining region of the Lower North Shore that has the lowest car usage rate of 62.6% and highest public transport usage at 29.8%. To address these issues, Connect will be focusing on a series of campaigns in 2017.

    Co-Hop will be undergoing major upgrades and awareness campaigning to improve services and provide incentives for alternative transport modes. A current survey is receiving feedback from users of the program to increase patronage and reduce drive alone rates. 

    Presentation Links:

    Transport Working Group 3 Connect Presentation

    NSW Department of Planning Workshop Presentation


    TWG #2

    August 2016


    1. Sydney Metro - Member business needs

    2. City of Ryde (COR) 2P parking proposal - comment

    3. Review of TfNSW response to TTP Top 10 priority list from TWG 1

    Working Group Summary

    1. The TWG 2 focused on understanding business needs during the Sydney Metro temporary rail shutdown for late 2018. A high of convergence became evident after workshopping member needs centred on the areas of:

    • clarity of timings around interim service and TTP
    • visibility of bus replacement service planning
    • and infrastructure improvements within a condensed period prior to the shutdown.

    Please refer to the TWG minutes below for more information the Sydney Metro matters raised with TfNSW for response.

    2. CoR requested Connect member feedback on the preferred locations selected for Short Term Parking (2P) Trial in Macquarie Park - please refer to TWG 2 presentation pack below for more details. The majority of locations were endorsed by the TWG with the exception of:

    • Lyonpark Road - 8 spaces - TWG consensus reached to centralise 8 spaces on south-side of road next between Optus driveway and walkway to reception to further distance casual parkers from the taxi's that frequent the north-side of Lyonpark Road - who present an existing traffic hazard. 
    • Giffnock Avenue, near corner of Collinga Street - recommend moving 4 spaces along Giffnock, closer to 16 Giffnock Avenue as it is less congested in peak times and safer for pedestrians.

    3. We reviewed TfNSW's response to the TTP Top 10 Priority list resulting from TWG 1 in May. Overall TWG were pleased that matters raised had been given consideration by each responsible government department or agency.  Please refer to the TWG minutes below to read TWG2 response to matters raised with TfNSW for response. The progress of these matters will be recorded on the TWG rolling transport improvement register.

    TWG 2 presentation pack

    TWG 2 Minutes

    Sydney Metro project progress Chatswood > Epping


    TWG #1

    May 2016


    1. Develop top 10 priority list in response to TTP


    1. The Temporary Transport Plan (TTP) was released in 2014 for public comment. We prepared a response to the TTP in 2014, now in 2016 Macquarie University asked for an updated Top 10 priority list  to be prepared by the TWG.

    The Top 10 list was then then presented to the Deputy Secretary Freight Strategy & Planning at TfNSW, Clare Gardiner-Barnes, by  Patricia Forsythe, Macquarie University Council Member and Tim Beresford, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Macquarie University on 7 June 2016. 

    The Freight, Strategy and Planning Division has prepared a coordinated response - see link below - on behalf of the Transport Cluster - including Sydney Metro Delivery Office and Roads and Maritime Services - with input from City of Ryde Council. Detailed investigations are continuing for some of the more complex issues to fully understand the options.

    Useful links:

    TfNSW response to TPP Top 10 list

    Connect Top 10 priorities to TTP in 2016

    Temporary Transport Plan 2014