Much as I hate to say this, I think they've done a pretty good job with this new timetable. And while they have "gone dark" in terms of the public consultation, I expect this is at least in part to retain the "purity" of it so to speak. With consultation there would be a stop added here, a slight shift there to match the opening time of the chief of staff's preschool opening times, a special train for the Kings School cricket team etc etc.Exactly. This is actually a step forward, because it reduces the power of vocal minority lobby groups, such as the Bus Lane Opposition Office of the Daylight Robbery Grocery Store Alliance of East Whoop-Whoop. That having been said, though, it also increases the scope for political intervention.
I think the consistency of stopping patterns removes a lot of the anomalies (ie long gaps between some services) of the old timetable and thus should help to even out the variance in the city station dwell times and platform crowding. The effect isn't going to be huge, but it should be enough to ensure they can reasonably max out the services through the city without spectacularly adverse consequences.I agree. There are still some niggles, such as the South Line's poor frequency of 6tph, consisting of a core 4tph pattern and a 2tph half-pattern that runs three minutes after the 4tph pattern.
But there are gains. I expect the Illawarra timetable to take some getting-used-to, and might take longer for passengers to get comfortable with. However, on casually reflecting over it for several weeks, I've come to the conclusion that it will benefit the line's passengers so long as Hurstville is not overloaded.
Most of the major benefits this new timetable delivers are from using the "new" Clearways infrastructure (at least).The Eastern Suburbs service increase could be a prelude to TfNSW changes to the STA network in that area, but we shall see how it pans out. The Bankstown line probably got the additional service because the line between Liverpool and Lidcombe via Regents Park no longer receives service to the City via Strathfield.
A lot of the "new" services are unnecessary and not solving any real problems (like higher frequencies on the BJ line, which maxes out at ~66% utilisation now) or more Bankstown line services where it seems the fudged the figures to show there was demand fore them. A lot of these "new" services while a bit more than spin, are probably actually a bit worse: costing more to implement without delivering more PT benefit.