There are both advantages and disadvantages relating to the Sydney Metro, I currently see the following:
- Clean - Sydney Metro is expected to be cleaner than current system due to design, materials used, etc.
- Reliable - Building the Metro as a standalone line could potentially see its reliability over 99% compared to low 90's for the existing network.
- Frequent - 'turn up and go' of frequency's less than 10 minutes depending on time of day.
- Service Area - Travels through multiple employment zones such as Macquarie Park and Chastwood.
- Needed Lines - Provides a much needed line to the Northwest Hills District and provides a much needed second harbour crossing.
- Low Dwell Times - Carriage design means a much lower dwell time at stations than the existing trains on the existing network.
- Negative Economic Impact - if more existing lines are reclaimed and converted to metro, large numbers of railway staff could be out of a job in the long term, with almost one third of Australian youth unemployed, and almost a further 1/200 homeless, the economic impact of putting a large amount of people out of work could be disastrous.
- Lack Of Seats - the Sydney metro carriages achieve their low dwell time by increasing floor space for standing room, and having minimal longitudinal seating.
- Unsuitable Rolling Stock and Unsuitable For Sydney - the disadvantages of the lack of seating are further emphasised by the fact that the North West Rail Link is not a metro line, it's a long suburban line with metro rolling stock. Tallawong, the terminus of the line is around 40km from the Sydney CBD and travel times between there and Martin Place are 48 minutes, that is a long time to be standing (although it is important to remember that not everyone will be travelling to the city. Metro systems around the world serve a smaller, but denser area than Sydney, and the trips are shorter with a higher tolerance for standing, Sydney's rail lines serve a larger, less dense area, so seating is more important. NOTE: It is important to remember that not all Metro passengers will travel to the city so there is the chance that seating may not be an issue, but there is still the chance that it will be an issue.
- Terminates Prematurely - the northwest terminus of the line is at Tallawong, Rouse Hill, near the existing Schofields Station, extending the line to Schofields would have been better to allow for interchange. Likewise the southwest terminus at Bankstown may lead to more inefficient shuttle services on the existing network to service stations between Bankstown, Liverpool, and Lidcombe.
- Inconvenient Shutdowns - the Epping to Chastwood Rail Link (ECRL) will be shut down for half a year to be converted, in a few more years, the Bankstown line faces the same fate, extending the existing network instead of building a separate metro line would have avoided this.
- Incompatible - the Sydney Metro is completely incompatible with the existing network, meaning that trains can't be rerouted through the converted lines during trackwork, which means less cases of 'trains run via x' and more cases of 'buses replace trains'.
- Extending the Existing Network could have had Some off the Same Advantages - the needed lines could have been achieved through extending the existing network, and improved frequencys could have been achieved through upgraded track infrastructure and signalling.
- Public Transport Is Less Useful For Other Purposes - although most train commuters use the services for commuting to work or study, public transport also exists as a lifeline for those who can't or choose not to drive, the seating configuration of the metro could potentially make an uncomfortable journey for someone who catches the train to the shops to do the groceries. This may encourage more people to drive instead of use public transport.
What are some other advantages and disadvantages of the Metro and how can they be resolved, and is a metro rapid transit system or improving and extending the existing established network more suitable?