Fast introduction: The new train timetable was designed to benefit most but will still be an inconvenience for many. Photo: Simon Alekna
Gladys Berejiklian says her new train timetable will benefit the overwhelming majority of Sydney commuters, but many train users are upset about a lack of notice about changes that will have a big impact on how they structure their working lives.
In comparison to previous changes, where commuters typically had at least a couple of months warning, the redesigned October 20 timetable will be introduced with less than five weeks notice.
For some people - particularly those who live near small stations with infrequent services - this gives them little time to reshape their travel habits.
Gladys Berejiklian: Completed the difficult task of rescheduling the Sydney train system. Photo: James Alcock
Susan Hayes, for instance, catches a 9.05am service from Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains to Leura where she works in disability support.
But this train will be cancelled from October 20, when more Blue Mountains trains skip stops to speed up their journey to the city.
Ms Hayes will then have the option of a 7.55am train, which would be too early to allow her to drop her daughter at school, or a 9.55am train, which also would not work.
''If they cancel this particular train it actually means I will not be able to get to work on time, which means that the people with disability that I support will miss out as well,'' Ms Hayes said.
''It is extremely upsetting. It has taken away my choice and my freedom to work.''
Jim Donovan from Action for Public Transport said relatively minor changes made in 2010 and 2011 had been introduced with at least three months notice.
But Ms Berejiklian's October timetable, which she says will add more than 1000 extra services a week, is billed as the biggest overhaul in a generation.
She said on Tuesday the timetable would be ''final''.
Labor's transport spokeswoman Penny Sharpe said many people at smaller outer-suburban Sydney stations were still trying to work out what the timetable meant for them. ''They made choices on where they would live and where they would work based on access to the CBD at certain times - this is really significant,'' she said.
Not everyone is upset. ''Gladys is amazing and deserves to be congratulated,'' said Eddie Ozols, who will benefit from increased service frequency between Wollongong and the city. ''The new timetable gives me five options to get me to work by 9am and similar options to get home.''