We’re developing a new Future Transport Strategy for NSW and looking at new technologies to revolutionise services for customers. Transport Mode finds out more about this visionary work and how we can all play a role in the future of transport.

NSW is evolving. So too are our transport needs. Who we are, where we live, where we work and how we travel is changing.
To keep pace with these changes, and prepare for the future, we have launched the most extensive transport planning process ever undertaken in NSW.

We’re also on a journey of technological discovery, identifying game-changing trends and innovations to improve transport for our customers. This will all culminate in a new Future Transport Strategy for NSW.

The big picture
The first stage of the Future Transport Strategy website is now live, providing insights into the transport planning process and a snapshot of what we have delivered together since 2012. 

Meanwhile, the transport landscape continues to change. 

Technology is advancing at lightning speed, bringing huge and rapid advances to the way we travel – from automated cars to intelligent networks and ride-sharing.

In addition, our population is growing, particularly in Sydney’s west and south-west, increasing the demand for transport services and infrastructure. The State’s population is forecast to grow from 7.6 million today to around 11.2 million in 2056. 

As well as these trends, major projects are being planned, like the second airport for Sydney at Badgerys Creek, which will require fast and efficient transport connections to the rest of the city.

In such a dynamic environment, it’s impossible to stand still, which is why we are developing a new Future Transport Strategy for NSW. 

The new strategy will map out a path for providing transport services, infrastructure and technology to the year 2056. It will help shape our communities, and touch every person in NSW. 

Going digital
If a picture tells a thousand words, then a moving picture tells many more. And that’s why, in another first, we are using technology to present the information in a more user-friendly way to engage with the public and get their feedback.

“What we’re doing is looking at innovative and new ways we can engage with customers about transport at a broad, strategic level,” says Christian Wood, who is heading up digital engagement.

“By bringing future concepts to life through 3D modelling, we can allow communities to compare different transport scenarios and outcomes. We’re hoping to engage more customers in the planning process, particularly those who haven’t been involved before because of the complexity of information, or because they don’t have the time or energy to read a long report.

“We’re presenting the issues and facts in a way that’s meaningful and helps customers tell us what’s important to them,” says Christian.

Transport needs to be a technology business
Technology is the common thread that runs through all aspects of our transport planning. Because now, more than ever, transport is a technology business. 

New technologies will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and travel. It was only a few years ago that automated vehicles, and even services like Uber, seemed the stuff of science fiction. But it’s happening now around the globe.

Instead of sitting back and playing catch up, we are committed to getting ahead of the curve, and harnessing technology in a way that improves the customer experience, transforms service delivery and better connects our communities.

Over recent years, we have introduced new technologies, including apps and electronic ticketing. We are also making progress towards creating a more connected, intelligent transport system and building flexibility into our policy and regulation. 

But that’s just the start.

This year, we kicked off a major technology focus for the Transport cluster, partnering with the brightest tech minds around the world and tapping into the trends and technologies that will revolutionise the way we plan, build and use transport.

In April, the Future Transport Summit brought together industry leaders, academics, innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors and researchers from organisations like Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Qantas and leading universities. Apple
co-founder, Steve Wozniak, was just one of the luminaries taking part in the debate.

In September, we opened up a direct conversation with young people from across NSW at the Future Transport Youth Summit about their ideas on future-proofing transport.


Innovation from within
We’re not just interested in ideas from the outside. We are tapping into the unique insights of our own people.

Earlier this year, we asked staff across the cluster for ideas on how technology could solve a transport problem or improve services. The response was amazing, with almost 700 submissions from more than 500 intrapreneurs (in-house entrepreneurs). We then chose 100 to attend our first Future Transport Intrapreneurs’ Hothouse to work on their ideas.

The best concepts were chosen to go through to ‘incubation’, where we have funding to develop them into prototype products and services. The first six concepts to go through the incubation process have all achieved sponsorship to move to the next phase of the program, where they will be developed to a level where they can be trialled with customers.

A roadmap for the future
We’ve gathered lots of amazing tech ideas and expert input, but now what do we do with it? 

Our six-month technology journey has culminated in the Future Transport Technology Roadmap, which launched
in November. 

It outlines strategies to personalise transport, make better use of the mass transport network, enable connected and automated vehicles, and create intelligent transport networks to name a few, and we’ll do it by trialling and adopting innovative, world-class technologies. 

The Roadmap is crucial to informing our planning as we create the Future Transport Strategy to 2056.

It also signals a change in the way we work across the Transport cluster. We need to develop new skills and drive cultural change so we can deliver innovative, technology-enabled solutions faster, at lower cost, and with greater benefits for customers.

Tim Reardon, Secretary, TfNSW, says we need to challenge ourselves to be open, think differently and to work with others to achieve the best outcomes. 

“This is one of the most exciting and dynamic periods in our history,” he says. 

“From here it’s about working together, inside transport and with our external partners, to turn it into real change for customers.

“My focus will be on making the most of the opportunities technology offers and playing a lead role in building smarter transport services for the people of NSW.”


Get involved – it’s your transport plan!

Everyone working in the Transport cluster can get involved with creating the Future Transport Strategy for NSW. It’s so important we hear from you. As staff members you know our business inside out. You also have valuable insights as transport customers and members of your local community.

You’ll see a range of ways to participate in the coming months. For a start, tune in to our live stream event series from one of 30 hubs across NSW. These events tackle the topics and opportunities we need to consider as we plan for the future and you can put your questions directly to leaders during the live Q&A. More activities are in store for early 2017, like online discussion forums where you can have your say.