Funding to progress plans for light rail in Parramatta - Sydney's second CBD - is a centrepiece of the 2014-15 NSW budget.
The NSW Government will set aside $400 million from its major infrastructure fund, Restart NSW, to accelerate work on a Western Sydney light rail system.
"This marks a new chapter in our congestion-busting agenda", NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Mike Baird said.
"We've promised to transform this great state - and today's major commitment for Western Sydney could provide a key missing transport link and change the way people travel in and around Sydney's West."
The NSW Government has already committed funding to start work immediately on identifying the highest priority corridor for the introduction of light rail in Parramatta and carry out a detailed feasibilty study.
"This is a Government committed to fast tracking key infrastructure projects and tackling congestion, "Mr Baird said.
"With initial studies already underway to determine the futyre of light rail in Western Sydney, today's funding commitment means the Government can accelerate this exciting infrsatructure project".
NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance said $400 million would be set aside from the Government's major infrastructure fund 'Restart NSW' to ensure the project is ready to go when feasibility work is completed.
"A light rail network for Western Sydney has the potential to transform this vital economic hub and this money means major construction can be ready to go, subject to feasibiltity", Mr Constance said.
"This is a Government that delivers and this commitment shows the money is there to get on with the job."
Minister for Transport 'Gladys Berejiklian' said with the popular Innest West Light Rail Extension now open, the Government has the runs on the board to bring this popular mode of transport to Western Sydney.
"Building high capacity light rail is a priority for the NSW liberals and Nationals Government with major construction getting underway next year on a $1.6 billion light rail network for the Sydney CBD and South East, after planning approval was achieved earlier this month, "Ms Berejiklian said.
"Today's announcemet means we can now get on with delivering the right transport solution for Western Sydney.
"This builds on the 3900 extra weekly bus services, 734 extra weekly train services and 84 extra weekly ferry services we have introduced in Western Sydney and our multi-million dollar commitment to invest in modernising train services in the west t provide more services more foten via targeted major infrastructure upgrades and a second harbour rail crossing."
The NSW Government will noe investigate a number of potential light rail routes, including:
- Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford
- Parramatta to Castle Hill via Old Northern Road
- Parramatta to Liverpool via the T-way
- Parramatta to Bankstown
- Parramatta to Sydney Olympic Park
- Parramatta to Rouse Hill
- Parramatta to Ryde via Victoria Road
- Parramatta to Sydney CBD via Parramatta Road
- Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Eastwood (proposed by Parramatta Council)
- Parramatta to Castle Hill via Windsor Road (proposed by Parramatta Council)
Once the first stage of work to identify the best light rail route is completed, a number of viable options will be taken forward for detailed design and feasibility.
"When the rigorous scoping study and business case are developed, the funds will be available to get things started quickly. "Ms Berejikilian said.
Source: NSW Government - Transport for NSW