Volume Six 2015 Transport

Public transport revenue decreased by 2.7 per cent despite a fare increase and increased patronage. Twenty-five per cent of all Opal trips (over 74 million) were free, including 47 per cent of trips on ferries, according to a report released today by the New South Wales Acting Auditor-General, Tony Whitfield. These trips were valued at $189 million.
The Opal system is not providing Sydney Trains and NSW Trains with sufficient information on passenger revenue and trips to assist in operating an efficient and effective business. For instance, boarding and exiting data by station 24/7 is not available, restricting operators’ ability to resource demand appropriately.
Transport for NSW should ensure that the Opal system directly provides revenue information to meet the needs of all stakeholders,” the Acting Auditor-General said “It should also require the Opal service provider to independently confirm the effectiveness of its systems,” he added.
These were some of the findings the Acting Auditor-General reported in the Volume Six 2015 Report to Parliament, which covered Transport Cluster agencies such as the Transport for NSW, RailCorp, Sydney Trains, NSW Trains, Roads and Maritime Services and State Transit Authority.
Financial reporting continues to improve

The quality of transport agencies’ financial statements continues to improve with misstatements falling significantly from 54 in 2010-11 to just 14 in 2014-15. Unqualified audit opinions were issued for all cluster agencies’ 2014-15 financial statements.
Average travel speeds on Sydney roads continues to fall

Average travel speeds on Sydney roads fell for the morning and afternoon peaks from 39.0 to 37.9 kilometres per hour and from 36.0 to 35.2 kilometres per hour, respectively.
Ride quality improves despite maintenance backlog

At 30 June 2015, Roads and Maritime Services reported a maintenance backlog of $5.3 billion. Despite this, overall ride quality on roads improved. It spent $612 million on asset maintenance in 2014-15, $82.0 million more than planned.
Potential conflicts of interest need to be effectively managed

RailCorp and Sydney Trains have the same Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer. This creates a potential risk that their decisions may favour one entity over another. There is a potential for rail services to favour Sydney Trains (which operates signalling priorities) ahead of other operators.

Further Information

Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au