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Business, Opinion

Monorail > End of the line

So when was the last time you popped into Darling Harbour and jumped on the Monorail?

You know, that small train in the sky that circles the western part of Sydney’s CBD and Darling Harbour stopping at hotspot tourist destinations like, um, World Square.

Ok, to be fair, it does hit Harbourside and Paddy’s Market.

But for me, I can’t remember the last time I jumped on this relic of Australia’s bicentennary, but I’m pretty sure I was holding my mother’s hand at the time.

What looked futuristic at the time, now, ironically, looks outdated.

Well that’s all about to change.

Today, ASX listed company, Australian Infrastructure Fund, sold its near 39 per cent stake in Metro Transport Sydney, the company which owns the Monorail, for more than $8million. For AIF, it says the divestment is part of its overall plan to offload non-core assets. Now, airports make up almost all of the fund’s assets by value.

This move has allowed the New South Wales state government to buy Metro Transport Sydney in a $20million deal.

It also gives the state control over the light rail system which runs from Central, through The Star casino, out to Lilyfield.

As a result, Premier Barry O’Farrell has revealed, his government will pull down the Monorail because he says it’s reaching the end of its economic life and because of the costs associated with upgrades and maintainence.

It will take around three years to pull down, but the start date of that work is unknown.

The purchase of MTS means the government now has an opportunity to overhaul Sydney’s public transport system, espeically in the CBD and into the new Barrangaroo precient as it prepares to take centre stage over the next decade.

I’m hoping we will see a combination of light rail and cyclepaths working harmoniously with buses and some private cars.

So goodbye Monorail, but I tell you what, apart from the fact that you seemed to go nowhere I wanted to get to, those stairs to get to your platform was enough of a deterrant for me to walk to my destination.





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