GOVERNMENT SPENDS $48,000 ON TAXIS TO MAKE UP FOR CANCELLED TRAINS

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Taxpayers have foot the bill for more than $48,000 worth of taxis in the last year to ferry passengers around because of late, cancelled or overcrowded trains.

According to Freedom of Information documents obtained by the NSW Opposition, the Baird Government has spent $188,148.80 on taxi fares for stranded passengers since coming to office.

In some cases, it would have been cheaper to fly, hire a limousine or rent a private car, including:

A trip from Hornsby to East Maitland through Broadmeadow costing $1290;A trip from Hamilton to Hornsby costing $862; andA trip from Cardiff to Sydney Airport costing $724;A trip from Maitland to Scone costing $502.

In one instance, taxpayers were left with a $450 bill for one taxi which didn’t even leave Lidcombe station – because it waited for a passenger for several hours.

The NSW Opposition recently revealed that peak train cancellations across the Sydney rail network have increased by a staggering 23 per cent in the last year.

There were a whopping 172 more peak train cancellations across Sydney in the last year – 921.5 in 2014-15 compared with 749.5 in 2013-14.

On top of that, the number of peak intercity services increased by 65% – up from 144 in 2013-14 to 237 in 2014-15.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Ryan Park

“This is a ridiculous waste of money: close to $1000 a week on taxi fares because train cancellations are skyrocketing under the Baird Government.”

“The Baird Government needs to explain how it justifies spending $1290 on a taxi from Hornsby to East Maitland. It would have been cheaper to fly.”

“Year after year we see train cancellations skyrocket – and now we see the Government pouring almost $200,000 into taxi fares instead of rail maintenance. It’s just obscene.”