Transport for NSW

Transport for NSW, sometimes abbreviated to TfNSW, and pronounced as Transport for New South Wales, is a statutory authority of the New South Wales Government created on 1 November 2011, and is the leading transport and roads agency in New South Wales, Australia. The authority is a separate entity from the New South Wales Department of Transport, the ultimate parent entity of Transport for NSW and a department of the New South Wales Government.[1]

Transport for NSW
Statutory authority overview
Formed1 November 2011
Preceding agencies
TypeStatutory authority
JurisdictionNew South Wales
Ministers responsible
Statutory authority executive
Parent Statutory authorityNew South Wales Department of Transport
Key document
  • Transport Administration Act 1988

The agency's function since its creation is to building transport infrastructure and manage transport services in New South Wales. Since absorbing Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) in December 2019,[2] the agency is also responsible for building and maintaining road infrastructure, managing the day-to-day compliance and safety for roads and waterways, and vehicle and driving license registrations.

The chief executive officer, called Secretary, for the agency is Rodd Staples.[3] The authority reports to the New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads, presently Andrew Constance and the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, presently Paul Toole.[4][5][6] Ultimately the ministers are responsible to the Parliament of New South Wales.



Prior to April 2011, the main transport department/agency/ministry in New South Wales had multiple names during the Labor government. The names were:[7][8]

  • Department of Transport (until April 2003)
  • Transport Co-Ordination Authority (April - July 2003)
  • Ministry of Transport (July 2003 - July 2009)
  • Department of Transport and Infrastructure, also known as NSW Transport and Infrastructure (NSWTI)[9] (July 2009 - July 2010); and
  • Transport NSW (July 2010 - April 2011)

After winning the 2011 state election, the new Liberal government under Barry O'Farrell renamed the department to Department of Transport.[10] Later that year, in November 2011, the Transport for NSW was formed as a government agency and subsumed the Transport Construction Authority and the Country Rail Infrastructure Authority, and took over the planning and coordination functions of RailCorp, the State Transit Authority and Roads & Maritime Services from the Department of Transport.[11] It also absorbed the functions, assets and/or liabilities of Sydney Metro Authority, Public Transport Ticketing Corporation as well as some functions from the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure.[12]

The entities that were under Transport for NSW upon its creation, as underlined in the Transport Legislation Amendment Act 2011, were:[13]

The Department of Transport continues to exist as a government department and the ultimate parent entity of Transport for NSW and its entitles or divisions.[14][15][16]

Sydney Ferries

Transport for NSW contracted the Sydney ferry services to Harbour City Ferries in 2011, who started operations in 2012. Transport for NSW continues to own the ferry fleet and the Balmain shipyard through its entity "Sydney Ferries".[12] This entity is not to be confused with the branding of ferries in Sydney, which also uses the brand "Sydney Ferries".

Purchase of Sydney Light Rail and Sydney Monorail

Transport for NSW established the "MTS Holding Company" on 12 March 2012, and through the holding company, purchased Metro Transport Sydney, the owner of the Sydney Light Rail and the Sydney Monorail, on 23 March 2012 for $19.8 million.[12] The company, light rail and the monorail also became under control of Transport for NSW and the government.[17] The Sydney Monorail was closed down on 1 July 2013, and on the same day, the Metro Light Rail brand was phased out as part of a broader rebranding and reorganisation of public transport services in New South Wales.[18] The light rail also became under direct ownership of Transport for NSW.[19][20] The process of shutting down Metro Transport Sydney and transferring assets to Transport for NSW was completed in September 2014 with the deregistration of MTS Holding Company.[21][22]

New railway agencies

Operation and maintenance functions of RailCorp were passed on to two newly-formed government agencies, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains in July 2013, initially as subsidiaries of RailCorp. However, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains are not controlled entities of Railcorp, but are instead controlled by Transport for NSW.[23] The suburban services of CityRail (also a part of RailCorp) were transferred to Sydney Trains, while CountryLink (also a part of RailCorp) and the intercity services of CityRail were passed on to NSW Trains, trading as NSW TrainLink. As a result, CityRail and CountryLink were abolished.

In July 2017, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains became independent and standalone agencies under Transport for NSW, and ceased to be subsidiaries of RailCorp.[24][25] At the same time, the Residual Transport Corporation (RTC) was formed. RailCorp continues to exist as the railway asset owner, but it will be converted into a state-owned corporation and renamed "Transport Asset Holding Entity" (TAHE).[26][27][28] The RTC will then own assets that are not suitable for TAHE ownership.[24] It was originally planned for TAHE to be created on 1 July 2019, however, as of September 2019, this has not been implemented.

In July 2018, the Sydney Metro Delivery Office, which was formed in 2011, was converted into a standalone Sydney Metro operating agency under Transport for NSW, similar to Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.[29]

Amalgamation of Transport and Road agencies

After the 2019 state election, the government announced they would be merging Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) into Transport for NSW, to integrate roads and transport into a single agency.[30] Legislation to dissolve RMS and transfer its functions to Transport for NSW was passed in the NSW Parliament and granted royal assent in November 2019.[31][32] RMS was dissolved and merged into Transport for NSW on 1 December 2019.[2]


The authority develops regulations, policies and legislation to ensure that transport is delivered to a high standard, meets community needs, protects assets and public money, minimises environmental impact, and ensures the community is safe. The authority manages an annual multibillion-dollar transport budget and in partnership with the transport operating agencies manages more than A$106 billion in property, plant and equipment assets. Funding is provided for bus, rail, light rail, roads, ferry and community transport services and related infrastructure. The authority also funds concession schemes such as the School Student Transport Scheme, the Private Vehicle Conveyance Scheme and the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme.[1]

Organisational structure

The authority was initially created as an integrated transport authority with six divisions, each headed by a deputy director general:[33]

  • Customer experience – to ensure journeys are as simple and seamless as possible;
  • Planning and programs – to consolidate planning for all modes and develop a comprehensive transport masterplan;
  • Transport services – to ensure transport services cost-effectively meet the current and future needs of customers;
  • Transport projects – to manage major projects;
  • Freight and regional development – to coordinate freight services and facilities, with particular focus on regional NSW; and
  • Policy and regulation – to develop and oversight policies and laws pertaining to transport across the state

As of July 2019, Transport for NSW is structured as follows:[34]

  • Operational divisions
    • Greater Sydney
    • Regional
    • Infrastructure and Place
    • Customer Strategy and Technology
  • Support divisions
    • Office of the Secretary
    • Corporate Services
    • People and Culture
  • Project delivery offices
    • Sydney Light Rail
    • Parramatta Light Rail
    • Newcastle Light Rail


The NSW Department of Transport comprises the following entities:[35]

  • Transport Service of New South Wales
  • Transport for NSW and its divisions and entities

Transport Service of NSW is an agency created in November 2011, in charge of employing staff for Transport for NSW, which cannot directly employ staff, to undertake its functions. The Transport Service also directly employs staff for State Transit Authority (STA), as well as senior executives of Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.[36]

As of December 2019, the entities of Transport for NSW, as detailed in Transport Administration Act 1988, are:[37]

Out of these, STA, Sydney Trains, Sydney Metro authority, and NSW Trains are government transport agencies.[34]

Departmental leadership

There have been four departmental leaders of Transport for New South Wales since 2011:

Name Title Term start Term end Time in office Notes
Les WielingaDirector-General20 April 2011 (2011-04-20)24 September 2013 (2013-09-24)2 years, 157 days[39][40]
Dave Stewart17 October 2013 (2013-10-17)16 February 2015 (2015-02-16)1 year, 122 days[41][42]
Tim ReardonSecretary1 July 2015 (2015-07-01)10 November 2017 (2017-11-10)2 years, 132 days[43][44]
Rodd Staples18 November 2017 (2017-11-18)incumbent2 years, 29 days[45][44][46]

Public transport services

The icons used to identify and denote different forms of public transport under the TFNSW network. Left to right: trains, buses, ferries, light rail, metro

Transport for NSW directly manages most train, bus, ferry and light rail services in New South Wales. The authority manages the route design, timetabling and branding of these services and also provides passenger information via printed material, a telephone service and a website.[47] Operation of the services is contracted out to a mixture of other government-owned organisations and private enterprise.[48]

Transport for NSW public transport services are simply branded Transport. The following sub-brands are used depending on the type of service:

Passengers made 765 million public transport journeys in the 2017-18 financial year.[49] Patronage on the Sydney rail network increased during this periodcustomer patronage grew by 10.5 per cent, while intercity patronage grew by 11 per cent.[50][51]

Transport Info

Transport for NSW provides a trip planner and transport service information on its customer service website,, and via its 24-hour information line, 131500.[47] These services, outsourced to Serco since July 2010, were previously known as the Transport InfoLine or simply 131500.[52] A parallel Teletype service for hearing and speech impaired passengers is available on 1800 637 500.


Current Projects

Public Transport

ProjectModeCompletion Date
CBD and South East Light RailLight rail2020
Parramatta Light RailLight rail2023 (stage 1)
Sydney Metro City & SouthwestRapid transit2024
Sydney Metro WestRapid transitSecond half of the 2020s
North-South Link (stage 1)Rapid transit (likely)Western Sydney Airport opening (2026)
Automatic Train Protection Systems / Digital Train Radio SystemsCommuter rail(ongoing)
Transport Access ProgramPublic transport interchange(ongoing)


Key road building projects, inherited from Roads & Maritime Services, that Transport for NSW are undertaking either directly, through contractors or via public/private partnerships, include:

Completed projects

Kingsgrove to Revesby quadruplication (Rail Clearways Program)Suburban railApril 2013
Liverpool Turnback (Rail Clearways Program)Suburban railJanuary 2014
Lilyfield - Dulwich Hill Light Rail ExtensionLight railMarch 2014
Monorail Removal ProjectMonorailApril 2014
Auburn stabling sidingsSuburban railSeptember 2014
Opal Card rolloutElectronic ticketingDecember 2014
South West Rail LinkSuburban railFebruary 2015
Gosford passing loops (Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program)Freight railFebruary 2015
North Strathfield underpass (Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program)Freight railJune 2015
Epping to Thornleigh triplication (Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program)Freight railJune 2016
Wynyard WalkPedestrianSeptember 2016[53]
Newcastle Light RailLight railFebruary 2019[54]
Sydney Metro NorthwestRapid transitMay 2019


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