Documents relating to assessment of impacts on passengers on Bus Services between Central Station and UNSW

Richard Smith made this Government Information (Public Access) request to Transport for NSW

The request was partially successful.

From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Transport for NSW (TfNSW),

Importance of access to Public Transport

The construction of the Sydney Light Rail line has impacted public transport availability along the route, both in terms of frequency & numbers of bus services.

One of the impacts that has been significant has been bus services between the Sydney CBD and University of NSW in Kensington.

The provision & access to efficient public transport for the most vulnerable in our community is an important part of the role of government. How well government makes enquires and plans to discharge this duty is a matter of great public interest.

Request

I therefore make an access application for the following Government Information:

a) Documents relating to assessments, observations or inspections made by TfNSW (either on a regularly scheduled or ad-hoc basis) of public transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus services stopping at Central Station and UNSW (and vice-versa), for the period 1 Jan 2016 to 1 April 2017; and

b) Documents produced by TfNSW or commissioned by TfNSW relating to mitigation measures put into place to correct any negative impacts to public transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus services stopping at Central Station and UNSW, for the period 1 Jan 2016 to 1 April 2017.

To assist you with your processing of your response, I am interested primarily in the following points, which I consider to be of significant public interest:

1) what investigation and monitoring, if any, is TfNSW undertaking of the impacts of the Light Rail construction is having on the large number of students who rely on public transport to get from all around Sydney to UNSW, via Central Station; and

2) what mitigation measures, if any, TfNSW has put into place to reduce the disruption, congestion & delays experienced by public transport users on bus routes between Central Station and UNSW.

If this can be answered as informal request, please do so.

Otherwise, please proceed with this as a formal Access Application request under the NSW Freedom of Information principles & framework, i.e. the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 & other associated guidelines and regulations.

Request for waiver of Application Charge

I formally request for a full waiver, and or discount on the application charge for this Access Application on the grounds of financial hardship.

I detail my reasons below.

I have a fixed income and the discretionary component of my income that is allocated to food each week is $124. The charges imposed, being $30, represent some 24% of my weekly food budget.

I submit to TfNSW that the payment of the Charge of $30, or part of it, would cause significant financial hardship to me as the amount of $30 represents in excess of 1 and a half days of my weekly food budget. In choosing to progress my GI(PA) FOI request, I would have to go without purchasing food for more than 1 day, or forgo other discretionary items of spending to take the place of sustenance

Yours faithfully,

Richard Smith

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From: accessapplications
Transport for NSW


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment TRA 000417 signed ack.PDF.pdf
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Attachment FS Your review rights GIPA July14 ACC.pdf
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Attachment credit card payments access applications 5323.pdf
179K Download View as HTML


Dear Richard,

 

Please find the attached for your acknowledgement letter for your Access
Application with Transport for NSW.

 

Your application is currently invalid as:

 

·         It was not accompanied by a fee of $30, and

·         A postal address was not provided.

 

I have attached a copy of your review rights, and a copy of our credit
card authority form for your consideration.

 

Should you wish to continue with your application, please inform us no
later than Thursday, 20 April 2017.

 

Regards,

 

Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations

Transport for NSW

 

T 02 8202 3768
Upper Ground, 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008

  
[1]Transport for NSW logo

 

Use public transport... plan your trip at [2]transportnsw.info

Get on board with Opal at [3]opal.com.au

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations,

Ref: TRA-000417

Thank you for your 12th April acknowledgement of my Access Application for Government Information.

In regards to the two issues raised in your acknowledgement, I address each in turn below.

Application Fee
I authorise Transport for NSW to debit my credit card to enable the application fee of $30 to be paid.

My credit card details are:
Mastercard
Credit Card Number: [Credit Card Information Removed]
Card Holder: Prepaid Cardholder
Expiry: 09/18
CCV: [CVV REMOVED]
Debit Amount: $30

Postal Address
I also advise that my postal address is:
4 High Street
Kensington NSW
2052

I request that my matter is handled through this email address as postal deliveries are unreliable and some of my postal mail has been lost in transit on its way to me.

I trust this addresses the two issues raised in your acknowledgement letter and the processing of my Access Request can continue.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: accessapplications
Transport for NSW


Attachment credit card payments access applications 5323.pdf
179K Download View as HTML


Dear Richard,

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept your credit card details via email as we require a signature. I have attached our credit card authority form for your consideration.

We will make a note to send all correspondence to this email address.

Regards,

Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations
Transport for NSW

T 02 8202 3768
Upper Ground, 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations,

Thank you for your reply of 19th April 2017.

I will address your comments in detail below.

Conditions not to be imposed by agencies on release of information
As you would be aware, the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 lists as one of its objectives:

"In order to maintain and advance a system of responsible and representative democratic Government that is open, accountable, fair and effective, the object of this Act is to open government information to the public by:

(a) authorising and encouraging the proactive public release of government information by agencies, and

(b) giving members of the public an enforceable right to access government information, and

...

that the discretions conferred by this Act be exercised, as far as possible, so as to facilitate and encourage, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, access to government information".

The GIPA Act does not specifically require a signature authorisation in order for an Access Application to be made and considered valid. Also section 73 of the Act specifically provides that "An agency is not entitled to impose any conditions on the use or disclosure of information".

The request for a signature is an additional administrative step added to the process by TfNSW, which has the effect of imposing a condition to disclosure of information over and above the requirements of the GIPA Act. This contravenes section 73 of the Act and has the effect of frustrating the objectives of the GIPA Act in terms of my Access Application.

Use of Prepaid Credit Card
The debit of an amount from a credit card does not technically or practically require a signature authorisation, as is common in transactions both through the internet or over the phone by both government and commercial entities.

The credit card I have provided to Transport for NSW from which to debit the $30 Application Fee is a Prepaid Credit Card as sold by both Woolworths or Coles. I am not the named account holder, as is illustrated by the account holder field being populated by "Prepaid Cardholder" in my previous correspondence.

Therefore, with the credit card not being a personal credit card account, personally signing a credit card authorisation is both nonsensical and a meaningless gesture. I have already given TfNSW written authority to debit the credit card in both my previous correspondence of 18th April and in this email.

Accordingly, please debit the credit card using the details I have previously provided to TfNSW and continue to process my Government Information Access Application in the spirit of the Act.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Thalong, Justine
Transport for NSW


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Dear Mr Smith,

 

I refer to your application under the Government Information (Public
Access) Act 2009 for the following information:

 

a)    Documents relating to assessments, observations or inspections made
by TfNSW (either on a regularly scheduled or ad-hoc basis) of public
transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus
services stopping at Central Station and UNSW (and vice-versa), for the
period 1 Jan 2016 to 1 April 2017; and

b)    Documents produced by TfNSW or commissioned by TfNSW relating to
mitigation measures put into place to correct any negative impacts to
public transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus
services stopping at Central Station and UNSW, for the period 1 Jan 2016
to 1 April 2017.

 

We are currently still waiting for a response from the relevant business
area with regard to your request. I would be grateful if you would agree
to extend the due date for your application by an additional two weeks.

This would make the new due date 1 June 2017.

 

I would appreciate it if you could please confirm agreement to the
proposed due date by responding to this email.

 

Kind regards,

 

Justine Thalong
A/Senior Access and Compliance Officer

Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations

People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

 

T 02 8202 3081 
Upper Ground, 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008

  
[1]Transport for NSW logo

 

Use public transport... plan your trip at [2]transportnsw.info

Get on board with Opal at [3]opal.com.au

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Ms Thalong,

Thank you for your response of 17th May requesting an extension of time for the processing of my request for Government Information.

I do not object to the extension of time and therefore agree to the new due date of 1st June 2017.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Informationmanager
Transport for NSW


Attachment image001.jpg
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Dear Mr Smith,

 

I refer to your application under the GIPA Act for the following
information:

 

a)    Documents relating to assessments, observations or inspections made 
by TfNSW (either on a regularly scheduled or ad-hoc basis) of public 
transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus 
services stopping at Central Station and UNSW (and vice-versa), for the 
period 1 Jan 2016 to 1 April 2017; and

b)     Documents produced by TfNSW or commissioned by TfNSW relating to 
mitigation measures put into place to correct any negative impacts to 
public transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on
bus  services stopping at Central Station and UNSW, for the period 1 Jan
2016  to 1 April 2017.

 

Following preliminary enquiries with relevant business areas within TfNSW,
I have been advised that a large volume of documents fall within the scope
of your request. It would seem to me that the search time for the
information you have requested is likely to amount to a substantial and
unreasonable diversion of the agency’s resources due to the broad terms of
your request for “documents relating to assessments, observations or
inspections…” and “…documents produced by TfNSW or commissioned by
TfNSW....”.

 

However, the business area has advised me that a request for final reports
(containing assessments, observations and inspections) will reduce the
search time.  

 

In light of the above, and in order to assist TfNSW in focusing the search
for information relevant to your request, please consider narrowing the
scope of your request by specifying the information you are seeking (e.g.
reports, briefings).

 

I would be grateful if you would also agree to further extend the due date
for deciding your application by an additional two weeks. This would make
the new due date 15 June 2017.

 

Please advise me of the amendment to your request and confirm agreement to
the proposed due date by 1 June 2017.

 

Regards,

 

Justine Thalong
A/Senior Access and Compliance Officer

Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations

People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

 

T 02 8202 3081 
Upper Ground, 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008

  
[1]Transport for NSW logo

 

Use public transport... plan your trip at [2]transportnsw.info

Get on board with Opal at [3]opal.com.au

 

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Ms Thalong,

Thank you for your response of 30 May 2017.

I shall address the points raised in your email in turn below.

1. Request to narrow scope of Government Information

I have considered the issue raised by TfNSW in so far as there could be a large number of documents that fall into the scope of my initial request for Government Information.

I have weighed the public interest value in understanding the quantum of assessment, observation & measurement, if any, of the passenger traffic I have asked for with the disproportionate diversion of TfNSW staff to search for documents that should be readily at hand of the part of TfNSW that has oversight of the Light Rail Project.

Accordingly, I do not object to narrowing the scope of my GIPA Act request by amending the request to be for:

"a) Documents being either Draft Final Reports or Final Reports produced by TfNSW or commissioned by TfNSW describing public transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus services stopping at Central Station and UNSW (and vice-versa), for the period 1 Jan 2016 to 1 April 2017; and

b) Documents being either Draft Final Reports or Final Reports produced by TfNSW or commissioned by TfNSW relating to mitigation measures put into place to correct any negative impacts to public transport passenger numbers, journey times and waiting times on bus services stopping at Central Station and UNSW, for the period 1 Jan 2016 to 1 April 2017."

2. Request for an additional extension of time

I agree to an extension of time to the 15 June 2017. I would note, however that TfNSW has already requested a previous extension and has, by now, exceeded the time contemplated in the Act for the release of Government Information.

Notwithstanding this fact, in light of the public benefit of having this Government Information released, I will continue to wait until the new deadline of 15th June as requested by TfNSW.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Informationmanager
Transport for NSW

Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your email.

We are currently discussing the revised terms with the relevant business area and expect to receive a response within the next few days. I have also been advised that the subject matter expert is on leave until early next week.

In light of the above circumstances, I would be grateful if you would agree to a further extension to Tuesday, 27 June 2017.

If you do not agree to the extension, the decision will not be decided within time and the agency is deemed to have decided to refuse to deal with the application, and any application fee paid by you will be refunded. In the event of a deemed refusal of the application, TfNSW will continue to make a late decision.

I would appreciate it if you could please communicate your agreement by responding to this email.

Kind regards,

Justine Thalong
A/Senior Access and Compliance Officer
Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 02 8202 3081
Upper Ground, 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Ms Thalong,

Thank you for your email.

I do not object to an extension of time for my request for Government Information being agreed to run until the 27 June 2017.

I note that I will be overseas from next week until mid July and may not have regular access to email until then.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Informationmanager
Transport for NSW

Dear Mr Smith,

I am requesting an extension to the end of this week to decide your application.

This would make the new due date Friday, 30th June 2017.

Please advise whether you agree to this extension by responding to this email.

Thank you and regards,

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From: Kosh, Wayne
Transport for NSW

Hi Richard

Thanks for your email of 15 June 2017 responding to Justine Thalong's email below.

We are currently in the process of collating the information and the decision in response to your application.

I hope this email reaches you considering you are overseas. Given that you are overseas I would be most grateful if you could agree to the extension requested in Justine's email below for Transport for NSW to decide your application.

Many thanks

Wayne Kosh
Manager, Information & Privacy
Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 8202 3258 | M 0481 014 235
Upper Ground 18 Lee Street CHIPPENDALE NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Informationmanager
Transport for NSW


Attachment TRA 000417 Deemed Refusal Letter.pdf
284K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith,

Please see attached correspondence with regard to your GIPA application.

Kind regards,

Justine Thalong
A/Senior Access and Compliance Officer
Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 02 8202 3081
Upper Ground, 18 Lee Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Mr Kosh,

Re: GIPA Request TRA 000417

Thank you for your letter of 28 June 2017.

I have now returned home from overseas. Apologies that I have not replied to your correspondence, however there are some places in the world where the internet has not reached in a reliable nor affordable manner. Perhaps it is one of the reasons that the country I was visiting chooses to measure its progress in Gross National Happiness, not GDP.

I have considered the issues you have raised in your letter of 28 June 2017 and I will address each in turn below.

Deemed Refusal
I have considered your clarification that my request has been considered to have been refused.

Considering the reduction in scope that I had agreed to in my letter of 7 June 2017 and the suggestion that this scope reduction would allow a forthcoming of information, I will take you up on your offer to continue to process my application and make a late decision.

Refund of GIPA Application Fee
With regards to the refund of the application fee, please arrange for my refund of $30 to be paid via a cheque as per the following details:

Cheque Payee: OpenAustralia Foundation Limited

Post to:
Level 15
461 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

I look forward to hearing from you in regards to your continuing processing of my request and the resultant TfNSW "late decision".

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Informationmanager
Transport for NSW

Hi Richard

Thanks for your email. I will send you a decision in response to your application to your postal address early next week.

Regards

Wayne Kosh
A/Principal Manager, Information & Privacy
Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 8202 3258 | M 0481 014 235
Upper Ground 18 Lee Street CHIPPENDALE NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Wayne,

Thank you for your reply.

I would request that you also provide a copy of the decision via email to this address, in addition to the post as per your email today.

As previously communicated to TfNSW in my letter of 18 April 2017, I request that my matter is handled through this email address as postal deliveries are unreliable and some of my postal mail has been lost in transit on its way to me.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Informationmanager
Transport for NSW

Thanks Richard

The information to be released is too large to send by email hence why the decision will be posted to you. The information to be released will be placed on a CD and sent by post.

Regards

Wayne Kosh
A/Principal Manager, Information & Privacy
Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 8202 3258 | M 0481 014 235
Upper Ground 18 Lee Street CHIPPENDALE NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Wayne,

Thanks for your reply.

Considering the size of the document/s you are transmitting, I would request that you use https://expirebox.com to upload a copy of the released information & provide me via email with the resultant link to download the decision & documents.

It allows 200MB upload gratis without any requirements for creating an account & deletes the information after two days.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Kocanovski, Jenie
Transport for NSW

Morning Richard,

 

We were in receipt of correspondence sent to you marked 'RTS' for the
nominated address.

Can you please email me the details of your current address in order to
direct the decision dated 7 August 2017 to you.

 

Regards

Jenie Kocanovski

Resource and Compliance Officer TfNSW

Information, Corporate Policy and Investigations (ICPI)

People and Corporate Services

 

T 8202 2381 | [email address]

 

 

 

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Ms Kocanovski,

Thank you for you recent email.

As I had mentioned in my 18 April 2017 letter to TfNSW, postal deliveries had been problematic for me and some of my postal mail has been lost in transit on its way to me.

Accordingly I request that you redirect the decision to me at:

Attn: Richard Smith
Tharunka
PO Box 173
Kingsford NSW 2032

I would also request that TfNSW uploads a digital version of the decision to www.righttoknow.org.au.

TfNSW can do this by following the link:

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/upload/re...

At the bottom of the page is a Link for Transport for NSW to upload a response.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: Kocanovski, Jenie
Transport for NSW

Richard,

I will re-send the correspondence to the PO Box address.

Regards
Jenie Kocanovski
Resource and Compliance Officer TfNSW
Information Access Unit
Legal and Information Access Branch

T 8202 3580 [email address]

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From: Kosh, Wayne
Transport for NSW


Attachment TRA 000417 Decision.pdf
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Hi Richard

You will recall your application to TfNSW under the GIPA Act dated April 2017. A decision responding to your application was sent to you on 7 August 2017. Attached with the decision was a CD containing the information released to you because the information was too large to send by email.

The decision and the CD with the information has been returned to our Information Access Unit, which we received today, advising it was sent to an incorrect address. I do not know why it took so long to be returned. It appears the decision and the CD has been returned from the address PO Box 173 Kingsford 2032 as set out in your email below.

I would have rung you about this but I can't find a phone number for you. Could you please let me know a correct address for you so I can send the decision and the information.

Thanks

Wayne Kosh
Manager, Information Access Unit
Legal and Information Access Branch
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 8202 3258 | M 0481 014 235
Upper Ground 18 Lee Street CHIPPENDALE NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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From: Kosh, Wayne
Transport for NSW

Hi Richard

I haven't received a response from you to my email below. As I don't have a phone number for you unless I hear from you I have no current address or post box number to send the decision and information to you.

Thanks

Wayne Kosh
Manager, Information Access Unit
Legal and Information Access Branch
People and Corporate Services
Transport for NSW

T 8202 3258 | M 0481 014 235
Upper Ground 18 Lee Street CHIPPENDALE NSW 2008

Use public transport... plan your trip at transportnsw.info
Get on board with Opal at opal.com.au

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Transport for NSW only: