SENIOR students at one of Sydney’s top schools have joined the fight for improved public transport in the northern district.

The dark green blazers of James Ruse Agricultural High School students have become part of the scene out of school hours, as a group of Year 11 boys gather signatures for a petition.

The petition will be sent to the State Government.

The students have set themselves a minimum target of 1000 signatures and have set up a website to promote their cause.

Copies of the petition can be downloaded from the website at http://www.buildtheline.com.

The main focus of the campaign is an improved rail service on the Carlingford line.

But after an on-site meeting at Carlingford railway station with veteran rail campaigner and Castle Hill State Liberal MP Michael Richardson this week, the students decided to expand their campaign to include better bus services for the area.

Student leader David Tian, of Carlingford, said he was concerned about the state of the Carlingford line.

“The State Government promised to extend the line and now they want to scrap it and only build a link from Epping to Chatswood,” he said.

“Residents living on the existing line have long had to put up with hourly trains and changes at Clyde to get to anywhere within Sydney. It’s a nightmare.”

Many of the school’s students live outside the area and face long journeys between home and school.

One member of the activist group commutes daily by bus from Menai in the Sutherland Shire. The journey takes about two hours each way.

“He uses the bus because trains are unreliable,” David said.

A frequent, well-connected train service would be more convenient, with Carlingford station just a few minutes’ walk from the James Ruse campus. “If the line was extended to Epping as promised it would cut commuting times and also increase business opportunities and investment in this area,” David said.

“Now, after talking to Mr Richardson, we realise a new or extended railway will not happen overnight so we should have better public bus services in the interim.” Mr Richardson, who has long campaigned on behalf of Carlingford line commuters, said the students’ dedication to the cause was “commendable”.

“They have clearly done their homework and are determined to deliver a petition this State Government cannot ignore,” Mr Richardson said.

The students’ involvement grew from a leadership project at the end of last year.

“With the government trying to sell off the power grid, they will have money to spend extending this 3.5km of track,” David said.

“Our biggest problem is time and trying to fit in campaigning before and after classes.

“It will help if people visit www.buildtheline.com to download petitions and send them to us.”

http://www.northerndistricttimes.com.au/article/2008/05/28/2169_news.html

Yay for the huge publicity for ‘Build the Line.’ Might I add to this that the train that they were going to have in the background of their photo came  20minutes late.

Other than that, support this cause..in the end you will benefit from this line extension.

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