Enhancing the passenger experience at Sydney Suburban Train Stations

Since 2016, BrandCulture has worked closely with Transport for NSW as wayfinding consultants across the Sydney Suburban Train network.

After working with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) for more than three years to implement an integrated wayfinding system across Sydney Suburban Train Stations, we can’t quite believe this project is coming to a close!

It’s a highly strategic project that has taken us to all corners of our city and is ambitious in its scope, delivering thousands of signs at 95 stations via a staged rollout.

BrandCulture has been involved in four of six sequences, making us a primary wayfinding partner for TfNSW’s Sydney Suburban Train Stations project. We set out to enhance the passenger experience by devising wayfinding strategies for each station environment.

From Sydney Airport to Sydney Olympic Park

Each sequence kicked off with a site analysis and signage audit to help understand local destinations, user groups, site-specific issues and connecting modes of transport. Mapping specific wayfinding zones and paths of travel helped to ensure that information, equipment and services were consistently located and coordinated. From here, we devised wayfinding strategies to move people seamlessly from one zone to another, placing signs according to zonal planning, pedestrian flow and key decision points.

It’s a process that required a human-centred design approach, interrogating how a diverse group of commuters (customers) move and make decisions: Which sign works best in this location? Are the signs visible and legible from station exits for all user groups? Is a new sign type or fixture needed to protect heritage features?

We especially enjoyed the challenge of implementing signage at the Airport Link stations, which funnel thousands of travellers to and from Sydney Airport’s domestic and international terminals every day.

Sydney Olympic Park station was another highlight. Designed by Hassell, it’s a vast, elegant space that handled an estimated 80% of the 1.2 million people attending the 2000 Olympic Games. New signage needed to be sympathetic to the award-winning architecture of the building, which meant applying our knowledge of industrial design to modify fixing methods and designs.

A clear vision for an integrated transport network

From the get-go, TfNSW’s training sessions, management reviews and wayfinding processes have been unparalleled. We have loved being part of TfNSW’s Customer Strategy and Technology Division, helping to create a world-class integrated and integral transport network. Our strategies will influence how Sydneysiders find their way around our city for many years to come.

TfNSW has created an interconnected, city-wide transport network, taking into consideration a customer’s end-to-end journey, aiming to provide a consistent level of service at each stage to meet customer needs. We’re immensely proud to have played a role in its implementation. It’s one of the most complex, longest-running projects we’ve ever been involved in, and one that will leave a lasting legacy.