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Although locals had long lived in the area, during the late 18th century several British explorers claimed part of eastern Australia, and soon the Sydney area began to be settled by convicts. In its early days, the colony struggled. However, the city improved with time and the kinds of settlers changed. The 1840s and 1850s were a transition period when, due to a gold rush and other factors, Sydney began to grow quickly. Sydney's population was about 500,000 by the late 1800s. During the first half of the 20th century, over a six-year period, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built; the bridge's opening took place in 1932. From 1950 to 2000, the bridge's traffic increased from 32,000 vehicles per day to over 160,000 vehicles per day, a five-fold increase.
In 2018, "Greater Sydney" had a population of 5.2 million. Sydney's population is projected to reach between 6 million and 6.4 million in 2027. While currently Australia's largest city, Sydney is growing more slowly than Melbourne. The Victorian capital's population is projected to overtake Sydney's around 2050.
Sydney has no city government; the functions such a body would generally have are provided by the New South Wales state government with support from local councils. The state government is responsible for the police force, public hospitals and schools, public transport, major roads, major cultural and leisure infrastructure such as museums and sports stadiums, as well as water and sewage services. Local councils manage local roads and footpaths and community infrastructure such as parks, swimming pools and libraries. Responsibility for building development approvals is shared between the two tiers of government. The councils are regulated by the state government.
The website Living in Australia describes Sydney as having "a temperate, humid climate with abundant sunshine." According to Australia.com, "Sydney enjoys a sunny climate with mild winters and warm summers, perfect for making the most of the outdoors."
Sydney's public transport consists of commuter rail, metro rail, light rail, bus and ferry services; commuter rail and buses being the dominant modes. Most services are controlled by the New South Wales Government via Transport for NSW.
The rail network can trace its origins back to 1855 when the first line in New South Wales opened between Sydney and the township (now Sydney suburb) of Parramatta. New lines were built throughout the second half of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century, becoming an extensive network that served much of the state. The Sydney suburban lines were the subject of a modernisation program in the 1920s and 1930s. This saw lines electrified and steam-hauled carriages replaced by electric multiple units (EMUs). New underground lines were constructed to bring trains right into the central business district. One of these lines also traversed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, removing the need for passengers from the North Shore to transfer to a ferry to cross the harbour. The first EMUs were single deck trains, but later classes were double deck. The last single deck trains were withdrawn in the 1990s.
The 2010s saw the focus of investment shift from expansion of the existing network to instead favour the creation of stand alone metro lines using driverless single deck trains. The first of these lines opened in 2019, with Sydney becoming the first Australian city to build a metro system..
Sydney Trains is the current name of the suburban commuter rail network. In the suburbs, Sydney Trains consists of surface lines; in the core of the city, the lines go underground. There are nine lines, serving 175 stations. There are 13 stations on the sole Sydney Metro line. An extension to this line is under construction and two further lines are in the planning stages.
Sydney's light rail opened in 1997. It consists of a single line of 23 stops. A north-south link through the central business district and continuing to the Eastern Suburbs is under construction. Two lines connecting to Parramatta in the west of the city have been announced.
Sydney has an extensive bus network. It is divided into 14 contract areas, representing geographical regions of the city.
Sydney Ferries operates on Sydney Harbour and the connecting Parramatta River. It caters to both the commuter and tourist markets. There are eight lines, serving 36 wharves. Private operators that are not contracted by Transport for NSW also sail the harbour, primarily catering to tourist and leisure journeys.
As of 2019, TripAdvisor ranks Sydney's tourist attractions in this order: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Royal Botanic Garden, and in fifth place the I Have a Dream Mural. The Sydney Opera House receives a 4.5-star rating from 23,000 reviews; the Sydney Harbour receives a 5-star rating from 21,000 reviews; and the Bridge receives a 4.5-star rating from 13,000 reviews. The website PlanetWare uses the following order of the top five tourist attractions: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Harbour Cruises from Circular Quay, and Darling Harbour.
Sydney's area code is 02.
There are visitor information centres in Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Haymarket, Hello Manly, Sydney Airport, the Rocks, and Town Hall.
This article incorporates text from the following revision of the English Wikipedia article "Sydney Trains": https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sydney_Trains&oldid=884319578 and from Sydney Metro: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sydney_Metro&oldid=881055615