The daily commute is about to change for 20,000 people in north-west Sydney.
The Epping to Chatswood rail route will be cut off for seven months while New South Wales Transport constructs the Sydney Metro line.
Commuters will have to take to the roads – either on temporary buses or in their cars – adding to congestion during the $8.3 billion build.
Students will return from school holidays on October 15, putting more pressure on the system.
The department will roll out 120 temporary pink buses for affected commuters.
It means some people will need to change between services, adding delays to their usual travel.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance acknowledged it was a “significant disruption”, but said an awareness campaign was a success.
He called for commuters to plan ahead in preparation.
“Sydney Metro is almost complete, but we have this last section of work to do to get it open next year,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“It is a significant disruption to customers. We aren’t hiding from that.”
Former SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin has been the face of the awareness campaign, which launched earlier this month.
“The effects of the campaign are telling with more than 152,000 people clicking through to the website and 140,000 trips planned in the last three weeks for the September 30 changes – and we expect that figure to climb this week,” Mr Constance said.
NSW Transport Co-ordinator General Marg Prendergast said businesses and employees in affected areas were also targeted in an engagement campaign.
Metro Northwest services are expected to start in the second quarter of next year, delivering eight new stations extended to Rouse Hill.
The trains will run every four minutes in peak periods to allow commuters to “turn up and go”.
The trains are single level, compared to the current double-deckers on the heavy rail line.
Northwest is the first stage of the Metro project.
For more information, visit transportnsw.info