Thursday, July 29, 2010
Queensland's politicians seem to keep claiming that Brisbane has "world class" public transport. Lets compare Brisbane's off-peak rail frequencies with other "world class" cities. I've only included cities with less than 3.5 million population, so as to not be too unfair to Brisbane.
Typical daytime off-peak suburban rail frequencies on branches (or core route if there are no branches):
Brisbane (Queensland Rail) - 30mins
Glasgow* (SPT) - 30mins
Birmingham (Centro) - 10-30mins
Munich* (S-Bahn) - 20mins
Melbourne (pictured) (Metro Trains) - 15-20mins
Oslo (T-bane) - 15mins
Liverpool (MerseyRail) - 15mins
Stockholm* (Pendeltag) - 15mins
Budapest* (HEV) - 10-20mins
Berlin* (S-Bahn) - 10mins
Hamburg* (S-Bahn) - 10mins
Perth (TransPerth) - 7-15mins
Valparaiso (Metro Valparaiso) - 5-15mins
* denotes cities that also have a fully segregated metro system with frequencies of less than 10mins.
As you can see, Brisbane is a long way behind many other "world class" cities including Perth and Melbourne. Poor off-peak frequencies deter the use of public transport. It is also an inefficient use of expensive infrastructure. There are plenty of examples showing that improving off-peak frequencies will considerably improve rail patronage - Stockholm being a good example.
Whilst 15min frequencies are difficult to achieve on some parts of QR's network due to lacking infrastructure, there is little excuse for not running 15min frequencies on most inner-suburban sections of the rail network. It's about time that Brisbane plays catch up!