As usual, the Queensland Government and TransLink have come out with the usual excuses to explain the fall in public transport patronage such a blaming it on data collection methods, and the floods. The latter argument is rather flawed, as the largest drop in patronage was between April and June, the floods were in January! It is also quite obvious to many public transport users that patronage has declined, for example BrizCommuter's usual morning train is the quietest it's been since the 2008 timetable changes!
The flawed fares policy is designed to decrease taxpayer subsidy. However, this has also failed, with subsidy increasing by 20% in 2010/11 according to the Courier Mail article. The Queensland Government appears to be actively discouraging environmentally sustainable transportation with exorbitant fare increases, an unattractive fare structure, and lack of service improvements. It is very sad that in the 21st century, a state Government has such disregard for environmentally sustainable transport and public transport users. How can the ALP Queensland Government justify 15% fare rises, when they are giving public sector workers only a 2.5% pay rise (more than 1% below CPI), and are improving public transport (place kilometres) by less than 6%? Another 15% fare rise due in January 2012, an election year, will be the final nail in the coffin for the Queensland Government as far as public transport users are concerned. BrizCommuter suspects that the nail supply has already run out!
BrizCommuter looks forward to TransLink releasing the full 2010/11 Annual Report on it's website in the very near future. TransLink Tracker 2010/11 Q4 is also overdue (yet again).