Sunday, September 2, 2012

Brisbane public transport - popular when free!

CityHopper Ferry
A few weeks ago, the slow and full fare CityFerry services were re-branded to CityHopper and made free by Brisbane City Council after a council election promise. According to this BrisbaneTimes article, the patronage has increased by more than double since the re-branding. This is of course absolutely no surprise to BrizCommuter. It shows that there is considerable latent demand for public transport in Brisbane. Unfortunately this demand is being suppressed by the fares being the third highest in the world. The new LNP governments plan of a 7% fare rise in January 2013 will continue to make public transport increasingly unaffordable and unattractive. Until the Queensland government realises that making public transport attractive to use is the key to reducing road congestion, then BrizCommuter doubts that we will see any effort to make Brisbane's public transport more affordable. Even politicians in car centric Los Angeles, and many developing countries have finally worked this out!

The free CityHopper ferry also introduces the game of "free trip lotto" where it shares it route with the Eagle Street to Thornton Street and Holman Street cross river ferry service. 2 out of 3 journeys are run by the full fare Cross River Ferry, and 1 out of 3 journeys are run by the free half-hourly CityHopper ferry. Thus passengers have a 1 in 3 chance of scoring a free journey. BrizCommuter would be interested to see if locals and those in the know are using the free ferry services more than the full fare ferry services!


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