Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2013 Brisbane City Council Budget also fails public transport users

Congested SE Busway
Brisbane City Council (BCC) have now handed down their budget for 2013. Key points for public transport are:
  • $16.4m shortfall in funding from state government will result in closure of Bowen Hills and Richlands bus depots, and reduce the number of new buses built per year by 33% from 2015. This may increase dead running (buses running empty out of service), and increase the amount of time to replace the fleet of exploding gas powered buses. A better designed bus network (based on TransLink's dumped network review) instead of the current inefficient and confusing BCC designed mess may have been a better way of saving money. 
  • Funding for new Milton, and upgraded Bulimba CityCat terminals is welcome, as is funding for a new CityCat. 
  • Review of CityCat timetable. BrizCommuter would not be surprised if we see cuts to CityCats services (one of Brisbane's tourist icons) to make up for BCC's bus network wastage. Bad, bad, bad! 
It seems that politicians from both sides are in la la land. 

Team Quirk ‏@Team_Quirk 
LM @Team_Quirk remains committed to World Class Public T'port system - fleet of 1200 buses 100% air cond 90% disability accessible this year

Brisbane does not have a "world class" public transport network. It's based on third world principles (busways), but operated inefficiently, and the 2nd most expensive to use in the world. So maybe a "sub third world" public transport network would be a more appropriate phrase. 

Cr Milton Dick ‏@CrMiltonDick 
Council budget reveals more cuts to Public Transport on the way - paying more getting less. #goingbackwards

True, but your whining was partly responsible for the backlash against TransLink's mainly excellent bus network review that has left us with BCC's mess. 

It is time that Brisbane City Council are completely removed from public transport planning and operation. Brisbane Transport should be privatised (hint: Redland's Transit Systems will be running some London bus routes soon), and TransLink put in charge of network design. Time for Brisbane City Council to stick to trimming trees and cutting grass. 

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