Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quirky Brisbane Metro Capacity

Paris Metro MP05 train
A claim by LNP Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on his BaTty Brisbane Metro plan is that it will ultimately operate at 30,000 passengers/hour by 2031. Now it doesn't seem to be clear if this claim is per direction, however per direction is the commonly used figure for mass transit, and using 'per both directions' would be misleading.

Most busway stations are 60m long. Mater Hill is 45m long. We'll use 60m as the train length. There is a possibility that platform lengths could be a bit longer as there would only be one 'busway lane equivalent' used by trains.

Paris Metro's newest rubber-tyred MP05 trains are 90m long (6-cars), 2.4m wide, and have a capacity of 722 passengers/train. At 60m train length (4-cars) the capacity would be 481 passengers/train.

Given that the trains in Brisbane will be manually driven, and based on information in the media, trains will run every 2 minutes, that's 30 trains per hour per direction (30tph).

481 passengers/train x 30 tph = 14,430 passengers/hour.

Thus BrizCommuter is calling the 30,000 passengers/hour claim as probably false and/or misleading. Even worse, at 14,430 passengers/hour, the Brisbane Metro will not be able to handle any more passengers than the SE Busway which can theoretically handle approximately 15,000 passengers/hour (reported figures vary between 12,000 and 18,000 for maximum theoretical capacity). Also, this Brisbane Times article makes it clear that the Brisbane Metro capacity will be half of that at opening. If this is by running trains at half frequency (every 4 minutes), then the journey time advantage of using trains instead of buses would be nulled by the increase in wait times.

$1.54b spent for no increase in capacity. Who is Team Quirk trying to fool?

Original BrizCommuter post on Graham Quirk's Brisbane Metro idea:

Update 17/03/16 - Information that Rail Back on Track have obtained from the LNP campaign,  are of a 50m train with 300 passenger train running every 4 minutes in the peaks, and ultimately every 2 minutes. That equals 4,5000 to 9,000 passengers/hour/direction which is far less than the current busway capacity. Oh dear!


  1. I'm interested to hear your comments on the Greens proposals when they release them.

  2. We'll only really know if these new trains are going to make a difference in Brisbane when we get on them. But I agree that it looks like a lot of money is being spent on nothing!

  3. Exactly spot on. Graham quirks claim is based on his idea that every train carries a maximum of 1000 passengers. To be able to achieve that, the MP89 sets would have to add another 6 or 8 cars!

  4. What are the Greens proposals, when it comes to public transport?

  5. Peak hours would obviously require a larger capacity but things are not as easy as it sounds. There is initial planning that needs to be done which not only involve the size of the train's storage but also the structure of the train platform. Things need to fall into place carefully to prevent any unwanted scenarios that could cause delays or even accidents.

  6. You would actually need, (i'd say 6 of these or maybe 7) of these trains for the claims that he's made to stack up!


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