BrizCommuter has already run quite a lot of blog posts on the Brisbane City Council (BCC) Elections 2016. This is intended to be the final post, and is a scorecard of the the policies for each of the three main Brisbane mayoral candidates related to public transport. Any new policies during the last week will be added as an update to this post.
|Brisbane City Hall
LNP - Graham Quirk
Brisbane Metro - replacement/upgrade of the existing busways between Wooloongabba and Herston to rubber-tyred metro. Pros: Looks fancy; possible faster journey times within CBD. Cons: $1.54b cost, with no increase in capacity; does not serve UQ and RBWH (and stops one stop short of latter); would require 15,000 passengers per hour per direction to change from bus to metro just outside the CBD; change would increase journey times; lacking in detail such as bus interchange, depot, and around Victoria Bridge area; costs probably highly underestimated; not driverless; detracts from Cross River Rail. Verdict: Another laughable public transport plan from the LNP.
SpeedyCat - express CityCat services. Pros: may help a handful of commuters. Cons: seems to compete with BCC bus routes (Tenerife and UQ to CBD); no detail of frequency (poor frequency means express services are useless); aren't there already express CityCats?
Fares at 2009 levels - Pros: lower cost public transport, Cost: impacts on ALP's public transport fare review. Verdict: fares are none of BCC's business, and much of the inefficiency of SE Queensland's public transport system is due to Quirk's flawed bus network.
Grade - E - laughable metro idea, laughable fare policy, no bus network reform.
ALP - Rod Harding
Brisbane Light Rail - light rail from Newstead(ish) to West End(ish) and UQ via new Green Bridge. Pros: looks fancy. Cons: $1.2b cost, duplicates most of existing Blue CityGlider bus route, already a Green Bridge to UQ, lacking detail, conflicts with other road transport through CBD, detracts from Cross River Rail. Verdict: Poor value for money 'vote bait'.
Fare Free Friday - free fares on buses on Fridays. Pros: lower cost of public transport. Cons: makes a mockery of the ALPs fare review; valid on BCC buses only (no trains or non-BCC buses) would cause mass confusion; lack of go card data for Friday. Verdict: Completely dumb.
Eastern and Northern Bus Transitways, & Level Crossing Removals - Pros: good cost/benefit. Cons: nothing major. Verdict: sensible policy.
Centenary Glider - Pros: serves public transport black hole of Centenary suburbs. Cons: not original policy. Verdict: another win for the public transport lobby.
Grade - D+ - unnecessary light rail plan, unworkable fare free Friday idea, other policies good.
The Greens - Ben Pennings
Green Victoria Bridge - turning the Victoria Bridge into a Green Bridge with 4 bus lanes. Pros: Only costs $40m; Very good cost/benefit. Cons: might piss off a few drivers. Verdict: Good low cost idea.
New high frequency bus routes & Green Bridges - new Centenary Glider and Green CityGlider high frequency bus routes. Extensions of Blue City Glider across two new Green Bridges. Pros: Bus network reform is urgently required and low cost, Tenerife Green Bridge would have good cost/benefit. Cons: Bridges would be costlier than just bus network changes alone; poor rail interchange for Green CityGlider Bus Route; Green CityGlider should end at Northshore Hamilton instead of Doomben; ? cost effectiveness of Toowong Green Bridge; Tenerife Green Bridge would have a lot of opposition. Verdict: On the right path, some improvements required for Green CityGlider route, not sure about 2 new Green Bridges.
Reduce fares to 2011 levels - Pros: lower cost public transport, Cost: impacts on ALP's public transport fare review. Verdict: fares are none of BCC's business.
Grade - B- - bus network changes and Green Victoria Bridge quite positive, fares not any of BCC candidate's business, new Green Bridges at Tenerife and Toowong would be expensive infrastructure.
Infrastructure: Both ALP's Rod Harding and LNP's Graham Quirk have delivered unnecessary infrastructure 'vote bait' as their primary public transport policies. Whilst BCC can lobby the government, both of these plans have come out of nowhere despite multiple infrastructure reviews during the last decade. Quirk's Metro plan is really quite absurd with many questions unanswered. These policies detract from the urgently required Cross River Rail (CRR). The Greens appear to support CRR, and the Victoria Bridge Green Bridge idea is great, but BrizCommuter is unsure about the 2 new proposed Green Bridges.
Fares: All candidates should be staying away from fare related policies. Fares are set by TransLink, and are currently being reviewed by ALP state government. BCC can lobby the government, but have no direct powers to set fares. Rod Harding's policy is completely unworkable.
Bus network: Bus network reform is urgently required in Brisbane. LNP's Graham Quirk still seems to have his head buried in the sand. ALP's Rod Harding has sensible added the Centenary Glider (designed by Rail Back on Track) as a me too policy.The Greens have multiple policies to improve Brisbane's Bus Network.
Winner? The Greens are the clear winners related to public transport policies. The ALP and LNP's 'vote bait' infrastructure policies are potentially damaging to Brisbane's economy.