Monday, June 27, 2011

Transparent as a brick wall?

Transparent as a...
It is no surprise to BrizCommuter's readers that TransLink (and QR is some cases) are not the most transparent of organisations. Here are a few reasons why:

  • QR Passenger Load Survey - This survey is now performed twice yearly, with the key count being in March each year. This study lists the number of passengers using each train line, and every station in the peak periods, as well as train crowding figures. The Q1 2009 (March) QR Passenger Load Survey was released, possible due to a Right to Information request by journalists. Only limited load information has since been released in the TransLink trackers. So why are TransLink (and QR in this case) keeping the numbers of passengers using each station a big secret? Are they scared about the public knowing about the effects that high fares and poor train services have on patronage?
  • TransLink Public Transport User Survey - This large scale survey took place in May 2010, and looked at public transport users travelling habits, such as modes of transport to get to the train station. Over a year later, and the results still haven't been announced. Were the need for feeder buses, and more car parking spaces untenable?
  • TransLink Tracker - This quarterly document seems to get published later and later after each quarter. The Q3 (January to March) 2010/11 TransLink Tracker is now long overdue. Maybe the figures are getting an extra long massage?
  • The 300,000ish Extra Seats - Last year TransLink claimed in their annual report that they met the promised extra seats. Unfortunately, this was a bit of lie, as the even their own published figures in the annual report showed that they were approx. 53,000 seats short on the 83,000 seats that had originally been promised for rail services. BrizCommuter would like to see an exact breakdown of where these promised extra seats have gone each year. 
  • Phase 2 Timetables - Now delayed to 2012, it would be nice if TransLink actually told commuters, since it is now well past the quoted on website "consultation in early 2011". 
  • Keperra to Ferny Grove duplication completion - It is now mid-2011, and the only published date for completion on QR's website is "2012". When in 2012? Early? Mid? Late? A few weeks before a State Election?
TransLink's lack of transparency is not helped by Queensland's Right to Information scheme that charges you $38 (plus extra potential processing costs) if you want to access unpublished information. Right to Information is free (within reason) in the UK. Commuters are becoming increasingly bemused with TransLink's continued lack of transparency and often disgraceful spin (such as claiming the last fare increases were for flood recovery). Given that SE Queensland commuters are paying some of the world's highest public transport fares, we expect more honesty, accountability, and openness from our public transport authority and service providers. 


  1. SEQ people don't realise how good they've got it. Try catching a suburban train in Townsville (sorry there is none). Try driving to Burketown in the wet season(sorry, this is not a bitumen road so good luck to you there). Take a look at how much money is spent on subsidising public transport services in the SE corner, then consider the fact that majority of the state's income is generated by mining towns outside of the SE corner (that have very limited state-funded infrastructure). Do the maths. Still frustrated?

  2. Do the maths on where the most people live...


All comments are reviewed before being published, and it may take a few days for comments to appear. If comments do not add to the conversation, or are just plain stupid, they will not be published.