Thursday, April 5, 2012

TransLink Tracker Q2 2011/12

TransLink have recently published their latest quarterly review of spin and statistics for Q2 2011/12.
The Tracker is available here:
Here is the usual BrizCommuter commentary:

Page 4 - Patronage has increased by a rather mediocre 1.6% in the last year, roughly in line with population growth, meaning that public transport patronage has not increased per capita. Despite some new high frequency bus routes, bus patronage remained static, not surprising when fare increases have made Brisbane's bus network the world's second most expensive. After many years of stagnation due to high fares, train patronage increased by nearly 6%. BrizCommuter thinks that some of this increase can be attributed to the more frequent peak timetables on the Ipswich, Richlands, Caboolture and Sunshine Coast Lines. Ferry patronage has been stagnant, most likely due to high fares scaring off tourists.

Page 5 - The tax payer subsidy increased over the last year, and the subsidy percentage has remained unchanged. Again, this shows that the now removed Labor government's fare policy failed to decrease tax payer subsidy. Unfortunately, things won't be much better under the LNP with fare increases still planned at twice the CPI for the next two years.

Page 6 - On time running has increased slightly for trains, and decreased slightly for buses. Missing from the TransLink tracker are statistics on the number of full buses which plague Brisbane's bus system.

Page 7 - The number of visits to TransLink's website has considerably increased, which can only be a good thing. The number of complaints has increased slightly, which is a surprise as complaining to TransLink is akin to talking a brick wall.

Page 8 - Go card use has increased to 80% over the last year, but compared to previous quarters is levelling off. More needs to be done by TransLink to coerce the other 20% to use the go card instead of paper tickets. Strangely, the utterly ridiculous price of paper tickets isn't deterring 1 in 5 public transport users.

Page 9 - The number of fixed fares has decreased to approx. 2%, partially due to the increased fixed fares reducing fare evasion attempts on longer distance journeys. However, the 2% figure is still very concerning as a reasonable percentage of these fixed fares are due to go card equipment failures. Thankfully the number of adjustments has also increased.

Page 11-13 - BrizCommuter general takes little notice of the customer satisfaction surveys, especially having never seen anyone actually being surveyed. Not surprisingly, the affordability rating has dived to an all time low.

Page 15 - Bus service kilometres increased by only 5.9%, and train service kilometres increased by only 6.4% in the last year. This is poor in comparison to the 15% fare rise, showing that public transport users are not getting value for money in terms of new services. There is also the odd statement, assumed to be referring to the new train services stating "additional services to be introduced in February 2012 will be partially captured in the Q3 figure for this financial year". It's now April, and there is still no sign of these additional train services. This seems to be rather misleading. Maybe they should have specified bus services?


  1. One additional point, related to page 4:

    Patronage on QR for the second half of 2011 was 12.78 million. Which was exceeded by Transperth trains (15.3 million.) And we're talking about a network in a smaller city, with half the number of railway lines and a fraction of the number of stations. Ouch!

    Another point of interest - Perth has seem a similar increase in their bus network, and a LARGER increase in patronage - as far as February was concerned (yes, Transperth publish month-by-month data, and publish it quite promptly as well!) at least. And this is even adjusting for the extra day in 2012. All with a CPI-limited fare raise. Most likely this will lead to the desired increase in cost recovery ratios that the QLD government seem to want. Perhaps TransLink and the government should investigate this type of 'outside the box' thinking?

  2. Hi Brizcommuter, have you heard about the new, guaranteed to be air-carrying maroon CityGlider? Might be worth writing about.

    Interestingly, my family wrote to the council asking for one more morning service as the services are currently full. Council directed us to use transport in our 'catchment area' - some of which was at least a half-hour walk away!

  3. Obviously nobody with any idea of what TransLink are doing (or not doing) proof read page 15!

  4. smoothsilver - BrizCommuter has already run a blog post about the pointless Maroon CityGlider, entitled Sillyglider.

  5. With some of the statistics published by Translink I do think you need to be careful and look further into the basis of those. For example, what constitutes a train running 'on time'? 3 minutes, 5 minutes after scheduled departure, was this the same basis they used last time or have they altered the criteria. Stats can often be portrayed in any light that suits the authors purpose. I am not suggesting the report is unreliable, only that figures need to be considered within the conext they were obtained


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