Friday, June 1, 2012

Will the Inner Northern Busway overcrowding be solved?

Busway overcrowding at QUT Kelvin Grove
With the opening of the Northern Busway from Windsor to Kedron on the 18th of June, there will be significant service alterations including:
  • Routes 330 and 340 will be turned into high frequency bus routes. 
  • Route 340 will be diverted away from Cultural Centre, travelling via the Captain Cook Bridge to Wooloongabba instead. 
  • The 393 will be cut back from Normanby to Roma Street. 
It should be noted that the 393 service used to be very busy until it was cut back from Roma Street to Normanby in 2008, resulting in the bus mainly carrying air instead of passengers. However, the 393 can sometimes be useful in that it picks up outbound passengers at Normanby who  keep being bypassed by full buses in the am peak. 

Will the Northern Busway changes solve the often unacceptable overcrowding that occurs on the Inner Northern Busway between Roma Street and QUT Kelvin Grove in the counter-peak direction?BrizCommuter has taken a look at the number of bus services that will serve the Inner Northern Busway between Roma Street and QUT under the old and new timetables:

Roma Street to QUT Kelvin Grove (departures between 7:30 and 8:29am)
Old timetable - 21 buses* (route 66 x 12, route 330 x 2, route 333 x 6, route 340 x 1)
New timetable - 24 buses (route 66 x 12, route 330 x 4, route 333 x 4, route 340 x 4)
14% increase in services.

QUT Kelvin Grove to Roma Street (departures between 4:00 and 4:59pm)
Old timetable - 23 buses* (route 66 x 12, route 330 x 4, route 333 x 5, route 340 x 2)
New timetable - 25 buses (route 66 x 12, route 330 x 4, route 333 x 5, route 340 x 4)
9% increase in services. 

* denotes 3 additional route 393 services provided between Normanby and QUT Kelvin Grove. 
Note: 6 less route 66 buses operate outside of University semester time in all above scenarios.

The results show that in the am peak there will only be a 14% increase in services, and in the pm peak there will only be a 9% increase in services. With reports of passengers waiting 30 minutes to be able to board a bus that is not full at Roma Street in the am peak, and passengers being left behind by consecutive buses at QUT in the pm peak, this service improvement is unlikely to reduce the Inner Northern Busway overcrowding. An expected increase in patronage along the route of the enhanced 330 and 340 services may quite easily eat into this small capacity increase, resulting in even worse overcrowding.  If you take into account the 393 which was usually almost empty, then there is no bus frequency improvement between Normanby and RBWH in the am peak, and a decrease in bus frequency in the pm peak!

Sadly, it appears that TransLink have yet again ignored the counter-peak direction overcrowding issues on the Inner Northern Busway. 


  1. There needs to be more route 66 buses. I couldn't get onto 4 route 66 buses in a row earlier this semester, and the 330, 333, and 340 often just drove on past!

  2. They have said higher capacity buses will be used more regularly on 66 services - so, if any 12.5m rigids are replaced with artics or 14.5m tag buses, that may lead to some additional pressure being relieved in the short term. The greatest problem is getting them to acknowledge that people might actually want to travel against the peak flow in large numbers - the concept seems lost on them.

  3. 331, 330 and 341 were meant to use the airport link tunnel when it opened. they went down the bus way this morning though.


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