Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Slasher Newman to review bus network

In another welcome common sense move by the LNP government, Campbell Newman's government will review SE Queensland's bus network to "improve service reliability, affordability, and frequency". The full statement from Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson is here:

The statement claims to look at the following areas - commentary by BrizCommuter provided for each point:

  • Eliminating service duplication - is this referring to duplication with other bus or train services? BrizCommuter would like the network to be redesigned to a trunk and feeder network, rather than an "everything goes to the CBD" spoke network. Less frequent local feeder routes should connect with high frequency core routes along busways and main roads. Lets hope that Brisbane City Council's massively duplicating Maroon CityGlider is dropped otherwise this exercise would be a farce.  
  • Managing Cultural Centre congestion - Cultural Centre is now at its maximum capacity without further infrastructure modifications. Only high frequency trunk routes, and routes with high average loadings should be routed via Cultural Centre. Combining some Northern Busway and SE Busway routes may be a potential option, but reliability of resulting longer routes may be questionable. 
  • Simplifying the network - Common CBD stop locations serving each corridor, and a trunk and feeder network would help here. Multiple routes along corridors with minor route variations also need to be reviewed. 
  • Better connectivity between services and modes - Trunk routes for connections should be at least every 15 minutes. Thus, this idea falls apart when connecting with Brisbane's infrequent train network. There is nothing worse than missing a connection due to a late running bus, and then having to wait 30 minutes for the next train! The frequency of Brisbane's inner-suburban train network needs to be urgently upgraded to 7 days/week 15 minutes off-peak frequency. 
  • Redirect resources to routes where there is overcrowding - This is common sense, as priorities should be given to bus routes where demand outstrips supply, as opposed to bus routes where supply is far in excess of demand. However latent demand (i.e. increasing frequency of low frequency routes to significantly increase demand) needs to be taken into account as well.
TransLink have been given 6 months for this review. With SE Queensland's bus network being such a mess, BrizCommuter doubts that 6 months is enough to even scratch the surface. Will this review just be a quick fix to save money for the new LNP government, rather than the massive overhaul of Brisbane's bus network that is urgently required? As a final note, if any low patronage routes are to have services cut, then there needs to be adequate community consultation first.

Update 31/06/2012

Slasher Newman has now slashed TransLink, which is merging with Department of Transport and Main Roads with many job losses. Whilst BrizCommuter does not wish anyone out of a job, will those accountable for TransLink's long list of incompetency and mediocrity end up on gardening leave? If what has happened in other Queensland Government departments is anything to go by, the deadwood may still remain, whilst the talent is lost.

Something also needs to be done to improve the gross inefficiencies arising from Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Transport. But is the LNP government looking after their council mates?


  1. Hi, I recently visited Brisbane this past weekend over 4 days, and coming from Melbourne, where a 2 hour zone 1 Myki fare is $3.28 which gives you unlimited train, tram and bus travel for up to 2 hours 59 mins (based on rouding to the nearest hour) or $6.56 for unlimited daily travel. Or I pay $32.80 for unlimited train, tram and bus travel for 7 days.

    Anyways I could not believe how expensive Brisbane travel was, a bus from the CBD one way to Holland Park I was charged $6.80!!! A 1 stop journey from Central to Fortitude Valley I was charged $4.50! Or $9.00 return! They do not offer daily tickets or even return tickets, or even weekly, monthly or yearly tickets, plus that ticket is only valid on that form of transport (I know go cards work everywhere but as a tourist it doesn't help).

    My cousin who lives in Holland Park which is not far from the CBD says he pays upwards of $70 a week just for 2 bus journeys a day, thats unacceptable, Public transport is there to service the transport needs of the public, but in Brisbane, it's actually cheaper to drive, pay petrol and tolls and park in the city than it is to catch public transport. It's insane, how can Brisbane even justify this, considering Melbourne has the worlds largest tram network, has 16 rail lines and a multitude of bus lines, yet has such cheap cost effective transport that is frequent, affordable and reliable.

    Brisbane is a great city, but as a tourist, paying so much for a sparse rail network that doesn't cover much of Brisbane, or busses that take so long to get anywhere, it's not very attractive as a destination.

  2. Metthew Tilla, you are incorrect on the point about single paper tickets being valid only on that form of transport. That only applies to tickets to/from the Airport.

    As for your point about $70/week for 10 journeys per week to Holland Park, your cousin sounds like a real luddite who deserves it. What is so hard about buying a Go Card? That would bring it down to $47.70/week if in peak or $38.20 off peak.

    Being from Melbourne, you aren't in a position to bag out the lack of a product for Tourists. At least Brisbane actually offers an alternative to the smart card, you are phasing out the alternatives.

    If you had bought a Go Card with cash when you arrived in Brisbane, you would have been able to get a full refund of your go card when you left. Try that with myki!

  3. Hope there are some changes introduced by Newman for the betterment of course!


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