Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Auck-ward for Brisbane!

New trains for Auckland
Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and with a population of 1.5m, is less populous than Brisbane's 2.15m population (note: SE Queensland urban conurbation is 3m).

Auckland is well known for currently having the worst train system in Oceania, although Adelaide, Brisbane, and Wellington give it a run for it's money. However, this is all about to change. The electrification of Auckland's rail system is now underway, and the plans (for 2015/16) are impressive. The 3 main rail lines (Southern, Eastern, and Western) will be served by trains every 10 minutes on weekday daytime off-peak, every 15 minutes on weekday evenings, every 10-15 minutes on weekend daytime, and every 15-30 minutes on weekend evenings. Frequencies will be higher at stations served by multiple lines. The short 2 station Onehunga Line will have frequencies between 20-60 minutes, and the outer suburban un-electrified Pukekohe line will be served every 30-60 minutes.

Back in Brisbane, there have been no plans announced for further roll out of 15 minute service frequencies. The only line (Ferny Grove) with a 4tph service is limited to higher frequencies between 9am-3am on weekdays. Without significant improvements by 2016, Brisbane is likely have a vastly inferior train service to it's lesser populated neighbour across "the ditch". How Auck-ward!  (Sorry, abysmal pun). Sadly, from 2013 even Adelaide will have a high frequency off-peak train service at more stations than Brisbane.

It is not just Auckland's train system that is being improved. There are plans to significantly improve the bus network as well with an extensive high frequency network. The map is downloadable here.
In the mean time, Brisbane is undergoing a bus network review, but BrizCommuter has little faith that anything more than a half-baked money saving network review will be performed. So by 2016, Auckland may also have a more extensive high frequency bus network than Brisbane as well a more frequent train network.

It is time for Brisbane's car obsessed politicians to start playing public transport catch up if they don't want Brisbane's liveability to further wane, and for road congestion and road trauma to increase yet further. It is possible that Brisbane's over-priced and infrequent public transport system may well be damaging SE Queensland's attractiveness to both businesses and tourists.

A few other related posts from other bloggers:
The Urbanist
Transport Blog NZ
Human Transit

1 comment:

  1. Gets worse:


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