Thursday, March 7, 2013

Go Network - a major change!

Less congestion at Cultural Centre?
The results of the SEQ Bus Network Review by TransLink has been announced, with significant changes to SE Queensland's bus network to improve system efficiency. With routes such as the 66 and 345 being chronically overcrowded since the return of University, improvements cannot come soon enough! The changes to the bus network are larger than most were expecting, and most of the news is very positive. Major changes include:

  • Frequent "Go Network" bus routes increased from 19 to 26, with at least 15 minute frequency between 7am and 7pm, 7 days/week. 
  • High frequency bus services for the first time to Centenary Suburbs (444 diverted to Mt Ommaney as #26 and #25 to Forest Lake), Webster Road (#10), Morningside (#13), and Albany Creek (#8). 
  • "Improvements" to existing services such as the 66 and 109 being combined into the #3 Uni Glider, and 199 being diverted via Ivory Street and being renamed #5.
  • High frequency rail feeder/connecting services such as #8 Albany Creek to Mitchelton and #25 Forest Lake to Mt Ommaney via Darra and Oxley. 
  • Consolidated/rationalised "Super Stop" CBD bus stops - at long last!
  • Less congestion through Cultural Centre.
  • Bus routes interchanging at both Indooroopilly train and bus stations.  
  • Possibility of bus priority at key locations.
  • Less duplication of routes, e.g 345 and peak P343 are now all one route #9 (which may reduce am peak overcrowding on the current 390 and 345 routes around Kelvin Grove). Routes 88,111, and 555 merge into route #20, which will make using the SE Busway less confusing.
There are of course a few points to made, and questions to be asked:
  • Timetables - until the actual timetables are available, it is difficult to assess the impact to many changes, particularly routes where service may be decreased, removed, or replaced. Timetables need to be issued far in advance of the changes, something that TransLink have a poor history of performing.
  • Evening frequency - will 15 minute evening frequency be maintained on existing or modified "Buz" routes, and included on new routes? BrizCommuter (as a shift worker) would be very disappointed to loose evening turn up and go services on high frequency corridors, or see considerable inconsistency between "Go Network" routes. 
  • Ferny Grove Line frequency - if the rail feeder #8 route from Mitchelton to Albany Creek runs every 15 minutes between 6am - 9pm, 7days/week, then is the Ferny Grove Line going to see 15 minute off-peak extended to weekends and weekends? It would stupid not to!
  • Doomben Line - will the #12 mean the death of the Doomben Line?
  • RBWH - are there any buses left that run between Fortitude Valley train station and RBWH counter-peak?
  • Reviews - TransLink have addressed the fact that they will review the network changes. But, is there sufficient budget and resources to make fast changes if required?
  • Finally - will outer route 444 commuters throw a big tantrum? (Update - yes, see below)
The changes are expected to be rolled out in stages between mid 2013 and late 2014. Hopefully the stage 2 train timetables will also be introduced in mid 2013 as well (as the Sandgate upgrade may be completed in August)! 

The full review is available on TransLink's website here:

Updates 11/03/2013 & 12/03/2013

The stage 3 consultation is available online until March 24th 2013 (this date may be extended):

Also, some 443/444 passengers are a bit upset over the removal of the direct link to the CBD. This is despite the fact that changing to the train at Indooropilly may actually be faster to get to the CBD (not mentioned by TransLink in the literature). Here is a survey:
And petition:


  1. BzC, I would like to make a long reply to this topic, but not keen on not getting any replies, which makes me think it was not worth it. So would be nice to know of at least getting one reply :)

    For a couple of small points, I wish they had included two further items for reference:

    1) A large pdf that showed all the new bus runs, so it is much easier to work out what has changed, where new connections points will be etc.
    2) The possibility to enter a suburb and get a run down of what has changed. For instance I live in Keperra and it looks like lots are changing. For me and where I live that is good, for those who live near Mungarie Street area, they are getting the rough end of the pineapple big time.

  2. Garvin - BrizCommuter would agree that all new bus routes needed to have been shown more clearly, rather than just the high frequency routes. The devil is in the detail!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. BzC==== RBWH - are there any buses left that run between Fortitude Valley train station and RBWH counter-peak?

    Garvin- I can not find any buses that run from RBH to Fortitude Valley and then on to the city. There is a local loop service that goes near the RBH, but that is from Herston Road to FV and then onto Kangaroo Point.

    I think they have missed one opportunity, which is to have a bus run direct from Strathpine, Brendale, Albany Creek and all the way direct down Old Northern Road. They have retained the big issue with the 359 route in that it takes a very scenic route. There are also no secondary options to avoid the scenic route.

    Of course the key issues with all these proposed routes are accurate timetabling, decent connections and enough trips per hour to make it worthwhile. Even on the current routes, if the timetabling was more accurate and more services provided, passenger frequency would be much higher.

    I am puzzled why the route 100 is being truncated when it is listed as one of its most popular routes and does cover areas that are not covered by other services on the whole.

    In regards to the 444, I am fairly certain the only time there will be large amount of complaints will be on the first day when those who want to go to the city suddenly find themselves heading to UQ, no matter how much advertising is done.

    Recently the 330 (Bracken Ridge to Cultural Centre) was changed to run via airport link. That was a great change and made the service much faster. Seems like they are going back to having it run along the busway. Why this change I have no idea. I think the three current services could have been reduced to two, keep the 330 and a combined 333/340 services, rather than what they are proposing.

    Not many buses seem to be going from King George Square to Cultural Centre anymore.

    Personally I am not happy that the 77 is being discontinued. A service not well promoted and was a real time saver going from Windsor to Buranda. Now it is a matter of joining the rat race having to go through the city.

  5. Karen - I think there will be a lot of route 444 users not happy with the changes. With the outer 444 route having many " upmarket" customers, BrizCommuter is expecting a lot of fuss. A half-decent frequency, especially in peak will be needed to avoid significantly longer commutes.

    Garvin - there is a lot of counter peak traffic from Fortitude Valley train station to RBWH. The new inner loop may lack sufficient frequency. As for Albany Creek, there will be peak expresses direct to the CBD. BrizCommuter does think that the #8 should be extended further than Albany Creek (at least into Eaton's Hill). But, will the Ferny Grove Line have it's span of 15 min frequency increased to match the #8's proposed frequency increase? 77 has too many alternative options - its demise is probably the ethical thing to do.

  6. Karen, what is also missing from the maps and plans is the Pre paid routes and the 'rocket' type services. So for the 444, they might be planning to send more 'rocket' services via the Western Freeway.

    As for travelling to GOMA direct, looks like that will be finished as all western buses are terminating at KGS or city, nothing going to Cultural Centre anymore.

    None of the rocket and prepaid routes are shown, so it is a wait and see on those. Hopefully they are not planning on eliminating the prepaid routes.

  7. Garvin - I think the 444 will just get replaced by a bus to Indro/UQ, no rockets or expresses. A change will be required to get to the CBD.

  8. The key thing not mentioned is that 444 users will have access to Indooroopilly station for the first time.

    From Indooroopilly, express trains to the CBD take 8 mins in peak. Compare this to the way the 444 takes 25 mins to reach the CBD in peak from Indro.

    If paasengers from Moggil accept having to interchange they will be rewarded with a faster trip overall.

    Food for thought....

  9. I always thought it was weird that Moggill had it's own BUZ route ahead of far more densley populated parts of Brisbane. Albany Creek is closer to Brisbane's CBD than Moggill and those people are going to have to change services as well. Also if the Ferny Grove line isn't running every 15mins people from Route 8 can still use Route 7 to get to the city (although I agree that the line should be running every 15mins at least from 7am to 7pm 7 days a week).

  10. They can make all the changes they like but unless they come hand in hand with infrastructure changes too it will have little effect. For the western suburbs there needs to be at least a Coronation Drive/Moggill Road T3 lane all the way to Indooroopilly, at best bring back the bus lane on Coronation Drive to Toowong (taken away by Campbell Newmans city administration). Indooroopilly interchange will not be able to handle the influx of passengers needing to transfer to another bus. Surely they have some development plans there?

  11. Still trying to work out if some of the maligned changes are good or not, and also just in general, but I feel it is just like the current bus network.

    It is all about the timetabling and connection times.

    I am surprised by one matter not mentioned on here so far. It seems like the system is being set up to have more touch on-touch offs. By increasing the number of transfers, surely that will add to fare box leakage, because it will make it easier for everyone to reach their fourth transfer in a journey.

  12. The main problem for me with the 444 change is _reduced frequency_. Even if its more convenient to take the train into the inner city, the bus is always packed to capacity during peak times. How is having an alternative run less often going to help with that?

  13. The reduction in frequency for the 444 replacement is a concern to many. It's a shame that TransLink did not provide a more accurate estimate of " reduced frequency" to expect. It leaves many in the dark.

  14. Further to Garvin's comment on pre-paid routes (10-Mar, 3:18pm), BC's link in the article ( shows a list of the affected routes, including the pre-paid routes.

    The routes are listed alphabetically, so the routes with just numbers come first, then the routes with letters - meaning that e.g. 454 is listed early, but its sister-service P455 is listed well down the list.

    And yes, the P455 is going away, replaced with the #26. No more sub-45 minute trips to the city during school holidays.

    Unless there's plans afoot to implement a bus lane on Moggill Rd... (Yeah, right...)

    Maybe I missed it, but I can't find any "estimated travel times" in the report. A shame really.

  15. 444- The time savings quoted in the paper I think are what a person sitting behind a computer with little knowledge of the area and realities of PT would come up with.

    They are trying to say it is faster to go into Indro Shoppingtown, then down to Indro station, get off the bus, get to correct train platform, touch on and then catch train- than to just have the bus continue from Indro shoppingtown to the city.

    Also, most people who are catching the current 444 would want to go into the city centre, not Central station, so going to Central station and having to walk down to the city centre adds to the travel time.

    And imagine this also when raining. And And what is there is another signal/points failure between Indro station and the city?

    This is also a comparison for peak travel, what about those who are travelling in off peak times?

    When I first saw all the changes I thought it was great seeing the number of changes and that this was a real change for the better.

    But without the timetables to see how frequent the services are and how the connection times are going to work, all we can go off are the proposed route and more and more I am not impressed. Some of the changes just do not make sense for speeding up the network.

  16. Another item that seems a mystery. Exists on both the current and proposed network.

    I wonder why no bus routes leave the South Busway after Griffith Uni and go to Klumpp Road? They all service Mains Road or the Uni, but no route goes to Klumpp.

    All the Klumpp road services use surface roads.

  17. I will take my second bag of sandrite thanks :)

    Translink website and Scott Emerson has confirmed that peak services for the 444 will be to the city.

    I suspect it is also from the city in peak flow, but nothing announced about counter flow peak services, or what has happened to the P443 service.

  18. what ever happened to this??

  19. Yeah, just a another political stunt done to try and win the votes from the people of Brisbane. They try and make these things sound really cool and exciting but they never actually intend on moving it from the 'planning' paper onto the streets of Brisbane. Rail Back on Track proposed a great bus network back in 2014 and the bloody self centred politicians (mainly BBC) are ignoring their throughly investigated network.

    Council honestly do not give an utter sh*t that their bus network has fallen to pieces. If they really cared about their city, they would have done something about it back in 2014, not just turned their backs just so Quirky can stay in Parliament.
    Quirky has been complaining about how congested the Cultural Centre Busway Station is for years now. The simple, no cost solution is to redesign the bus network. I am not exaggerating by saying it is a no cost solution: the bus network from RBoT is already to be implemented, all council need to do is to get off their sorry arses and collaborate with them to make it happen.

    But now good old Quirky wants to build a stupid metro that will achieve nothing other than turn Brisbane into a 3rd world city rather than a new world city (which may have possibly already happened). This ludicrous metro idea will cause gridlock throughout the CBD for the 6 years that it will take to build (and may I add, all of the years after completion too!!!)

    BCC really need to up their drastically game. They are selfish, money-centred f**kwits who don't care about the horrible bus network that us commuters have to put up in our daily routines.
    It's a real shame Quirky has too much hair in his ears to hear the screams and shouts of us Brisbane commuters...


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