Wednesday, December 23, 2015

QR's Christmas Unpleasant

18 minutes is longer than 15 minutes TransLink!
For some, Christmas Eve, and the working days between Christmas and New Year (in this case Tue 29th, Wed 30th, Thu 31st) are normal working days. Unfortunately, Queensland Rail don't seem to agree, severely reducing the peak service by 50 to 66% on some lines, and making some express trains all stations. Now, this is understandable given that the number of commuters have probably reduced by more than this figure. However BrizCommuter has observed that QR have failed to properly inform commuters of these changes, with the likely effect that there will be quite a few unsuspecting commuters late for work on these days. BrizCommuter has heard no on train announcements, nor any at station announcements. Only the poster at the station that alluded to a "special timetable" and on TransLink's website which most of the affected commuters have probably not seen. BrizCommuter recommends that if QR try this timetable chopping next year, they need to:

  • Announce on every peak service, that the peak service will be reduced (e.g. on xx days, the Springfield Line will run an am peak service every 12-18 minutes instead of every 6 minutes)
  • Announce at stations the service changes that will be made before each train arrives (e.g. on xx days, the next service will not run, please catch the xx train or xx train instead). 
BrizCommuter will be turning up for his usual train service (removed from the timetable) tomorrow just to observe how many people were unaware of this service removal.

Sunshine Coast commuters are particularly annoyed with the Caboolture to Petrie closure starting at 2am on Christmas Eve, which as previously mentioned is a working day for many (including healthcare and some government sectors). This appears to be times so that trains are running for New Years Eve, which appears to have been deemed more important! The essential engineering work is related to the Moreton Bay Rail Link and North Pine River crossing replacement. Amusingly, a Sunshine Coast commuter was observed telling other commuters this morning that "if you all complain, QR will cancel the engineering works". Ha, ha, ha. QR are not going cancel long planned engineering works costing tens of millions due to a few last minute complaints!

Update 24/12/15
BrizCommuter actually heard an announcement this morning about the service changes, and saw a big advert on one of the newfangled LED displays at Fortitude Valley. A bit late QR, as BrizCommuter was on a train after a service that was removed from the timetable! Also, TransLink are still charging peak fares, even though the peak train service is rather similar to an off-peak service. Fraud?

Merry Christmas to all commuters.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

BrizCommuter Park

Congratulations to Rail Back on Track founder Robert Dow who has had a park named after him in Goodna. If it wasn't for the effort put in by Mr Dow, then SE Queensland's public transport system would be even more of a basket case, and the Springfield Line probably be single track. 

Now, as Brisbane's second (maybe third) biggest whinger, BrizCommuter is going to campaign to have a park named after him as well. The park will of course be themed after Brisbane's public transport system. Here a list of attractions in the proposed BrizCommuter Park:
  • Spiral slide of transport failure - in this fun attraction, kids can slide down in a giant spiral of doom, a bit like SE Queensland's transport policy. 
  • Never ending roundabout - just like Cross River Rail's planning process, this ride just keeps going around in circles. Sick bags available upon exit. 
  • Newman's BaT Tunnel - part of the fairytale fantasy forest section of the park, which is full of fairies, intelligent politicians, and other imaginary creatures.
  • Cycleway of disconnectivity - here kids can ride around on their bikes and scooters along a cycleway. However, there are extra hazards along the way, such as the cycleway being interrupted by 10 lane highways, stormwater drains, and rubble. 
  • Quirky bus jam ride - ride around a track in one the 10 Brisbane City Council buses. (Note: you'll wait for ages and then all 10 buses will arrive at the same time). 
  • Train ride of patience - only runs every 30 minutes, and hourly on Sunday mornings. 
Newman's BaT Tunnel attraction
Just to make sure no one uses BrizCommuter Park, an exorbitant entrance fee will be charged. Sounds familiar?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Drive to Transport Failure

Just when you didn't think that transport policy in Brisbane could be any worse, it gets worse. The LNP Brisbane City Council have just announced that a contract has been signed on the rather unnecessary $650m upgrade of Kingsford Smith Drive. With the ALP threatening to scrap the project if they won the 2016 council elections, it had been thought that this project would have been delayed until after the election. However, Quirk and Co have decided to thrown away up to $650m anyway.

So why is this project a waste of $650m? Well, for starters the recently built Airport Link toll tunnel has taken quite a bit of airport to CBD (and beyond) traffic off Kingsford Smith Drive. Airport Link is now a considerably faster way of getting to the Airport.

Secondly, there has been no consideration for half-decent public transport to the Northshore Hamilton development which due to typical Brisbane transport failure will end up being heavily car reliant. For the same cost as widening Kingsford Smith drive, the existing and currently under-used Doomben Line could have been extended via a viaduct along an existing rail corridor (shown above) into the heart of the huge Northshore Hamilton development. A partial duplication of the Doomben Line, for which provision was carried out in the 1950s, would allow a 15 minute train service. Sadly, this transport corridor between Doomben and Northshore Hamilton has just been decommissioned and is expected to have to rails ripped up very soon. The passing loop at Ascot on the Doomben Line is also expected to be ripped up soon.

So instead of a "no brainer" one stop extension of rail into Northshore Hamilton, we will be seeing a  continuation towards car centric transport failure in Brisbane.

News source:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Pity Glider

It appears that Brisbane's flagship politically motivated bus route, the City Glider (AKA route 60), has gone downhill recently since a timetable change. Not that customers would know there has been a timetable change, as a timetable with actual times is not printed. A Rail Back on Track member has produced a collage of some of the social media posts from disgruntled City Glider commuters. 

Source: Rail Back on Track member "Gazza"
These speak for themselves, so there isn't much need for BrizCommuter commentary. By the way, the City Glider wears a crash helmet in its logo, to stop it from banging its head against a wall over Brisbane City Council's diabolical bus network. Sort it out please Mr Quirk!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

QR Christmas Party Poopers (Again)

Christmas has many traditions - Santa, Carol Singers, Tacky Lights, Nativity Scenes, oh, and QR stuffing up Brisbanites transport home from Christmas parties yet again.

At the time of year when lots of pissed office workers want to get home from Christmas parties, QR have spoilt the fun with the following track closures:

  • 2nd Dec - Roma Street to Bowen Hills and Albion
  • 6th Dec - Corinda to Redbank and Springfield
  • 7th and 8th Dec - Kingston to Varsity Lakes
  • 9th Dec - Roma Street to Northgate and Ferny Grove
  • 11th, 12th, and 13th Dec - Park Road to Varsity Lakes
  • 14th and 15th Dec - Northgate to Caboolture
  • 19th and 20th Dec - Bowen Hills to Northgate
It should be noted that most other first world cities either have very limited or no track closures in December. No wonder there are so many drink drive incidents in SE Queensland around this time of year! 

WTF ??