|The 2032 Olympics will be very spread out|
The current plans are here:
What transport improvements are planned?
- Brisbane Metro - this Bus Rapid Transit "Not a Metro" system is already under construction, with the Grey St/Melbourne St intersection grade-separation sadly dropped.
- Cross River Rail - already under construction, with limited system-wide benefits due to poor network integration.
- G:Link phase 3 - already under construction.
- Eastern Transitway - read "bus lanes".
- Beerburrum to Nambour duplication - the only pleasant surprise here.
- Coomera Connector - another road upgrade to make up for lacking public transport.
- M1 upgrades - another road upgrade to make up for lacking public transport.
- Bruce Highway upgrade - another road upgrade to make up for lacking public transport.
So despite there being "zero car access" to venues, many of the stated public transport infrastructure improvements are road upgrades that parallel inadequate public transport corridors (Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast railway lines). Based on the above information, it looks like the 2032 Olympics could suffer from:
- Heavy reliance on buses for venue access, which was disastrous at times during the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with waits of up to 2 hours after events.
- A repeat (from the 2018 Commonwealth Games) of the Beenleigh Line, and additionally inner-Caboolture/Redcliffe Line services being axed to allow for fast Brisbane to Gold Coast and Brisbane to Sunshine Coast services.
- A repeat (from the 2018 Commonwealth Games) of many suburban train lines having a reduced train service to allow for frequency increases on other parts of the network due to lack of trains and drivers.
- Inadequate train frequencies, or even no heavy rail access to/from Olympic Zones, venues, and Olympic villages.
- Some Olympic venues and villages are a very long distance from high frequency public transport.
So what additional public transport projects are required, that would enable an efficient and environmentally responsible Olympics, as well having a useful ongoing legacy for SE Queensland commuters?
High priority requirements:
- Beenleigh/Gold Coast Train Line Upgrade - track amplifications to allow for a >8tph bi-directional train service between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, without having the axe the Beenleigh Line service. This would have an important ongoing legacy in connecting Brisbane to the Gold Coast.
- North West Transportation Corridor Train Line - this would allow for a >8tph bi-directional train service between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, without having to axe inner Caboolture/Redcliffe Line services. This would have an ongoing legacy for fast Brisbane to Sunshine Coast rail, plus adding multiple new train stations in Brisbane Northern suburbs.
- Salisbury to Beaudesert Train Line - this already proposed line, enabled by Cross River Rail would allow for up to 6tph (limited by the Dutton Park to Salisbury 3 track section) to run to/from Beaudesert for bus connections to the Wyralong venue and Kooralbyn Olympic Village.
- Doomben Line Extension to Hamilton Northshore - this would allow for a train service to the Olympic Village, and on-going benefits of a 4tph service.
- Cleveland Line Duplication - this much required duplication would allow for higher frequency train services to access events in Manly, plus bus connections to Redlands Whitewater Centre.
- Sunshine Coast Line to Maroochydore - this much needed line would allow for a train service serving the Sunshine Coast Olympic Zone, and huge ongoing benefits of fast rail between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
- Level Crossing Removals - a significant number of level crossing upgrades are required to support public transport frequencies required for the 2032 Olympics and ongoing public transport.
- More Trains and Drivers - there needs to be enough trains and drivers to operate both enhanced Olympic train services, as well as maintain the frequency of connecting train services throughout SE Queensland.
Lower priority requirements:
- Gold Coast Line Extension to Gold Coast Airport
- G:Link Extension to Gold Coast Airport and Coolangatta
- Regional Rail between Brisbane and Toowoomba
The 2032 Olympics is a fantastic opportunity to transform SE Queensland with an improved public transport legacy. The current plans are the polar opposite. Failure to deliver, will cause transport woes and car reliance for decades to come.