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Author Topic: 26 Oct 2010: SEQ: Brisbane Transport buses and ferries ripe for state takeover  (Read 6569 times)

Offline ozbob

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Media release 26 October 2010

SEQ: Brisbane Transport buses and ferries ripe for state takeover

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters calls for a public sector takeover of all of Brisbane Transport Bus and Ferry operations.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"The Brisbane City Council has done a great job; historically running the tram and bus system over the years and developing the river ferry network and moving forward with bus rapid transit and CityCycle."

Rail Back on Track is deeply concerned about the constant disputes between local and state government and transport agencies which are distracting from Brisbane's real public transport issues(1)(2):

* The need for more bus rapid transit routes to improve the BUZ network
* The construction of the essential Cross River Rail which will unlock the rail revolution
* The proper physical integration of buses with rail
* The proper funding of public transport including light rail for the replacement of high demand bus routes.

"Good practice demands clear lines of accountability and responsibility. This public transport task is becoming a financial burden on the Brisbane City Council (3)."

"The roles of funder, operator and advocate should be separate things. At the moment the Brisbane City Council is in practice effectively all three."

"A public takeover of Brisbane Transport would decisively and singularly place the responsibility, accountability, planning and funding for public transport squarely and inescapably with the Transport Minister through the TransLink Transit Authority."

"Brisbane is the engine room of the state economy, if the transport system falters, businesses and the state will suffer."

"Brisbane has grown beyond the boundaries it had during the time of trams, trolley buses and steam trains. The bus operations are straining the Brisbane City Council. The continuation of this situation will ultimately be good for nobody. The constant griping about inequitable rate payer commitments to public transport just further highlights how the present Brisbane Transport model is anachronistic."

"Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's offer to allow the state to run Brisbane's buses and ferries is one that should be immediately taken up (4)."

References:

1. City residents left high and dry as buses fly by
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/city-residents-left-high-and-dry-as-buses-fly-by-20100311-q17k.html

2. Catching a Brisbane bus is pure luck as record numbers of passengers left stranded
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/catching-a-brisbane-bus-is-a-matter-of-luck/story-e6freon6-12258596468151.

3. Bus boom causes council staff crunch
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/bus-boom-causes-council-staff-crunch-20100914-15atl.html

4. Lord Mayor Campbell Newman wants State Government to run buses
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/campbell-newman-wants-state-government-to-run-buses/story-e6freoof-1225839337936

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
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Offline ozbob

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Related earlier release:

Quote
Media Release 16 July 2010

SEQ: Public takeover of Brisbane Transport buses and ferries

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has called for a public sector takeover of all of Brisbane Transport Bus and Ferry operations. Brisbane City Council has done a great job; historically running the tram and bus system over the years and developing the river ferry network and moving forward with bus rapid transit.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"The Queensland Government already owns Brisbane City Council's buses and ferries through the Queensland Treasury Corporation. It regulates them through TransLink and subsidises them. RAIL Back on Track calls on the Queensland Government to take the final step and formally take control over Brisbane's buses and ferries from the Brisbane City Council.

"Doing so will make running and funding services to destinations outside Brisbane City Council's boundaries less contentious and give Translink the flexibility to plan and quickly adjust routes around South-East Queensland's broader needs. The removal of an extra layer of government, improved accountability and transparency will also be welcomed by the community.

"RAIL Back on Track members believe services should be planned around community transport needs not arbitrary local government boundaries, and that the state government, through TransLink, is now best positioned to do this. There will also be more opportunities to integrate Brisbane Transport buses with rail stations under this scheme, and allow private operators to use bus stops in King George Square and the Queen Street bus station.

"Precedents for state ownership and operation exist, both in Australia and abroad, such as the Toronto Transit Commission in Canada, which operates the bus, subway and tram system or Western Australia's TransPerth which operates trains. Services could also be contracted out if this is demonstrated to be better than public operation. Amendments to the Transport Operations (TransLink Transit Authority) Act 2008 would allow integrated public ownership and operation to happen.

"Brisbane has grown beyond the boundaries it had during the time of trams, trolley buses and steam trains. Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's offer to allow the state to run Brisbane's buses and ferries is one that should be taken up and considered seriously (1)."

Reference:

1. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/campbell-newman-wants-state-government-to-run-buses/story-e6freoof-1225839337936

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
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Offline ozbob

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Sent to all outlets:

26th October 2010

Greetings,

The public has had enough of the games.  It is time to move forward with a proper public transport system, with go card ticketing that is designed to maximise the use and return from public transport.  Please move forward from the present mediocrity.

Best wishes
Robert

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org

======================

Related earlier release:

Quote

Media Release 16 July 2010

SEQ: Public takeover of Brisbane Transport buses and ferries

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has called for a public sector takeover of all of Brisbane Transport Bus and Ferry operations. Brisbane City Council has done a great job; historically running the tram and bus system over the years and developing the river ferry network and moving forward with bus rapid transit.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"The Queensland Government already owns Brisbane City Council's buses and ferries through the Queensland Treasury Corporation. It regulates them through TransLink and subsidises them. RAIL Back on Track calls on the Queensland Government to take the final step and formally take control over Brisbane's buses and ferries from the Brisbane City Council.

"Doing so will make running and funding services to destinations outside Brisbane City Council's boundaries less contentious and give Translink the flexibility to plan and quickly adjust routes around South-East Queensland's broader needs. The removal of an extra layer of government, improved accountability and transparency will also be welcomed by the community.

"RAIL Back on Track members believe services should be planned around community transport needs not arbitrary local government boundaries, and that the state government, through TransLink, is now best positioned to do this. There will also be more opportunities to integrate Brisbane Transport buses with rail stations under this scheme, and allow private operators to use bus stops in King George Square and the Queen Street bus station.

"Precedents for state ownership and operation exist, both in Australia and abroad, such as the Toronto Transit Commission in Canada, which operates the bus, subway and tram system or Western Australia's TransPerth which operates trains. Services could also be contracted out if this is demonstrated to be better than public operation. Amendments to the Transport Operations (TransLink Transit Authority) Act 2008 would allow integrated public ownership and operation to happen.

"Brisbane has grown beyond the boundaries it had during the time of trams, trolley buses and steam trains. Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's offer to allow the state to run Brisbane's buses and ferries is one that should be taken up and considered seriously (1)."

Reference:

1. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/campbell-newman-wants-state-government-to-run-buses/story-e6freoof-1225839337936

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org

Quote
Media release 26 October 2010

SEQ: Brisbane Transport buses and ferries ripe for state takeover

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters calls for a public sector takeover of all of Brisbane Transport Bus and Ferry operations.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"The Brisbane City Council has done a great job; historically running the tram and bus system over the years and developing the river ferry network and moving forward with bus rapid transit and CityCycle."

Rail Back on Track is deeply concerned about the constant disputes between local and state government and transport agencies which are distracting from Brisbane's real public transport issues(1)(2):

 * The need for more bus rapid transit routes to improve the BUZ network
 * The construction of the essential Cross River Rail which will unlock the rail revolution
 * The proper physical integration of buses with rail
 * The proper funding of public transport including light rail for the replacement of high demand bus routes.

 "Good practice demands clear lines of accountability and responsibility. This public transport task is becoming a financial burden on the Brisbane City Council (3)."

 "The roles of funder, operator and advocate should be separate things. At the moment the Brisbane City Council is in practice effectively all three."

 "A public takeover of Brisbane Transport would decisively and singularly place the responsibility, accountability, planning and funding for public transport squarely and inescapably with the Transport Minister through the TransLink Transit Authority."

 "Brisbane is the engine room of the state economy, if the transport system falters, businesses and the state will suffer."

 "Brisbane has grown beyond the boundaries it had during the time of trams, trolley buses and steam trains. The bus operations are straining the Brisbane City Council. The continuation of this situation will ultimately be good for nobody. The constant griping about inequitable rate payer commitments to public transport just further highlights how the present Brisbane Transport model is anachronistic."

 "Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's offer to allow the state to run Brisbane's buses and ferries is one that should be immediately taken up (4)."

 References:

 1. City residents left high and dry as buses fly by
 http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/city-residents-left-high-and-dry-as-buses-fly-by-20100311-q17k.html

 2. Catching a Brisbane bus is pure luck as record numbers of passengers left stranded
 http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/catching-a-brisbane-bus-is-a-matter-of-luck/story-e6freon6-12258596468151.

 3. Bus boom causes council staff crunch
 http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/bus-boom-causes-council-staff-crunch-20100914-15atl.html

 4. Lord Mayor Campbell Newman wants State Government to run buses
 http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/campbell-newman-wants-state-government-to-run-buses/story-e6freoof-1225839337936

 Contact:

 Robert Dow
 Administration
 admin@backontrack.org

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Offline #Metro

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If this trend continues, IMHO Brisbane City Council will be composed mainly of bus operators, and the transport operations will cannibalise the funding and staff from BCCs core business. According to media reports, it already is. At $384 per rateable property, that's a huge burden, the highest in Queensland AIUI.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 03:07:15 PM by tramtrain »
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"Good practice demands clear lines of accountability and responsibility. This public transport task is becoming a financial burden on the Brisbane City Council (3)."

"The roles of funder, operator and advocate should be separate things. At the moment the Brisbane City Council is in practice effectively all three."

"A public takeover of Brisbane Transport would decisively and singularly place the responsibility, accountability, planning and funding for public transport squarely and inescapably with the Transport Minister through the TransLink Transit Authority."

"Brisbane is the engine room of the state economy, if the transport system falters, businesses and the state will suffer."

"Brisbane has grown beyond the boundaries it had during the time of trams, trolley buses and steam trains. The bus operations are straining the Brisbane City Council. The continuation of this situation will ultimately be good for nobody. The constant griping about inequitable rate payer commitments to public transport just further highlights how the present Brisbane Transport model is anachronistic."

"Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's offer to allow the state to run Brisbane's buses and ferries is one that should be immediately taken up (4)."


If BCC can't fund it's buses and ferries, that means Brisbane ratepayers can't afford it. What's the Queensland government going to do, take money from other council regions and give it to BCC? If Queensland's "economic engine room" can't afford to run its buses and ferries, how can other regions pay for it? Taking money from other council regions will economically disadvantage them.

Or maybe BCC can afford to run it's own transport but the usual government incompetence, which groups like RBOT complain about the most. In that case, kicking it upstairs to another government won't fix the problem, since there is the same corruption and incompetence there. Remember? Anna Bligh is still Premier and her own former supporters hate her the most.

The state already does run the BCC buses through Translink. If I make an enquiry or complaint to BCC, they tell me to telephone Translink. The ticketing system for the buses belongs to Translink. The Translink logo is all over the BCC bus service.

If the state is made the funder and operator, how does that make it more accountable? So what if BCC is the advocate? Of course it is the advocate, but the state will have all the power and BCC will have none. At state level, management of the buses will be more distant from the users than if at local level. Transferring all regional council services to state control would put more power into fewer hands, which makes the recipients less accountable.

Offline #Metro

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Quote
If BCC can't fund it's buses and ferries, that means Brisbane ratepayers can't afford it. What's the Queensland government going to do, take money from other council regions and give it to BCC? If Queensland's "economic engine room" can't afford to run its buses and ferries, how can other regions pay for it? Taking money from other council regions will economically disadvantage them.

I don't believe there is credibility to this theory. Every other State in Australia does it this way. And every state government that has failed on PT has been given the boot or will soon feel it! The fact is that businesses need to get their workers to work on time, their employees happen to favour living in cities with good public transport and therefore businesses like to locate in places with good PT.

Many head offices are based in Brisbane. Mining companies like Santos, Virgin Blue, all sorts of industries. If these people can't get to work on time because of some silly and ancient funding arrangement, that is a loss to the entire state. If businesses turn their nose up at opening their operations in Brisbane because of bad city amenities and services such as PT, that is a loss to the entire state.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 10:41:14 PM by tramtrain »
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Offline #Metro

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It is easy to see what effect bad PT has on a city.
Look at any city that has a transport strike where PT services are suddenly withdrawn. Huge economic and personal costs.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/09/07/15271891.html#/news/world/2010/09/07/pf-15264566.html

Quote
LONDON - Millions of commuters across the British capital struggled to get to work on Tuesday as a 24-hour strike by workers on London’s underground rail system crippled much of the network, hurting the city’s convalescent economy.

Quote
The London Chamber of Commerce estimates each day the underground is shut will cost the capital’s economy 48 million pounds ($73.7 million).

Without good PT, the city will not function. Customers cannot connect with businesses, and the economy is threatened.
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Offline #Metro

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The nonsense continues. Buses are full full full. Levels of government are squabbling while the transport system
creaks and groans. Do they not realise the sheer folly of playing brinkmanship with Brisbane's PT supply?

Quote
Heavyweight showdown: why Bligh and Newman are locking horns
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/heavyweight-showdown-why-bligh-and-newman-are-locking-horns-20101029-177dw.html
Public Transport

Brisbane City Council as recently as last Tuesday publicly challenged Translink to take over the running of buses, the same way it runs the state's trains.

It has happened before.

However it is unlikely to eventuate because council receives good publicity and has done well in promoting the bus fleet to make it more responsive to commuters.

In reality, most decisions have to be made between council and Translink, but many of the route initiatives - like the popular CityGlider - come from council.

The funds for the new buses are shared between state and local councils - and despite some grumbling the state is paying an increasing share.

Brisbane wants neighbouring councils to contribute more to its bus fleet because people from outside the city use the service, but it is Brisbane ratepayers who subsidise it.

There is also an $8.2 million argument about who - the council or government - should pay to bring the Queen Street Bus Station up to scratch.

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Offline ozbob

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 ::)

Oh dear ...
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Quote
If BCC can't fund it's buses and ferries, that means Brisbane ratepayers can't afford it. What's the Queensland government going to do, take money from other council regions and give it to BCC? If Queensland's "economic engine room" can't afford to run its buses and ferries, how can other regions pay for it? Taking money from other council regions will economically disadvantage them.

I don't believe there is credibility to this theory. Every other State in Australia does it this way. And every state government that has failed on PT has been given the boot or will soon feel it! The fact is that businesses need to get their workers to work on time, their employees happen to favour living in cities with good public transport and therefore businesses like to locate in places with good PT.

Many head offices are based in Brisbane. Mining companies like Santos, Virgin Blue, all sorts of industries. If these people can't get to work on time because of some silly and ancient funding arrangement, that is a loss to the entire state. If businesses turn their nose up at opening their operations in Brisbane because of bad city amenities and services such as PT, that is a loss to the entire state.

None of which addresses the points I made, except at the start where you say "I don't agree with it". Handing buses and ferries to the state government will not give you better PT. The state effectively runs it now and it is not good. Some of the things they are doing are plain stupid.

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The nonsense continues. Buses are full full full. Levels of government are squabbling while the transport system
creaks and groans. Do they not realise the sheer folly of playing brinkmanship with Brisbane's PT supply?

What does having levels of government have to do with it? We need different levels of government so that all the power is not placed in one set of hands, creating a monopoly to which the people would have no appeal. The division of spheres of government among the different levels is one of the checks which makes them accountable to the people. That is the concept our system is based on. You put all the power into one set of hands and you'll stop the squabbling, sure - there will be no arguments at all, because you will not be allowed to argue. The state government will have the only say. There will be no accountability and therefore no efficiency and no service. When the state runs your transport, you get what the state gives you, end of story. Rail is run by the state government and it is a shambles.

Offline #Metro

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Public Transport in the Australian context has been traditionally operated very poorly at all levels of government.
It was the same in Brisbane when the Brisbane City Council operated the buses up until about 2004.

From that time forward, patronage has been going through the roof. What happened in 2004?
TransLink was created, integrated ticketing came in and BUZ. These are the reasons why patronage went up, and continues to climb.

The Brisbane City Council is increasingly not in the position to run PT. It is running services beyond its borders and objects strongly to
having to do this. This is just a simple reality of the way Brisbane has grown beyond BCC boundaries. The BCC does not want
to run PT either- as evidenced by media articles in which the Lord Mayor offers to offload BT.

While the state governments record on PT, in particular rail frequency, isn't that good, IMHO they have got the message
loud and clear. Perth trains run every 15 minutes, are efficient and well connected and are run by TransPerth WA.
And they do a good job, which goes to show, that things can be turned around.
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Offline ozbob

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Agree TT.  Time to move on ..
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None of which addresses the points I made,
I don't think I understood the point.  Are you trying to say that PT is unaffordable?  ::)

What does having levels of government have to do with it?
Contributes to the difficulty with getting anything done.

There will be no accountability and therefore no efficiency and no service. When the state runs your transport, you get what the state gives you, end of story. Rail is run by the state government and it is a shambles.
That's not the democratic theory.  Ever tried voting?

Although rail being a shambles is the main reason for the formation of Rail: Back on Track.

Offline ozbob

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This article will be of interest folks .. The great disconnect

--> http://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=4766.0
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Offline ozbob

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 :bu
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Offline ozbob

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From the Couriermail 11th April 2012 pages 18-19

City's public transport will never improve while run by opposing sides





Hallelujah!!
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Offline Fares_Fair

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Great opinion piece!  :-t
Regards,
Fares_Fair


Offline Golliwog

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Great opinion piece!  :-t
+1
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Offline MaxHeadway

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It's probably more appropriate to compare Toronto and Ottawa with the Brisbane City Council area, since those figures are from the cities proper, not the total metropolitan areas of those Canadian examples. I wonder what the PT market share percentage is in Brisbane proper? But that doesn't change the facts that a lot more trips could be made by PT throughout SEQ, and that BT and QR have too much influence.

Offline #Metro

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Well well well. Can see it from a mile off....

* BUMP *
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