Media release 21 April 2012Brisbane: Core Frequent Network: 'Suburbs to City Buslink' study must consider all modes
RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org
) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers highlights city gridlock on the bus network.
Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:
"Similar to other cities overseas such as Ottawa, Canada, which Brisbane modelled its busways on, Brisbane is facing increasing bus congestion within the CBD. During peak hour, wall-to-wall buses are not uncommon on Adelaide street. Buses congestion also occurs at Cultural Centre. With massive latent demand for more BUZ services in Bulimba, Centenary and the Northwest, even more pressure will be put on the bus system."
"RAIL Back On Track welcomes a review into the 'Suburbs to City Buslink' or as some of our members may refer, the City Busway. The issue is however whether buses are the appropriate mode at all. We would like to see all modes considered for a City-Valley rapid transit tunnel. A similar study performed on Ottawa's busway determined that rail conversion was appropriate. We believe that a metro or light metro is worth investigating as in the morning peak hour, the South East busway pushes the lower bound for metro systems, carrying around 15 000 passengers per direction per hour. A metro system would also free up a lot of labour and buses for service in the suburbs."
"In the short to medium term, the Brisbane bus network is long overdue for an overhaul. There are many 'legacy' routes which require review and many which really should not even be going to the CBD. We understand that while everyone may desire a direct trip, a city which is against connections is also against a simple, legible, frequent network. Often a journey with a connection can be faster than a direct trip."
"The City Busway study / Suburbs to City Bus link needs to be done with both Brisbane City Council and the State Government co-operating and it also needs to be open to public submissions and comment like the Lord Mayor's Transit Report 2007 was. It would do no-one any favours if billions were spent on a second bus tunnel* in the CBD only to find that it filled up with buses and reached capacity soon after. Ottawa, Canada expects to save at least $100 million annually in operational costs by converting the core section to rail fed by busways!"
"Cross River Rail will drive significant and essential network wide capacity and frequency increases on the suburban and interurban rail network in south east Queensland. This will also allow better access into new CBD locations as well, and this needs to be considered in context when considering the City Busway Study."
RAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org
* Brisbane already has a bus tunnel in the CBD, connecting Victoria Bridge to King George Square underneath Queen Street Mall. This tunnel does not have enough capacity to take all buses off Adelaide Street, and speeds within it are limited to 20 km/hour.
Ground to a halt in CBD http://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=8158.msg95356#msg95356
Ottawa Light Rail http://www.ottawalightrail.ca/en/
Operational Savings http://www.ottawalightrail.ca/en/benefits#15
Attachments OC Transpo Operating Cost Projections - saves $100 million dollars in operating costs by converting core section from BRT to Railhttp://www.ottawalightrail.ca/media/cost-projections.jpg