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Offline ozbob

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Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« on: March 03, 2016, 02:53:21 AM »
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3rd March 2016

Gold Coast: Bus concerns

RAIL Back on Track is pleased to see that TransLink has commenced reporting quarterly patronage and on-time running figures for various parts of the SEQ bus network in its Q2 2015/2016 TransLink Tracker.  Of particular note is that patronage is broken down so that there is now a meaningful set of numbers for the Gold Coast as distinct from the rest of the region.

Patronage on the light rail service is continuing to expand to the point where nearly 2 million trips are being made each quarter.  Growth is continuing and the delivery of the GCUH to Helensvale extension over the next 2 years will result in even greater gains.

We are also very pleased to see that most of the Gold Coast's bus services are operating on time, and in fact are outperforming Brisbane's network in on-time running despite not having access to expensive grade-separated busways.

However, the numbers also make it apparent that bus patronage since Q1 of 2014/2015 has been relatively static, at approximately 3.5 million trips per quarter.  Population growth has continued city-wide over the past several years.  In particular the City of Gold Coast is the local government area home to the largest growth in Queensland's aged population in the period from 2003 to 2013, with a larger increase than Brisbane in absolute terms (23,400 vs 22,320).  Static bus patronage means that the network is serving less of the public need, as the proportion of trips made decreases relative to population.

The long-term success of public transport on the Gold Coast is intricately linked to the feeder bus network, and its ability to provide connections for people who are not in the walk-up catchment of a light or heavy rail station or a major centre.  The light rail was never meant to be a silver bullet to our transport problems and should not be seen as such.

It concerns us that there has been no real bus service upgrade to the Gold Coast's bus network since 21 July 2014, when G:Link commenced operating revenue services and the bus network was reorganised around tram services.  While it is clear that this has worked seeing that public transport patronage is rising as a whole and the bus network is not seeing any drop-off, we are not seeing any kind of drive to improve bus patronage.

We call on all candidates running for office at the upcoming City of Gold Coast elections to set out their position on public transport service improvements that will drive patronage and mode-shift to a more sustainable transport network.

In particular, we are interested to know what candidates' views are on committing more of the City's financial resources into co-funding the provision of additional bus services on existing routes with TransLink.  GCCC has pioneered introducing new services on a trial basis to ultimately be funded by TransLink full time.  This has occurred on numerous occasions since Route 725 and 748 were first introduced with Council's support in mid-2005 - the current Route 747 and 777 have also resulted from this process.

Key issues from our perspective are as follows:

- Short span of hours, with many bus services not operating into the evening.  This means key markets such as retail and office workers are not being provided with services that meet their basic needs, and it also means that light and heavy rail services are compromised by a lack of connectivity to the local bus network after the late afternoon.  Some parts of the bus network in the west of the city like Nerang are virtually inaccessible from the light rail network unless a passenger departs Broadbeach or Surfers Paradise before 1pm!

- Lack of weekend services on 3 routes (739, 746 and 749).  In our view, all 3 services should be operating 7 days a week given that there is no alternative service coverage for most of these routes on weekends.  This would make the Gold Coast unique in SEQ in that every public bus service would operate 7 days per week.

- Inadequate frequencies, with some services especially in the north of the city operating only 4 times per day on weekends and 8-9 times per day on weekdays.  We have previously proposed that the minimum service frequency and span of hours should be hourly from approximately 6am to 9pm on weekdays in order to provide a basic coverage function, with slightly less services on weekends.  We recognise that not all of the city's 60 bus services could or even should be operating at high frequencies, but there must be a "floor" on what constitutes the minimum for a bus service to meet the public need.  The current services are manifestly not fit for purpose.

- Specific instances of late running and "bunching" of buses reported on key arterial routes such as route 704 from Helensvale to Seaworld, which may require additional resources to fix such as on-road bus priority at intersections, additional services or timetable re-writes.

- Lack of bus stops located along major roads or at major trip attractors - for instance along Helensvale Road (Route 718), or along Southport-Burleigh Road at the Q Super Centre (Route 747) and at Southport Park (Route 731 and 747).

The city is going to have to cope with greater density in a fairly constrained foot-print in future.  Urban sprawl is not only an undesirable outcome and antithetical to good public transport, it is for the most part physically not achievable except in the far northern suburbs due to the natural setting of the city against the Hinterland and extensive wetland areas.

Improved public and active transport is going to become increasingly important for the Gold Coast in future years and the time to set the correct foundation is now.

Contacts:

Steven Jamieson
Gold Coast Region Spokesperson for RAIL Back On Track

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org


References:

Population growth highlights and trends, Queensland regions, 2015 edition:
http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld-2015.pdf

TransLink Tracker quarterly report - October to December (Q2) 2015-2016
https://publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/translink-division-quarterly-reports/resource/d7568d69-25cc-4019-ad22-796cd6057b7d


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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 10:32:14 AM »
Thanks.

Can we possibly get this up on the Facebook page so I can distribute it around the candidates pages?
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 11:27:19 AM »
Thanks.

Can we possibly get this up on the Facebook page so I can distribute it around the candidates pages?

Done!
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 06:48:36 PM »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2016, 12:56:39 PM »
Gold Coast Bulletin --> Gold Coast community groups call for extension of bus route to Spit

Quote
A GROUP of small businesses and community groups are lobbying the State Government to extend a bus route on SeaWorld Drive to the end of the Spit at Main Beach.

The group, Love The Spit, consists of 11 businesses and the community group Federation Walk.

According to Lyn Wright, of Federation Walk, one of the big problems for people wanting to get to the end of The Spit was that public transport stopped at Sea World.

“Beyond Sea World it is park and ride or ride your bike,” she said.

“It is a terrible oversight. At least 90 per cent of vehicles travelling along The Spit travel to the end of the Seaway so there should be some way people can use a bus service that takes you there to see if we can eliminate some traffic.”

Ms Wright said the group had written to state transport minister Stirling Hinchcliffe to gain support for the move.

She said a move would be a huge benefit not just for the public and in terms of reduced traffic, but for the businesses in the area.

“A bus could do a left-hand turn at Moondarewa Spit and loop back to kiosk.”

Area councillor Gary Baildon said the plan was a wonderful idea.

“It’s a great spot to visit and a bus would attract more tourists. Not everybody has a motor vehicle.

“Anything that can takes tourists up to The Spit would be great.”
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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 01:54:46 PM »
I would like to see extended to the end of the spit. Great for walkers. Can walk one way along the beach then can the bus back or the other way around?

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 03:12:47 PM »
I find that "90% of vehicles" claim to be highly dubious.

No objection to this from me in concept, but extending services means a higher cost to the budget, or shifting money from elsewhere.  Which other services are going to be cut to fund this?  The system is running to the bone as it is.

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Offline techblitz

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2016, 03:52:42 PM »
Quote
one of the big problems for people wanting to get to the end of The Spit was that public transport stopped at Sea World.

strikingly similar to snapper rocks/rainbow bay down @ tweed heads...

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2016, 07:16:59 PM »
^ Yeah, not really.  2.5km minimum between the Seaworld bus stop and Doug Jennings Park, while the Rainbow Bay Surf Club is less than 1km from the nearest bus stop.
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Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2017, 11:14:50 AM »
My gosh why are the bus routes through Ormeau so rubbish? No wonder no-one uses them when they only run on a 2 hour frequency

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 11:25:28 PM »
My belief is that TransLink has no interest whatsoever in fixing these services and is hoping that the deregulation of the on-demand transport industry will magically fix the problems.  All evidence suggests they are only interested in funding the existing high frequency services.

This position doesn't seem to be matched by any other state.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2017, 10:27:33 AM »
27th January 2017

Media Release
Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Renewed cross-border agreement with NSW a foundation for Premier partnership

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will use a renewed cross-border agreement with New South Wales as the foundation for a partnership with its new Premier Gladys Berejiklian

“Former Premier Mike Baird and I worked on renewing the agreement signed between both States in 2011,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Our focus was on driving economic development, improving access to services and sharing information to support vulnerable families and children, working on local transport initiatives and partnering on shared national issues.”

“While the agreement was negotiated with Premier Baird, I believe it is a foundation for a partnership with Premier Berejiklian and her Government.”

“These are key issues for our State and I look forward to working with the Premier for the best outcomes for our communities.”

The areas of focus and priority areas under the Queensland and New South Wales Statement of Principles and Priorities for Cross-border Collaboration 2016-19 are:

Regional Economic Development

The priority areas are:

    collaborative planning for future cross-border urban and regional developments
    undertaking a systematic approach to addressing the issues in approved urban and regional developments in cross-border communities
    joint advocacy for major infrastructure projects
    identifying infrastructure constraints and public domain improvements to encourage investment in cross-border regions.

Aligning Services and Sharing Information

Residents living in cross-border regions should have equitable access to services and, where possible, avoid the need for residents to navigate both service systems.

In respect to vulnerable families and children, information sharing is central to providing appropriate services for families who may live or work across borders, or who may move from one state to another.

The priority areas are:

    the protection of children
    a person-centred approach to the access and delivery of health care services
    keeping communities safe
    enhanced sharing of information between agencies to support service planning and delivery.

Local Transport

The priority areas include:

    greater efficiencies in delivering flexible border transport solutions
    integrated border bus services
    alignment of priority border road projects.

Issues of National Significance

The priority areas include:

    the protection and well-being of victims of domestic and family violence
    roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
    expansion of mutual recognition arrangements
    consistent action on waste management
    harmonisation of heavy vehicle regulations, where applicable
    sharing information to advance the Council of Australian Governments’ reform agenda.
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Offline techblitz

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 11:49:08 AM »
would be good if the twin towns stop could be permanently transferred to translink QLD to allow for all southbound 700`s to stop there as it saves a 300m walk for anyone wanting to walk to rainbow bay/snapper rocks from the current most southern translink coolongatta east stop.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 03:13:11 AM »
Gold Coast Bulletin --> Surfside Buslines under fire as residents claim crucial bus routes are on the chopping block

Quote
SURFSIDE Buslines has come under fire from residents criticising the transport company, claiming crucial bus routes are on the chopping block.

Transport NSW offered assurance no changes have been made but confirmed there had been a request from Surfside Buslines.

Several complaints about possible cancellations or re-routes were made to the Tweed Daily News on behalf of elderly Tweed Heads residents who live near Greenway Dr.

“This is the only way some of these people can get to the shops or doctors,” one resident said.

“This is a disgrace. These are elderly, vulnerable people and they can’t walk any further. Surfside is taking away the only independence they have left in order to save some (dollars).”

Another reader said the 602 and the 604 routes would be affected. NSW Transport denied services had been changed or cancelled.

“The local bus operator, Surfside, has requested some variations of routes,” a NSW Transport spokesman said.

“This is standard business practice, especially at the start of the year.

“Transport for NSW is currently considering the request. Our main consideration is always whether any changes would maintain, or improve the level of services for customers.”
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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Gold Coast: Bus concerns
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2017, 04:48:42 AM »
Probably a combination of driver scuttlebutt and the higher than average concentration of OAPs in the Tweed.  Surfside get paid to run the service regardless of patronage, same as their TransLink contract.  Probably - if anything - they want timetable changes to suit changing conditions.
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