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Author Topic: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation  (Read 1777 times)

Offline ozbob

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TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« on: May 11, 2020, 04:05:56 PM »
Data is from monthly snapshots at https://www.publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/translink-public-transport-performance-snapshots

It is published around 6 weeks behind so only data up to the end of March 2020 is available at present, but early drop in patronage as initial lockdown implemented can be seen.  Will be updated monthly.

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 12:54:07 AM »
Brisbanetimes --> Queensland train patronage falls below 80 per cent

Quote
While Brisbane residents are returning to work in person, and bus and ferry patronage inches upward, rail patronage is still 80 per cent below its usual turnover.

Figures provided by TransLink show how residents stopped using trains across south-east Queensland over the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began and stay-at-home orders were issued by the federal and state governments.

While total numbers of trips on south-east Queensland trains weren't provided by TransLink, year-on-year patronage percentages show in the second week of February this year, use was down 1.09 per cent compared with 2019.

Throughout February and into early March, patronage stayed about the same as the year before, until the week starting March 22, when a 35 per cent drop in patronage was recorded.

The next week patronage tanked 68.6 per cent compared with 2019 figures, and in the week starting April 5, patronage dropped by 83.4 per cent.

The worst week was the week starting April 12, when patronage was 85 per cent down compared with the same week last year, before it began inching back up to 80 per cent in the first week of May.

A TransLink spokesman said trains were running on a regular timetable throughout Queensland to support essential workers and students.

"Present health advice is to limit all non-essential travel and we thank our customers for following this advice," the spokesman said.

"As a result, we saw passenger trips on the south-east Queensland rail network drop by 80 per cent during the week ending Sunday, May 10, when compared with the corresponding week in 2019.

"We expect to see patronage increase on public transport services in coming weeks with school classes resuming and some restrictions relaxed."

Data provided by Brisbane City Council showed similar declines in patronage figures across buses and ferries, with slow returns to both forms of public transport in recent weeks.

In late March, long-haul coach and train services were reduced, with the Spirit of the Outback, Westlander and Inlander trains all suspended, while Brisbane-to-Cairns lines were reduced by 50 per cent.

Public transport use across buses, trains, trams and ferries hit a record in 2018-2019, rising to nearly 190 million trips.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 11:18:10 AM »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 10:53:25 AM »
Updated for May 2020

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Offline Golliwog

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 11:55:26 AM »
Looks like it's coming back.

I'd be curious to know what trends are visible when you break down the data further:

How does the trend vary for different fare types (senior, concession, adult)?

Are there differences in trips vs users - i.e. my work place has started to transition back to the CBD office but each employee is only expected to be in a few days a week and WFH the rest - so assuming that everyone travels the same way as before, you would expect a reduced total number of trips over the week, but the number of unique individuals over the week would be the same.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2020, 01:02:06 PM »
Updated for June 2020

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2020, 11:54:38 AM »
Updated for July 2020

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 06:17:42 AM »
ABC News --> Queensland commuters stay away from trains despite low coronavirus case numbers

Quote
New statistics show people in South-East Queensland are still avoiding public transport, despite the state recording low coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Key points:
Train lines are up to 90 per cent empty, even during peak times
The pandemic has cut the number of people who are commuting, while those still travelling to work are driving or cycling more
There are warnings that services could be cut if demand falls too far
Numbers released by Transport Minister Mark Bailey show train lines were up to 90 per cent empty in August, even at peak daily travel times.

The busiest service, the Springfield line, still had 38 per cent of its seats empty during peak travel hours.

The estimated spare seated capacity during peak and off-peak times was:

Line   Empty seats: peak   Empty seats: off-peak
Airport   90 per cent   94 per cent
Beenleigh   64 per cent   89 per cent
Cleveland   55 per cent   85 per cent
Doomben   83 per cent   95 per cent
Ferny Grove   44 per cent   87 per cent
Gold Coast   60 per cent   83 per cent
Ipswich/Rosewood   56 per cent   85 per cent
Redcliffe Peninsula   53 per cent   81 per cent
Shorncliffe/Northgate   65 per cent   89 per cent
Springfield   38 per cent   77 per cent
Sunshine Coast/Caboolture   70 per cent   80 per cent

'People think it's responsible for them not to use public transport'

Mr Bailey said 105 extra train services were added to support essential workers and promote social distancing on trains, contributing to the spare capacity.

However, University of Queensland psychology professor Alex Haslam, who studies human behaviour in a social context, said many people were avoiding public transport out of a sense of social responsibility.

"People think it's responsible for them not to use public transport," Professor Haslam said.

"They don't want to be responsible for transmitting [coronavirus] and they don't want to be creating risk for other members of their family if they were to contract the virus on the way to work.

"People recognise it's generally safe, but they have a sense that, 'If I don't need to do it, I won't.'"

Professor Haslam said people had got out of the habit of the daily commute as many of them started working from home.

"In the pandemic a lot of those habits were broken, and people have formed alternative habits."

He said people had turned to other modes of transport, such as cycling or driving, and could retain those even in a post-pandemic world.

"There's a constellation of factors that have made it a perfect storm for people's reluctance to use public transport," he said.

'Community leadership' needed to get people back on public transport

Professor Haslam warned the declining demand for public transport could mean the service takes a cut.

"The situation at the moment must be a bit of a nightmare, because it's costing a fortune to run trains and with nobody on them, you're not raising any revenue," he said.

"Public transport is a critical part of Brisbane's infrastructure and it would be tragic if we lost it through lack of use."

He said it would take leadership from within the community to encourage people back onto trains.

"[Humans] are group-based animals, so our behaviour is very much structured by what is perceived to be appropriate for the groups that we're members of.

"We look to members of our group to tell us what is the right thing to do in this situation."

Professor Haslam said more information about the safety of public transport during the pandemic could reassure people into riding trains again.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 06:30:04 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 06:24:15 AM »
^

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2020/862-2020.pdf

Question on Notice

No. 862

Asked on 12 August 2020

DR M ROBINSON ASKED MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS (HON M BAILEY)

QUESTION:

With reference to the Queensland Rail Citytrain network—

Will the Minister advise the latest estimation of spare capacity by line during (a) peak times and
(b) off-peak times?

ANSWER:

I thank the Member for Oodgeroo for the question.

The Palaszczuk Government continues to listen to the health advice and take all necessary
precautions and actions during this unprecedented time. As public transport is an essential
service, we have maintained scheduled timetables to support essential workers and social
distancing as much as possible.

To support commuters and promote social distancing, on Monday 10 August 2020, an extra
960 bus services and 105 train services commenced on the South East Queensland public
transport network each week between Monday and Friday. These extra services allow
passengers to spread out across the mornings and afternoons, and add almost 58,000 extra
seats on buses and trains.

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering 810 more services than the former LNP Government,
is fixing the non-compliant trains ordered from overseas by the former LNP Government with
Queensland workers, and is now delivering a record $23 billion for transport and roads across
Queensland, supporting 21,500 jobs.

Furthermore, utilisation of public transport services in South East Queensland, including trains,
has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Estimates are therefore given
for the month of August 2020, excluding the 14 August 2020 public holiday (1 to 21 August 2020).
Peak running times are taken as inbound services arriving at Central Station between 7.30 am
and 8.30 am, and outbound services departing Central Station between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm. In
August 2020, there was estimated spare seated capacity during these peak times as follows:

• Airport line: 90 per cent
• Beenleigh line: 64 per cent
• Cleveland line: 55 per cent
• Doomben line: 83 per cent
• Ferny Grove line: 44 per cent
• Gold Coast line: 60 per cent
• Ipswich/Rosewood line: 56 per cent
• Redcliffe Peninsula line: 53 per cent
• Shorncliffe/Northgate line: 65 per cent
• Springfield line: 38 per cent
• Sunshine Coast/Caboolture line: 70 per cent.

In August 2020, there was estimated spare seated capacity during off-peak times as follows:

• Airport line: 94 per cent
• Beenleigh line: 89 per cent
• Cleveland line: 85 per cent
• Doomben line: 95 per cent
• Ferny Grove line: 87 per cent
• Gold Coast line: 83 per cent
• Ipswich/Rosewood line: 85 per cent
• Redcliffe Peninsula line: 81 per cent
• Shorncliffe/Northgate line: 89 per cent
• Springfield line: 77 per cent
• Sunshine Coast/Caboolture line: 80 per cent.

All figures are estimates and have been averaged across the month in question for each of the
time periods (peak and off-peak). Calculations have been based on ticketing data, which means
these represent an estimate on capacity only, as incomplete go card trips are unable to be
correctly counted.

As Queensland Rail run routine maintenance requiring track closures over weekends and late
nights, data can be incomplete in these periods due to rail replacement operations and, therefore,
estimates have been taken across weekdays only between 4am and 9pm.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 06:48:34 AM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1306333817200762880
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Offline brissypete

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 08:27:36 AM »
I moved to cycling (ebike pedal assist) back in March and fully intend to keep it up, I get to and from work quicker and get exercise as well.

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2020, 01:05:09 PM »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2020, 12:54:45 AM »
Couriermail --> Brisbane CBD still impacted by work-from-home phenomenon

Quote
It’s not only public transport revenue that’s been smashed by the pandemic-related decline in commuters, as new figures reveal.

GHOST TOWN

If you think the Brisbane CBD looks quiet these days, you would be right, with latest public transport figures showing patronage is still down by over half since the start of the pandemic.

While patronage has recovered somewhat as students returned to classrooms and some workers went back to their offices, you are still pretty sure of getting a seat on a bus or train coming into the city.

A TransLink spokesperson tells your diarist that in the week ending September 13, passengers on buses, trains and ferries in the Brisbane CBD were down 53.5 per cent when compared to the same week in 2019. The figures do not include South Bank or the Valley.

Public transport has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, with patronage across the SEQ network dropping by more than 80 per cent at the height of the pandemic, when compared to the same period in 2019.

According to property industry sources, big office towers in the city remain up to 70 per cent empty as the WFH (work from home) phenomenon takes off.

“Public transport is an essential service and south east Queensland services have continued to run as scheduled across all modes during COVID-19 to ensure essential workers such as health staff and customers who rely on the network can continue to travel,” the spokesperson said.

An additional 960 weekly bus and 105 weekly train services were introduced on the network from August 10 to help customers maintain social distancing.

The drastically reduced foot traffic in the city has meant tough times for many traders, particularly those close to transport hubs.

Among the heaviest hit have been the Myer Centre, which has a big bus interchange in its basement, and Anzac Square, which funnels a lot of passengers from Central Station into the City.

Both shopping centres have reported a big slump in trade, with an increasing number of outlets closing their doors altogether.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2020, 02:04:16 PM »
Updated for August 2020



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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2020, 01:15:51 AM »
Auckland is interesting.  They reached 80% of normal PT patronage before the second lot of restrictions, and are heading back.

I expect that we will see return to normal patronage levels next year in SEQ.

https://twitter.com/StuartBDonovan/status/1313999066078932993
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2020, 12:10:33 PM »
I have had official advice today confirming patronage for TransLink SEQ is now around 60% of pre-COVID 19.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2020, 12:25:04 AM »
Brisbanetimes --> How COVID hit SEQ's public transport usage - and how it could bounce back

Quote
Will public transport usage ever bounce back to pre-COVID numbers, and if so, when?

It's a question being closely studied by experts and governments around the world, while in south-east Queensland data shows patronage is still down by nearly 40 per cent.

TransLink, the state government's public transit agency, says across buses, ferries, trains and trams, patronage has still only recovered to 61 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

In February, as the pandemic took hold, the agency decided to keep the full public transport network operating as normal – not only to ensure people could still get to work, but to maintain social distancing.

Griffith University transport expert Matthew Burke said this decision stood in positive contrast to other countries that immediately cut public transport services to save costs, causing "terrible" impacts to low-income workers in particular.

"We have a couple of factors that is different to the rest of the world. The first is that one in six passengers on the TransLink network in SEQ are tertiary students," Dr Burke said.

"So with the universities basically still running off-campus and online teaching, there is one in six trips that has pretty much vanished from the network."

And with universities predicting a return to in-person teaching only in the second half of 2021, those trips are not likely to return in the immediate future.

"The public transport networks are exceptionally radial in south-east Queensland, that is they all tend to head in to the Brisbane CBD," Dr Burke said.

"No more so than our rail network, which everything runs to Roma Street and Central, and with office workers very much continuing to work from home in large numbers, that has meant that those services have really seen a decline."

With companies now considering whether to keep workers at home and reduce their inner-city office spaces, or bring workers in just for a few days a week, Dr Burke said the "big debate" remained about if this was the new normal.

"Beyond that, there is also an avoidance function which is happening here, where people are – if they have a choice – choosing to avoid public transport and choosing other modes," he said.

Brisbane City Council, who operates buses and ferries in agreement with TransLink, released figures on Tuesday showing monthly bus and ferry patronage is still well below 2019 figures.

The sharpest difference, naturally, was during April and May when the entire state ground to a halt.

In April 2019, 7.6 million trips were taken on Brisbane's bus network: in April 2020, just 1.3 million – a decline of 81 per cent.

By September this year, however, patronage was still down by 45 per cent on buses and 48 per cent on ferries, which were hard-hit by the loss of international and domestic tourists.

Earlier this week, Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Ben Marcus said police were seeing more people on the roads, and congestion almost worse than pre-COVID levels, triggering a worrying rise in the road toll.

The council's public and active transport committee chairman Ryan Murphy said it was "hard to predict" if or when patronage would return to pre-COVID numbers.

"While there is no community transmission in Queensland, commuters can have a total confidence that our public transport is safe to use," Cr Murphy said.

"There has been a noticeable shift in more people travelling actively, for both commuting and recreation and we’ve seen significantly more people using the riverwalks and bikeways.

"I think this is a positive change that residents are exploring different travel options and getting outside and enjoying our wonderful climate and active travel options."

Dr Burke said the decision to keep public transport services at pre-COVID schedules meant people could travel quite safely while staying socially distanced.

"Two things we can be really proud of," Dr Burke said.

"A: that we've kept up services to people – at great cost, TransLink's wearing that cost – and B: we've managed to keep those operations as COVID-safe as possible.

"I think we can do more and further encourage mask-wearing on public transport, and ... if the numbers pick up in Queensland we will need to move to making masks mandatory as they did in Victoria."

A TransLink spokesperson said the agency had added more services to help people socially distance while travelling, and while there were no plans to cap numbers on public transport, it would continue to monitor capacity and take advice from Queensland Health.

But while services have stayed operating as normal, and people can ideally find space on public transport to travel safely, the cost is not sustainable in the long term, Dr Burke said.

"It's unsustainable – we couldn't do it for three years," he said.

The TransLink spokesperson did not provide details on the agency's timeline for any discussions about reducing services if patronage figures remained low, saying it was an "essential service".
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2020, 01:22:49 AM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1319296187682287620
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