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9 May 2023: 2023-24 Budget Cycle - Qld Transport Planning Needs to Get Smarter

Started by ozbob, May 08, 2023, 23:54:49 PM

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2023-24 Budget Cycle - Queensland Transport Planning Needs to Get Smarter

9th May 2023

RAIL Back On Track calls for the Queensland and Local Governments to get smarter on Transport Planning by sweating the infrastructure Queensland already has, and prioritising projects that help reduce congestion not add to the problem.

The 2023-24 Federal budget is likely to restrain the available funding for transport infrastructure but this should not spell disaster for Transport Planning in Queensland.  It actually presents an opportunity to focus on what we already have, not what we don't have.

There are ample opportunities, highlighted by RAIL Back On Track regularly, for the State and Local Governments to work collaboratively to maximise the value Queenslanders are getting out of past transport investments including:

1. Separated Bike Lanes - Physically separating bike lanes which are typically just painted lines on the road and/or placed on the road side of parked cars (the door zone) represents the single greatest return on transport investment (which is minimal if not over engineered) and results in not only significant increases in cycling but also increases in retail turn over in local communities

2. Bus Lanes - Separate bus lanes on all major roads as a single bus lane can move 4 times the number of people as a car lane.  Buses stuck in traffic also increases running costs as more buses are need to cover peak services. If a bus can complete it's run in half the time it can be made available for another route rather than an having to us an additional bus.  That bus can be used on another route to increase services/frequency at no additional costs.

3. SEQ Bus Network Redesign - SEQ bus network is full of duplication, indirect and/or infrequent routes, is confusing and hard to understand and in many cases bus compete with rail lines and/or don't connect to the railway station. A complete redesign of the network using a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) style frequent service approach was urgently required in 2013. 10 years later is more than overdue.

4. Maximising Train Frequencies - The current rollingstock and network across SEQ can operate at much higher frequencies without additional infrastructure especially off-peak frequencies.  For the majority of the day/night the rollingstock should only be non-operational for servicing and cleaning.

5. Cycling Facilities at Train/Busway Station and Major Bus Stops -  Integrating cycling and transit brings multiple benefits including, it puts mass transit within the reach of more people across a larger area  and provides users with greater flexibility to adapt trips based on their individual needs

6. Children and Seniors Free Travel - Ever noticed during school holidays that congestion is no where near as bad. Making trips for children, students and seniors free (all day every day) should not bee seen as a loss of revenue but rather as maximising the investment already made in buses, trains, ferries, trams and drivers. Over 70% of students are being driven to school rather than walking, cycling or catching public transport. The services are already running, let's just maximise their use.

7. Establish Public Transport Queensland (PTQ) - the above initiatives have been available to our governments for decades.  There is too much political name calling and not enough collaboration. It is clear we need a proper Public Transport Authority in Queensland to take over the administration and management of public transport in Queensland and work with local governments and to integrate and improve cycling infrastructure and facilities.

It is also time for all levels of Australian government to accept that widening roads to "bust congestion" is as futile as "smoking more to cure lung cancer".  It's the cause not the cure.  Engineers Australia noted in 2021 "This makes attempting to "bust traffic congestion" through road construction, self-defeating. In this context, Australia's past transport investment strategy may be seen as questionable."

So the next time a press release starts with "This congestion busting project..." it's time to question it and ask "Why are we spending money on making the problem worse?".


The tax-payer subsidies for driving are typically a minimum of 6 times that of walking, cycling or public transport.


image: http://backontrack.org/docs/commuter_cost/infographic2.jpg

Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
Ozbob's Gallery Forum   Facebook  X  Threads  Mastodon  BlueSky

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