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8 Dec 2008: SEQ: Public transport report card 2008
« on: December 09, 2008, 03:28:11 AM »
Media Release 8 December 2008

SEQ:  Public transport report card 2008

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and advocate for public transport commuters has compiled a public transport score card assessing the public transport performance in SEQ for 2008.  The results can be viewed on line here --> http://backontrack.org/mbs/index.php?board=32.0

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"Thanks to all our public transport staff for their constant efforts to transport citizens in safe and timely manner in 2008."

"RAIL Back On Track members have rated public transport for 2008. QR Citytrain network, the major bus regions, the river ferry system and the Go card have been given an aggregate score on a scale of out of 10. The major factors considered for the different parts of the network are the timetable, congestion, parking, stations, and bus integration as appropriate for each sector. The Go card was rated on overall performance for 2008 on all modes - bus, ferry and rail."

"The value of this exercise are the relative comparisons and it clearly identifies the areas of the public transport that need further significant improvements from the point of view of the user."

"Brisbane river transport, the ferries and CityCats, are the public transport 'quiet achievers' of SEQ.  The major problem is the lack of catamarans and crew, and there is the potential for better integration and more services.  More CityCats are online for 2009 and other improvements are in train such as more terminals.  River transport rated highly, despite the recent restrictions due to flood debris in the river."

"The public roll out of the Go Card commenced early 2008.  Most of our members use the Go card daily and are an informed user base.  The Go Card is a major project and despite some shortcomings it is in active use and this is a significant achievement. Recently the 200,000 card was issued. On rail the Go card is reliable; there are some ongoing issues on bus and ferry.  There is also a need for better fares including an extension of the present paper off peak fares to the Go card and capping, and improved administrative practices with the Go card support. Overall, the Go card did not rate that well, this is primarily because of the issues on buses, confounded by the administrative difficulties experienced by users. In 2009 it is essential to address the issues with the Go card and drive it forwards to be the ticket of choice for public transport.  This will lead to improved efficiency, particularly in bus loading times."

"Constant improvements to many bus routes facilitated by the introduction of more buses into service has helped improve bus transport.  Unfortunately, road traffic congestion impacts on buses, and there are still too many passengers left stranded at bus stops as full buses pass by as well.  Better integration with other transport modes should be an aim for 2009, with the continued introduction of feeder bus routes to key rail and bus stations. The completion and opening of the Inner Northern Busway has improved bus transport significantly in the CBD. The success of the south-east busway is reflected in the ratings."

"QR Citytrain has had a much better year compared to 2007, as more trains and crew came on line during 2008.  A number of significant timetable improvements have also increased performance on some lines, notably the Gold Coast line.  Overall, the network performance has been good but peak passenger congestion remains a major issue.  Trains run 365 days a year from early morning to late evening and even past midnight.  Improved service frequency during wider peak times should be the immediate aim for 2009.  The Caboolture and Ipswich lines need more services as a priority. QR Citytrain has established a number of Community Reference Groups and this is a welcome initiative from users' point of view."

"Since the track upgrades on the southern line, the introduction of a new timetable with extra services, and the roll out of the new series Interurban Multiple Unit (IMU) trains, the Gold Coast line is no doubt one of the best in the land and soon to be further extended to Varsity Lakes. High speed between the Coast and Brisbane, frequent express services Beenleigh to the CBD with IMU trains as the rule is something I think everyone would like emulated on the other long haul lines."

"Closely linked to the Gold Coast services is the Airtrain.  Gold Coast trains run through to the Airport.  A constant criticism of the Airtrain service is the relative high costs of fares compared to the rest of the network, some hidden cost imposts for rail users who use a Go card or purchase a joint ticket from their home station direct to the Brisbane Airports, and the restricted hours of operation.  Properly priced, with hours of service that match the actual flights the railway line to the airports could be a real congestion buster.  The recent six month promotion for free travel for children on the Airtrain is welcome, but a lot more is needed."

"In summary, there is a limited capacity to expand river and bus mass transit.  To get the bulk capacity for mass transit rail must be expanded in terms of track capacity, and further increases in rolling stock and crew.  We must also use the present resources to the maximum utility. The present suburban rail system can increase capacity by 100% easily if properly resourced.  This will in turn take pressure of the other public transport modes and will allow more direct bus feeder routes."

"Best wishes to all for continuing success in 2009!"


Summary of Scores

Above 8  = very good overall performance
7 to 8  = acceptable performance, minor improvements needed
6 to 7 = significant improvements required
Below 6 = urgent major improvements needed

Citytrain

Gold coast  8.1       
Cleveland 6.7
Beenleigh 6.6 
Shorncliffe  6.4   
Gympie North 6.4 
Ferny Grove 6.1   
Doomben 6.0
Airport 5.9
Ipswich 5.9
Rosewood 5.8   
Nambour 5.7
Caboolture 5.4

Ferry

Citycats  7.6 
Ferry Cross River 7.2
Ferry Inner City  7.2 

Bus

Southern Region  7.1 
Northern Region  6.3 
Eastern Region  6.0 
Western Region  5.8

Note bus regions as defined by TransLink web site network maps
at http://www.transinfo.qld.gov.au/qt/translin.nsf/index/maps#network

Go Card 5.6 

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
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