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Author Topic: Looking back, looking forward ...  (Read 605 times)

Offline ozbob

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Looking back, looking forward ...
« on: October 08, 2019, 01:23:28 PM »
A thread for some past articles etc. that offer an interesting historical perspective ...

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Burke, Edmund.The Sunday Mail; Brisbane, Qld. 14 Oct 2007: 66.

Transport plan's exciting new goal:

Quote
The State Government is working on a major overhaul of the southeast's public transport network, writes Edmund Burke

PREMIER Anna Bligh's announcement last week of a new transit authority to co-ordinate southeast Queensland's public transport network is a clear sign of just how important the issue has become.

Increasing oil prices, population pressure, traffic congestion and environmental concerns have sparked calls for a revolution in the commuter landscape.

The new transit authority, yet to be named, will replace Translink, which was established in 2003. Ms Bligh says the new body will have more power to integrate rail, bus and ferry services.

The challenge facing our transport planners is daunting. Translink research predicts the number of trips on public transport services in the state's southeast will double over the next nine years, adding 147 million trips to the already-struggling network.

Forecasts estimate patronage will increase from 152 million annual passenger trips in 2005-2006 to 299 million journeys on public transport networks by 2015. The 100 per cent increase will come as the region's population grows from 2.7 million today to an estimated 3.25 million by 2015.

But how will a system already struggling to meet demand be able to support such massive growth?

The new authority will be charged with making transport simpler and easier for customers by offering a one-stop shop for scheduling, customer needs and complaints.

Experts say Translink's hands have been tied by the nature of their relationship with the 17 bus, rail and ferry service providers across the region.

"We have been able to encourage an increase in patronage, but because we have no real control maybe we haven't been able to ensure the best use of resources," a Transport Department spokesman said last week.

Ms Bligh has said the new authority would have "real grunt".

"A transit authority will have greater freedom to redeploy resources, like buses, to different areas in southeast Queensland as needed based on demand," she said.

But some experts say the State Government still has to commit more funding to our public transport system if the service is to meet demands.

The South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan committed $82 billion over 20 years to new projects, but public transport advocates complain the vast majority of that money will be invested in conventional roads.

About $10 billion has been allocated to public transport infrastructure overall, and of that more than $2 billion has been committed to new busway projects, with construction on the Eastern, Northern and Inner Northern busways under way.

But as The Sunday Mail reported this month, the flagship South East Busway is already nearing capacity just six years after it opened.

And there are fears that we are facing gridlock on the very system that was intended to alleviate our transport woes. Despite these fears, Queenslanders' attitudes are already changing towards public transport.

Patronage of buses, CityCats and rail has resulted in a combined increase of 30 per cent since Translink was formed, and areas such as Logan have had a 100 per cent increase in bus use over the same period.

"We believe we can cope with what is happening," Translink manager Luke Franzmann told The Sunday Mail. "We are building the busway network and we are building increases to the rail network with additional rolling stock."

But even the Translink chief admits that more money will have to be made available if the network is going to cope with 299 million annual passenger trips.

"There will need to be additional service funding over and above what we have on the table now." Encouraging more Queenslanders on to trains is likely to be a main focus of any future funding.

While Brisbane bus patronage has increased by 35 per cent, Queensland Rail patronage has increased by just 16 per cent over the past three years.

Under the new authority, Queensland Rail's passenger services -- incorporating the Citytrain and Traveltrain division -- will be separated from QR's much-criticised freight and coal operations.

This will free up the passenger services and allow for greater integration with the bus services.

But while the funding for rail is likely to come from the State Government, questions remain over where the funding will come for improved bus services and other initiatives in the rest of the region.

Funding for buses was the subject of a recent slanging match between Brisbane's Liberal Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and Labor's transport chairwoman Victoria Newton.

Brisbane City Council has pledged almost $190 million of ratepayers' money to public transport services for 2007-08, and ratepayers are feeling the strain.

Paradoxically, most other councils in the southeast contribute little or nothing to their public transport systems, which are run by private operators and subsidised by the State Government.

Cr Newman controversially called on Translink to provide further funding for Brisbane's network to spend on buses and public transport infrastructure.

BUT this month Department of Transport director-general Bruce Wilson rejected the call, asking other councils in southeast Queensland to start contributing to their own public transport systems.

"We are putting in the lion's share of all the funding for public transport in southeast Queensland," he said.

"One point the Lord Mayor makes which is quite valid is that there are few councils that aren't putting in any money at all. Gold Coast is putting in a small amount and I think Noosa has put in a tiny bit.

"We would like to see other councils contribute serious money towards public transport."

Mr Franzmann agrees.

"We are putting a lot of extra money into improving the public transport system," he said.

"We have come a long way and we are getting great rises in patronage, so if the local councils feel that more should be done, we are happy to accept their contribution."

Existing funding arrangements for the region's public transport network can often seem as complicated as taking a bus from one side of Brisbane's suburbs to the other.

Translink was set up in 2004 and operates services for Queensland Rail, Brisbane's bus service (Brisbane Transport) and the CityCat ferry service. It also subsidises and operates 14 private bus services throughout the region.

As it exists now, the company is responsible for 143 rail stations, 14 busway stations, 30 normal bus stations and 12,300 bus stops, and maintains and operates 1850 buses, 147 trains and 21 ferries.

Translink leases buses off the providers, who stump up the capital costs for the vehicles.

It seems likely the new authority will buy buses directly, giving them greater control over where and how they operate.

Despite its problems over the past four years, Translink has done a lot to encourage use of public transport.

The organisation introduced integrated ticketing, provided additional services including about 500 new buses, and is rolling out its smart card system.

But Dr Jago Dodson of Griffith University's Urban Research program says there is an inevitability to the increased patronage we are now seeing.

"For public transport, carbon pricing and a rise in global oil prices will inevitably contribute to greater demand," he says.

"Forcing people to leave their cars deliberately is always going to be problematic. It is much better to keep improving the quality of the public transport system and allow the quality of the car travelling experience to remain static.

"As the inconvenience and cost of travel goes up and the inconvenience and cost of public transport relative to that comes down, people will increasingly start turning to public transport.

"Sometimes we tend to see these things in extremes and think that suddenly we will see people leaving their cars to rust in the garage. That is not going to happen. What we are going to see is a gradual and incremental change."

A recent Brisbane City Council report into a Rapid Mass Transit system for Brisbane recommended "super buses" carrying up to 200 people and using existing roads and more special busways.

Meanwhile, an underground railway similar to those in London and New York is under consideration for Brisbane's inner city.

One rapid transit system almost certain to come to fruition is the Gold Coast's Mass Rapid Transit system.

The State Government has committed $550 million to the project, while the council is believed to have set aside $100 million.

On the right track

Infrastructure projects already under way

RAIL

Salisbury to Kuraby third track (9.3km)

* One-third track laid

* New signalling system

* Mains Road overpass

* New Coopers Plains station

* New car parks open to traffic at Runcorn station

* Construction of new Kuraby station underway

* New pedestrian bridges at Fruitgrove station

* Completion due early 2008 - total cost $255 million

Helensvale to Robina second track (15.9km)

* Track laying began Helensvale to Nerang in June

* Robina Town Centre Bridge largely complete

* Due August 2008 - $72 million

* Robina to Varsity Lakes extension (4km)

* Project due mid 2009

- total cost $324 million

Rolling stock

* 44 new trains * Due for progressive delivery by 2011 - total cost $500 million

Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor study

* Planning and land acquisition being undertaken for a rail service between Beerwah and Maroochydore.

The service will be integrated with the bus system between Maroochydore and Caloundra

North Coast rail line improvements

* Major upgrades underway between Caboolture and Landsborough and planning is progressing for further improvement in alignment and duplication of the track between Landsborough and Nambour to increase passenger and freight capacity

BUS

Inner Northern Busway

* Now possible to walk underground from Queen Street Mall to Roma Street station

* New paving nearing completion in Albert St

* Track and platform work for XPT nearing completion.

* Will take hundreds of buses off CBD streets every day

* Six months ahead of schedule * Project due June 2008 - total cost $333 million

Eastern Busway

* Stage 1 construction about to start on first section PA Hospital to South-East Busway

* Project due 2009 - $140 million

* Boggo Road Busway * Links Eastern Busway with Eleanor Schonell Bridge and UQ

* Project due 2009

- total cost $217 million
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline timh

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Re: Looking back, looking forward ...
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 01:29:51 PM »
Infrastructure projects already under way

RAIL

Salisbury to Kuraby third track (9.3km)

* One-third track laid

* New signalling system

* Mains Road overpass

* New Coopers Plains station

* New car parks open to traffic at Runcorn station

* Construction of new Kuraby station underway

* New pedestrian bridges at Fruitgrove station

* Completion due early 2008 - total cost $255 million

Helensvale to Robina second track (15.9km)

* Track laying began Helensvale to Nerang in June

* Robina Town Centre Bridge largely complete

* Due August 2008 - $72 million

* Robina to Varsity Lakes extension (4km)

* Project due mid 2009

- total cost $324 million

Rolling stock

* 44 new trains * Due for progressive delivery by 2011 - total cost $500 million

Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor study

* Planning and land acquisition being undertaken for a rail service between Beerwah and Maroochydore.

The service will be integrated with the bus system between Maroochydore and Caloundra

North Coast rail line improvements

* Major upgrades underway between Caboolture and Landsborough and planning is progressing for further improvement in alignment and duplication of the track between Landsborough and Nambour to increase passenger and freight capacity

BUS

Inner Northern Busway

* Now possible to walk underground from Queen Street Mall to Roma Street station

* New paving nearing completion in Albert St

* Track and platform work for XPT nearing completion.

* Will take hundreds of buses off CBD streets every day

* Six months ahead of schedule * Project due June 2008 - total cost $333 million

Eastern Busway

* Stage 1 construction about to start on first section PA Hospital to South-East Busway

* Project due 2009 - $140 million

* Boggo Road Busway * Links Eastern Busway with Eleanor Schonell Bridge and UQ

* Project due 2009

- total cost $217 million


Man it was impressive to see this much positivity and investment in PT. Stark contrast from today. A lot of these targets (CAMCOS, NCL especially) are exactly the same as they were 12 years ago.

Also note the bit I highlighted.... WHAT!?

Am I missing something? I legitimately had no idea you could walk underground from Queen Street Mall to Roma Street station. Where?? How???
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 01:34:25 PM by ozbob »

Offline ozbob

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Re: Looking back, looking forward ...
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 01:42:28 PM »
This >>>

" ... Forecasts estimate patronage will increase from 152 million annual passenger trips in 2005-2006 to 299 million journeys on public transport networks by 2015. The 100 per cent increase will come as the region's population grows from 2.7 million today to an estimated 3.25 million by 2015. ... "


It was actually 176 million journeys in 2015 !
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline aldonius

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Re: Looking back, looking forward ...
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 08:09:49 PM »
Am I missing something? I legitimately had no idea you could walk underground from Queen Street Mall to Roma Street station.

I think this was meant to indicate that the busway tunnel was mostly finished, to the point that it could be walked through.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Looking back, looking forward ...
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 02:48:31 AM »
Am I missing something? I legitimately had no idea you could walk underground from Queen Street Mall to Roma Street station.

I think this was meant to indicate that the busway tunnel was mostly finished, to the point that it could be walked through.

I remember walking from QSBS through to Roma St in the bus tunnel etc. on the weekend before it opened.  Yo, probably a cryptic reference to that.

This is an interesting article.  Things were looking quite positive at that point.  Bring in some new people from overseas who were agents for a suppression of demand and mediocrity, the system got well and truly rooted from that point.  The Governments were of course complicit in slowing everything down.  They were very poor elected representatives (got that lurkers?).

Our target 400 campaign is right on the mark.   I am waiting to get back from Canberra, finalising 18/19 patronage when the Q4 18/19 tracker is finally released, and away we go!



Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan