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Author Topic: Letters to the editor - Published  (Read 52302 times)

Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published
« on: October 23, 2006, 08:08:20 AM »
Courier Mail  23 Oct 2006


The Brisbane City Council loop bus is indeed a great model for other services.  It is essential that consideration be given to having loop buses in our suburbs to feed bus interchanges and railway stations.  This will help to alleviate the parking problems which beset many commuters on a daily basis.  Parking spaces taken up by commuter is also impacting on local businesses as shoppers find parking access difficult if commuters have taken up all parking.  The solutions are available.
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2006, 02:40:59 PM »
Interesting discussion on the Courier Mail blogs re rail in Brisbane

--> http://blogs.news.com.au/couriermail/watercooler/index.php/couriermail/comments/readers_stand_up_for_right_to_sit/

and

--> http://blogs.news.com.au/couriermail/watercooler/index.php/couriermail/comments/cool_train_trip/

Regards
Ozbob
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Offline ozbob

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Rationalisation of TransLink Zones Needed in Queensland
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2006, 06:48:10 AM »
Publised Courier Mail 12 Dec 2006

The Victorian Government has recently announced the rationalisation of their 3 zone metropolitian ticket system to 2 zones.  The present TransLink ticketing in South East Queensland has 22 zones! This is unnecessarily complicated and makes for expensive travel from outer suburban areas where young families are often located.
Consideration needs to be given to converting the 22 zones into 5 or 6. A sensible outcome would be 5 zones only. For example the new zone 1 would encompass the present zones 1 to 4. New zone 2 encompass the present zones 5 to 8. And so forth. By keeping the fares the same as for the present 5 zones, there will be a reduction in the cost of commuting for many. Again a great incentive for residents to get out of their motor cars!
This would be a great incentive for residents in outer suburban areas to take public transport all the way to work. Many drive part of the way as the outer zone fares are too expensive for many. This causes considerable parking problems at intermediate bus and train stations. The benefits in terms of less traffic congestion, less environmental damage will far outweigh any loss of revenue.
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor CM - Published 3 Feb 2007
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 10:23:40 AM »
The the beginning of road works on the Goodna section of Ipswich Highway will add further chaos to the daily mayhem for commuters along that route, unless imaginative solutions are put forward for increasing public transport options along that corridor.

The road works will further frustrate residents along this rapidly expanding growth corridor.  The prompt acquisition and introduction of the new suburban trains must become a priority on the Ipswich line.  Service frequency, particularly in peak hours, needs to be increased. Many peak services are already overloaded.

Commuters also should try to vary travel times for work where possible, hopefully with the full cooperation and support from employers, public and private sectors

The squabbling between State and Federal politicians is becoming very tiresome to all.  We want solutions not squabbles! 
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Letters to the editor - Published Courier Mail 9 Apr 2007
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 08:28:25 AM »
Recent letters and articles in The Courier Mail have highlighted the now-systemic failure of our Brisbane Council Buses for mass public transport.  It is surely clear to all that the solution lies with maximising our suburban rail network.  A six car suburban unit carries the equivalent of 12 to 15 buses, and with a crew of two.  Attempts to make buses into trains isn't working now, and won't work in the future. A recent welcome initiative has been the new 467 BCC bus service from Windermere to Oxley station.   This is the way to go; buses are great for local community transport, feeding into major rail hubs.  Improved rail service frequency on all lines is needed now. 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 08:30:52 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Letters to the editor - Published Courier Mail 15 May 2007
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 03:42:14 PM »
The new Queensland Rail suburban trains are desperately needed. These new trains are going to be used first on the Gold Coast line according to reports in the news. I have noticed a massive increase in patronage during peak times on the Ipswich line.  For example, the former 4.36 pm Darra service from Central was changed to 4.38 pm from Central to Ipswich a few months ago. This is very heavily loaded now. The other lines such as Ferny Grove, Cleveland, Caboolture are all having increases in passenger numbers as well.
The 44 new 3 car trains will give opportunities for increased service frequency during peak times. It is also important to move towards a 15 minute off peak frequency during the day to encourage people to use the trains and reduce road congestion.  All suburban lines in and around Brisbane need more services, not just the Gold Coast line. The government would be well advised to order yet another 44 suburban trains to meet future transport needs in an economically and environmentally sustainable way.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published Courier Mail 17th May 2007
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2007, 07:48:55 AM »
Your correspondent highlighting the shortage of parking at railway stations makes a good point (Letters May 16).  There is a limit to the amount of car parking that can be built adjacent to bus and railway stations. Simply trying to squeeze more and more cars around already congested local streets and car parks does have a limit.  What is needed is some innovative thinking. 

The City Loop Bus is a good model for what can be done in the suburbs.  Loop buses running frequent regular routes in suburban areas around railway and bus stations will enable commuters' access to fast efficient transport without the need to drive.  This would go a long way in relieving the nightmare which is parking in side streets, on nature strips and the occupation of shopping centre parks with commuter vehicles.

This makes it difficult for local businesses and their customers, as well as residents living close to stations.  The parking hassles also act as a disincentive for people to use public transport.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 07:57:15 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published Satellite News Paper May 23rd 2007
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 12:01:30 PM »
RAIL Back On Track is concerned with the apparent contempt the public transport commuter community is being shown by Queensland Transport.   Why was the recent weekend chosen to close the railway lines from Corinda to Rosewood?  Surely some consultation with the community could provide for weekend closures that do not disrupt in a major way community activities.  Folks plan for these events for long periods of time and it is heart breaking to have it ruined by a lack of consideration of transport authorities.

The Oxley Village Street Fair was ruined in a similar fashion.  The weekend that the Fair was on the railway was closed for routine track maintenance,  the chaos caused by buses disrupted the fair and kept many citizens away.  Morale is such now that the organisers are unlikely to attempt that again, such was the effect.

Surely when planning track closures, some consideration be given to the community events.  We all appreciate the need for track maintenance and so forth, but it can be done in an empathetic manner for the community.  It may be necessary to set up some sort of Community Event register that transport authorities could use when planning maintenance closures.
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Offline ozbob

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Letter to the editor - Published Courier Mail 11 June
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 07:14:24 AM »
The article "This train crash could happen in Queensland" (CM June9)" is timely.
Education programs alone won't achieve the goal of zero fatalities at level crossings, but will go a long way to improving outcomes.  A combination of education, penalties for breaches, noise strips, speed reductions on approaches to crossings, warning signs and flashing lights at 400 metres from a crossing will all assist in achieving zero fatalities. These things can be implemented immediately.
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published Courier Mail 15th June 2007
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2007, 07:25:24 AM »


Translink has announced fare increases in public transport in Brisbane from the 2nd of July. Although not overly excessive these fare increases will add to many residents daily living costs.  Already water, electricity, housing and food prices are hitting families hard.  It is time that the Government consider re-introducing family tickets for weekend travel on Translink services.  This would be a welcome relief to families who could use the public transport system at an off peak time in a more affordable manner.  There would be no direct costs other than ticketing options, as services are running regardless. This would be of considerable benefit to struggling families, but will also have the benefit of familiarisation with public transport, which will help in changing commuting behaviour.

Victoria has had free Sunday public transport travel for senior citizens for some time now.  Again this could be introduced for senior citizens in Brisbane at nothing other than a marginal cost.  Public transport has some slack on Sundays, and it will be no additional load for our public transport generally to make this service available.  It will assist the Senior citizens to get out and about, and have more healthy life styles.
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published Courier Mail 18th June
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 07:57:29 AM »
Courier Mail 15th June

The article ?End of the line feared (C-M June 15)" highlights subsidies to Queensland long distance trains.  Support of the rural community by the Queensland Government in maintaining these services is to be applauded.  It should also be noted that public transport in South East Queensland is also heavily subsidised.  So is health, electricity, water, education and other transport modes.  Rarely is the true cost of road and air infrastructure, and their environmental  penalties costed  into those transport modes. If it was, it too would show such distortions of cost and subsidies.

Governments are there to support their communities. Governments of late have lacked the long term vision of our pioneers who laid down our basic rail network.  For example, the short term myopia demonstrated when the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads railways were closed during the 1960s and right of way lost, is now hitting home in exorbitant infrastructure costs to re-establish those lines.

In twenty or thirty years it is highly likely that the only viable transport mode will be rail.  Air and road will be subject to extreme fuel and environmental costs.  The federal government has also recently indicated that the inland railway from Melbourne to Brisbane is now very likely.  Rather than pontificating about possible cutbacks, governments need to be thinking of long term needs and expanding and continuing support for rail networks.  Rail is the sustainable and environmentally friendly transport solution for Queensland and the nation.
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published Brisbane Mx June 21
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2007, 04:06:35 PM »
Brisbane mX 21st June

The article on the Smart cards (Tue mX) failed to mention that no guarantees have been given for weekly tickets.
Many commuters use weekly tickets as they help to make commuting at least a little more affordable, and give some flexibility for weekend travel. Weekly tickets are a major incentive for people to use public transport.

One would think that Smart cards could be programmed to drop into a weekly ticket mode once four days daily travel undertaken, so that the next three days are essentially free.  As it is at the moment there will be considerable increases in the cost of travel for those presently using weekly tickets when they move to Smart card. Also as mentioned in your article, what happens when people fail to touch off, or the system fails, they will be debited with a zone 23 fare!  Goodness, there is going to riots on the trains, buses and ferries.  The Smart card roll out is years behind schedule already. I think we are being sold a dud.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 05:26:18 PM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2007, 05:24:04 PM »
Brisbane mX 10 July 2007

RAIL ? Back On Track (backontrack.org) a web based community organisation for the promotion of rail throughout Australia has congratulated Queensland Rail (QR) and the Queensland Police on acting promptly following the discovery of a suspicious package at South Brisbane Railway Station this morning.

It is important that public safety be the first consideration, despite the disruptions to services when such incidents occur.  The travelling public is grateful for the dedication of our police and rail staff in their quick response to resolve the situation.

The site, however, calls for increased staffing of Queensland Rail suburban stations to assist with improved security and commuter safety.  Simply replacing staff with ticket machines is probably going to mean that more disruptions are likely to occur.  A people presence is an important factor in helping to maintain security and support for the travelling public.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2007, 08:00:04 AM »
Courier Mail 17 July 2007

Light rail way to go

I refer to the plans by the State Government-appointed Smart State Council to revitalise Brisbane by improving transport options and making it pedestrian friendly. (C-M, July 16).

Included in that is a plan for light rail with a network connecting New Farm West End South Brisbane with a loop through Bowen Hills. This is to be applauded.

Light rail (modern tram) is well suited to high density mass transit solutions. Environmentally friendly, non polluting, affordable and sustainable it will help to make Brisbane one of the most liveable cities in the world. The Mass Transit Consultation Forum being conducted by the Brisbane City Council has had overwhelming feedback on the suitability of light rail for Brisbane. Now the experts agree.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 08:08:13 AM by ozbob »
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Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2007, 08:13:50 AM »
Courier Mail 23 July 2007

The article "Is a light rail network for Brisbane on track?" (C-M July 21-22) was highlighting only part of the solution. It is worth noting that the rail, bus and river transport systems are generally doing a great job within the constraints of the limited resources available today.  There is room for immediate improvement though with timetable adjustments.

In the longer term, maximising the potential of heavy rail including underground extensions, with light rail options for inner city high density areas, with a coordinated fleet of environmentally friendly local buses feeding key transport hubs ? railway, bus and river transport stations, and articulated hybrid buses running long haul routes where rail not available is the way to go. River transport can also be expanded. Now is a critical moment in the future planning of an integrated public transport solution for not only Brisbane, but the wider southeast Queensland area.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 08:17:04 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2007, 07:20:47 AM »
Published Courier Mail August 3

Why is it that QR Citytrain TransLink passengers who hold regular tickets have to pay for an additional ticket cost, an add on fare, to travel to the Ekka; and bus passengers who hold regular tickets do not? This is clearly indicated on the TransLink web site.

This is just more blatant revenue raising and discrimination against the majority of regular rail passengers. We continue to see TransLink locked into yesterday's paradigm. They should now be promoting and projecting the benefits of public transport to the community. To state as justification on the TransLink web site that the Exhibition station is a special stand alone zone is spin. It complicates the travel of regular ticket holders who must fuss around and buy an additional ticket. Time for Ministerial intervention to end this discrimination!
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2007, 08:31:25 AM »
Published Courier Mail August 5

The Courier Mail has highlighted the number of bus passengers left stranded and the present disruptions to TransLink Citytrain services (Nasty dose strains state's workplaces, C-M August 4).  Flu spin aside, again this is highlighting the abysmal nature of public transport in South East Queensland to cope with peak loadings.  Citytrain cancellations have been occurring regularly now for weeks and weeks.  To spin this as flu is not doing the travelling public any real service all, it is just contempt.  This flu is magical.  It seems to exert it's worse effects weekly on Friday's peak times, and when major sporting/entertainment events put additional strains on services.

I am a medical scientist.  This might be a great research project to explore this unique periodicity of this flu! It is time that the Minister of Transport and TransLink actually acknowledged the true nature of the problems. 

These being years of neglect, a failure to keep pace with timetables that match changing work and social pressures (last major review over ten years ago), and the systemic failures to keep infrastructure and staff levels able to meet satisfactory operational services.  We await in stunned bemusement for the probable meltdowns that will occur during the Brisbane Ekka.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2007, 06:29:16 PM »
Published Brisbane mX  August 14

Two additional stations are needed on the Darra to Springfield railway line.
The Darra to Springfield railway line will be a very welcome addition to South East Queensland's transport infrastructure.  Springfield will be a major population centre in the not too distant future and rail will provide frequent and safe access to and from the Brisbane CBD and other suburbs by Citytrain.  The provision of this vital new infrastructure is the prerequisite for fulfillment of the vision of Springfield as a region with low dependence on private cars for transport.  However aspects for the proposed plans for construction of this railway line represent a false economy for residents and the government alike as only two stations on the line are confirmed to be built from the outset, Springfield and Richlands.

Without provision of stations within walking distance of the well established residential area?s of Springfield Lakes and Camira the proposal fails to deliver the most significant savings in household expenditure on private car transport that act to could insulate these residents from future raises in petrol and interest rates as it will still be necessary to drive to park and rides at Springfield or Richlands out of walking reach of these stations.  A station at Camira would also provide access to the Carole Park industrial area, benefiting both employers and employees.  Building the stations at Springfield Lakes and Camira well after opening of the line is also a false economy for Government as it is likely that costs would be inflated due to the additional construction costs incurred by building around an operational railway line.

It is to the Queensland Government?s credit that they recognise importance of the providing a sound foundation for future growth of the Western Corridor through construction of the Springfield railway line.  However skimping on the initial construction by not providing required stations on the line will only short change all parties in the medium term.  Rail Back on Track is calling for the construction of Stations at Springfield Lakes and Camira in time for the opening of the line and suggests that local residents should express their concerns to their Government representatives.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2007, 04:02:02 AM »
Published Brisbane mX August 23

Looks like the 'flu' has returned.  More Citytrain services cancelled this week during the afternoon peak Monday and Tuesday already, with the resultant congested overloaded services with passengers stranded.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel  though (might be your cancelled service, perhaps?), new trains are being progressively introduced and new crew being trained. Lets hope we can all hang on for better days.  Anyone seen the Minister of Transport?  Maybe he missed the train too!
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2007, 08:04:56 AM »
Published Courier Mail August 27

The announcement of the feasibility study to examine the options for boosting rail capacity in the city centre, including the potential for an underground tunnel, is most welcome. Rail is the bulk people mover. Brisbane is struggling with a bus system that cannot cope, CityCats that are also leaving many passengers stranded at terminals, and a Citytrain network which is experiencing heavy loads.

As population pressures continue to build, rail expansion is paramount. People need to be continually encouraged to use public transport. What will encourage changes in behaviour is making public transport accessible, punctual, frequent and affordable. 
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2007, 04:25:47 AM »
Published Brisbane mX August 29

A new Citytrain timetable is to be introduced in March 2008. 

It is obvious that the morning and afternoon peak times are now much wider in duration than when the present timetable was first implemented.  Passenger numbers are much greater and citizens are living further out from the CBD too.  Work, study and leisure hours are much more variable which means that the present limited early and late peak services are often overloaded.  Should a peak service be cancelled the congestion effects are massively amplified.

Peak train frequencies should operate between 0530 and 0930 hours, and 1530 and 1930 hours Monday to Friday on all lines with no more than ten minutes between services.

In between these peak periods during the week days there should be no more than a fifteen minute wait between services on all lines.

Before and after peak periods, and on weekends and public holidays, there should be no longer than twenty minutes wait between trains on all lines.

This broad revised timetable framework would allow commuters to disperse their patterns of travel, and match changing work and social life style patterns to accessible rail transport.

It would also allow the Citytrain system to cope with massive projected increases in passenger numbers.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2007, 07:01:52 AM »
Published Courier Mail September 3rd

Terry Sweetman was right! The smartcard ticketing project is "a managerial disaster, a political disgrace and a public scandal." (C-M, Aug 31). The TRANSLink smartCard is an ongoing problem. Presently undergoing more trials with bemused commuters, it simply fails to deliver. Plagued by inflexible software, it is unable to cope with the present fare and ticket options throughout the TRANSLink network. The ramifications being that there will be significant cost increases for most regular commuters when it is finally rolled out if they go with the smartcard.

$200 million is already spent, how much more before this farce is foisted upon the travelling public?
The southeast public is already suffering the chronic congestion and service shortfalls.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2007, 10:04:20 AM »
Published Courier Mail September 6

Once a rare event, CityTrain cancellations now seem to occur almost every day in increasing numbers on most lines of the network. Many bus commuters are left standing at bus stops as full buses pass them by, or services do not arrive. The CityCats are also unable to meet peak requirements.

It is time that a TRANSLink Commuter Compensation scheme was implemented.  Passengers should be invited to apply for a free daily ticket for each time they are bypassed or their service is cancelled and does not arrive. A similar scheme operates in Melbourne as an incentive for the operator, Connex, to maintain service standards.

The details of all services cancelled each day,  and the number of buses, catamarans and ferries that have bypassed because of full loadings should be publicly displayed on the TRANSLink website daily. 
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2007, 08:50:01 AM »
Published Courier Mail September 26

The railway line to the Airport is underutilised (C-M, Sept 25). It is time the State Government took it over, brought it into the Citytrain timetable and fare structure. It would then be accessible, and affordable. Congestion problems to the airport would be greatly relieved.
Trains need to run from early morning to late at night. That way people could actually use the service.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2007, 06:41:43 PM »
Published Brisbane mX  September 27

The Queensland State Government should take over the railway line to Brisbane Airport, and bring on Citytrain services that have the same fare structure and timetable hours, and service frequency as for rest of the network. 

This would then encourage massive increases in passenger numbers and go a long way to relieving the chronic road traffic congestion associated with Brisbane Airport terminals and the general airport precinct.

The service to the Brisbane Airport uses Queensland Rail Citytrains.  The cost of the travel from the City to the Airport is at a cost that actively discourages people. 

It should be brought into the same fare structure as for the rest of metropolitan railway network.

The Airport effectively lies in Zone 3.  This equates to a normal fare of $3.20 from Central compared to the present $13 Airtrain fare. 

It is this cost differential that results in empty trains, and because of that a decrease in train frequency and service hours, which in turn leads to fewer passengers. 

Trains need to run when actually needed. 

The late start and early finish of the present Airtrain services is farcical.

If the State Government took back management from Airtrain City Link Ltd, or at least subsidised the fares to normal fare structure, the trains would be well patronised and be available for not only domestic and international passengers, but also for people employed in the airport precinct.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2007, 09:11:31 AM »
Published Courier Mail October 1

There has been a huge increase in the number of Citytrain cancellations (C-M, Sept 29) and we are now facing busway gridlock. Clearly more is involved than just illness causing QR crew shortfalls.  Years of inadequate staff and equipment resources are taking their toll.

The extra trains presently being rolled out will help, as well as the extra crew now in training. An additional 22 by 3 car sets should be ordered now to provide the timetable frequencies that will be required as fuel price rises and population pressures build and all roads end up in gridlock.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2007, 06:36:27 PM »
Published mX October 5

Why is it that Translink cannot or will not reveal the specific details of how the Smart card ticket will work?

Many commuters are very concerned that based on the way the pilot project operates they are facing huge increases in their regular cost of travel.

Some assurance as to how the fares will be calculated is urgently needed.

Will there be a daily fare cap, and will it cap to the present weekly and monthly fares?

If it doesn't, the cost increases will be very significant.

Vague descriptions of  'frequent traveller discounts' will not substitute for the practical utility of weekly and monthly tickets.

Ten trip saver tickets are  being phased out.  People who use these two or three times a week will also be disadvantaged.
Promises that other paper tickets will be retained for a period are not reassurance.

There are enough road congestion problems as it is; we don't need more people being forced back into cars because of huge increases in public transport costs and poor ticketing options.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 06:38:42 PM by ozbob »
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2007, 07:58:59 AM »
Published Courier Mail Oct 17

You highlighted the potential cost impacts of the new smartcard "Ticket overhaul a threat to prices" (C-M, Oct 16). The spin about the convenience of the smartcard ticketing is over-rated in my opinion.  It is much easier for the regular commuter to buy a weekly ticket (or monthly) and not have to worry about touching on and touching off.
I think most people who use weeklies etc will be dismayed when they realise the full cost impost unless present ticketing costs and practices are replicated on the smartcard.  The loss of 10-trip saver ticketing will hurt many commuters.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2007, 06:43:16 AM »
Published Courier Mail Nov 3

I welcome the statement by Transport Minister John Mickel (C-M, Nov 2) on the basic fare structure and discounts for Translink Smartcards.   However, those commuters who now use 10-trip saver tickets who make 3 or less return journeys in a week are at some cost disadvantage.  Why not introduce a 10-trip version of the Smart card?  This card could be programmed in such a way that each trip has a 20% discount as for the present 10-trippers but does not roll over to the 50% discount after six journeys.


(see media release --> http://backontrack.org/mbs/index.php?topic=285.0)
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2007, 11:21:05 AM »
Published mX Nov 27

The 2007 federal election result means that the proposed Ipswich highway bypass will not be built. Ipswich highway is arguably the most dangerous and congested road in Australia.  It seems almost daily, sometimes many times a day, traffic is brought to a standstill with accidents and traffic overload.  As road works are undertaken to upgrade the highway it is only going to get worse, much worse.

The Ipswich highway runs virtually parallel to the railway line to Ipswich.  It is time that an active program was undertaken to encourage commuters to leave their cars behind and relax on the train.

There is a need for more peak services to encourage commuting by rail. Some peak services are already congested and the Hale Street Link project will add further load. In the morning there is too big a gap between the 5.41 am and 6.14 am services from Ipswich to Caboolture.  The 6.14 am service is often overloaded by the time it reaches Oxley and rarely runs on time as a result. An additional service leaving Ipswich at 5.59 am to Bowen Hills would be perfect.
 
It would be within the present crew and train service capacities that it* could be terminated at Darra.  This is only two stations past Corinda. This would then give a 15-minute frequency from both Oxley and Darra.  Feeding buses into these stations it would enable commuters' fast and safe access to the city and beyond. 

* this should read - capacities *that trains presently terminating at Corinda* could -
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2007, 07:42:43 AM »
Published Courier Mail December 4

Thanks for highlighting the public transport deficiencies in South-East Queensland (C-M, Dec 3).  The answer is to dramatically ramp up rail. 

We have congestion already on the buses with a limited capacity to introduce more, already reaching maximum bus density in the CBD and on the bus-ways at peak hour.

Rail can easily double capacity at peak if the Government funds QR Citytrain appropriately.  A train can carry 800 commuters easily.  We also need immediate commencement of construction of Darra to Springfield, Petrie to Kippa-Ring, triplication of Darra to Redbank lines and a further new 44 three car trains with crew. 

We would be then better placed for a sustainable transport future.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2007, 10:17:57 AM »
Published Courier Mail December 15

The derailment at Petrie has again highlighted the increasing congestion problems of mixing freight and suburban passenger rail services.  As Citytrain services are ramped up it will become very difficult to provide around the clock access for freight trains on the present railway network through Brisbane.

Consideration should be given to building a western rail loop which could be used for freight trains, essentially independent of the suburban network.

A possible general route would be Caboolture, Dayboro, Fernvale, Ipswich, Bromelton.  Bromelton is ideally situated for a major freight interchange distribution centre as it is on the standard gauge railway from the south.  It is interesting to note that both Dayboro and Fernvale were once serviced by Queensland Railway branch lines.

Now is the time for the real big rail decisions and investment.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2007, 09:01:49 AM »
Published Brisbane mX  December 17

Transport Minister Mickel has previously outlined the Translink Go Card  frequent traveller discount and bonus.  This is a good option for some, but is only cost neutral for people travelling 10 trips per week. What is needed is an occasional trip option and a high use option based on weekly and/or monthly fares.
Unless there are further fare options the commuter uptake of the Go Card will be poor. This will then negate the potential benefits of increased efficiency in terms of faster loading of buses and river transport, and reduced direct ticket sales and cash handling.  The frequent user scheme is a con.  If you do multiple daily trips or more than 10 trips per week you will pay huge increases in your costs relative to present weekly/monthly tickets.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2007, 07:16:01 AM »
Published Courier Mail December 28

The Victorian Government decided to give free public transport on Sundays to retired Senior Card Holders from August 2006. It is very popular. Public transport has some slack on Sundays, and it would be no additional load for our public transport services generally to make this available in Queensland.  It will assist our Senior citizens to get out and about and have more healthy life styles, and also help them make ends meet, particular in view of the cost of living increases.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2008, 07:11:16 AM »
Published Courier Mail January 7

I and most regular rail commuters do not condone fare evasion.

Many commuters have commented on the difficulty of purchasing tickets at understaffed railway stations and coping with Ticket Vending Machines that cannot provide adequate change, or in some cases accept notes.

It is not surprising that some travellers are forced to reverse ticket purchase or face lengthy delays due to the poor timetable frequency.

To think that the GoCard (the Smartcard ticket) will be a ticketing panacea is flawed thinking. Failing to tag on or early tag off is same as travelling without a valid ticket. There is an urgent need for fair fare pricing to be introduced on the GoCard otherwise fare evasion will be an ongoing issue. Railway stations need to be properly staffed and ticket machines maintained in full operational capacity at all times.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2008, 07:38:10 AM »
Published Courier Mail January 10

Fining passengers who are buying tickets at the end of their journey at CBD stations (instead of buying tickets at the start of the trip) is just punishing people for system-wide problems with ticketing resources.

The fact they are standing in line to buy tickets indicates they are not thieves at all. They have every intention of paying their fare - they just have problems with the mediocre ticket machines and poor staffing at stations.

The real fare evaders are riding outer suburban services regularly, and often buy one-zone tickets within the inner city to traverse the transit officer gauntlet, and then travel system-wide for free.

Rather than fining people who are arguably not evading fares, the priority should be catching the real cheats.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2008, 07:03:03 AM »
Published Courier Mail January 19

Terry Sweetman (C-M, Jan 18) has highlighted yet more technical problems with the Go Card.

Among all the spin and counter-claims concerning the Go Card is the important fact that the present fare structure for the card is not an incentive for people to use the card. 

Why is it that some people from the pilot scheme who have been issued with a new Go Card are reverting back to paper integrated tickets, such as weekly or monthly? 

It is because of the constant system problems and the cost of travel with the card relative to present seasonal ticketing. These are critical issues.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2008, 06:40:09 PM »
Published Brisbane mX  January 25

Many users of the Go Card, who are in the main the former Translink smart card pilot participants, are reporting numerous system problems with the card?s operation, and problems with the new ticket vending machines.

This is of concern following reports of the collapse of the Sydney T Card smart card ticketing project.

For example, some users have reported losing money in the ticket machines when attempting to top up balances, and problems with the debiting of fare costs to the card, particularly when there are system failures and users are unable to tag off.

Others have highlighted problems with the GPS location system in buses, and some concerns with the durability of Go Card equipment on the river ferries.

The tag-on tag-off devices at railway stations seem to be particularly prone to vandalism.

The only fare structure announced, the frequent user scheme, is also causing concern to high use public transport users who face significant fare increases relative to their present seasonal paper ticketing should they use the card.

I note that paper ticketing will be maintained for a period following card roll-out but surely the whole point of investing $100 million dollars or so will be to eventually replace the present system. Otherwise we will just have two expensive duplicate ticketing systems?

Can assurances be given that commuters will not be worse off with the Go Card?

Is the card really ready for roll out? The evidence so far suggests that commuters will be worse off and the card still is not ready for mainstream use!
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2008, 06:50:43 AM »
Published Courier Mail January 28

Electronic ticketing such as the Go Card offers much in the way of benefits to public transport.  Accurate loading data is easily available, the cost of providing ticketing and the cash sales is minimised, loading of buses and ferries particularly is much faster and this leads to significant overall efficiency gains.

Why then is the Queensland Government and Translink trying to drive through a product that has a number of flaws and with no or little regard to feedback from pilot users and others, when in fact if they had an equitable fare structure and incentives for  uptake the overall benefits would be realised from the outset?

The fare base on the card should have a significant discount to cash fares (as the card is a form of advance  payment and this also reflects the savings made from no need to handle cash or paper ticket sales).

There should be fare caps that equate to the present ticketing practices.  Essential to have a daily fare cap with weekly and monthly limits.  This would then make the Go Card attractive to all and encourage a high level of uptake.

It would appear the Queensland Government and Translink are hoping that the average commuter will not be able to fathom the details as so far presented.  I think they will be in for a shock when commuters do realize the full imposts of the actions of Government and Translink.
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Re: Letters to the editor - Published
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2008, 07:45:20 AM »
Published Courier Mail February 7

The frequent user fare scheme on the new Translink Go Card is a rip off.
Interested commuters should check out Perth's SmartRider smart card fares, and the proposed fare structure for Melbourne's Myki smart card. 

They both have very equitable fare structures, not like Queensland's Go Card.  The Go Card is being rejected by many commuters because using it costs a lot more to travel than the present integrated paper ticketing. 

The Go card should calculate a 2 hour fare for a single journey. If you travel more than once during the day, cap at a daily fare. And if you travel more during the same week cap at a weekly fare. 

Why does the State Government and Translink allow the public transport commuters of southeast Queensland to be ripped off?
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“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan