BRISBANE City Council's Public and Active Transport Chairman, Adrian Schrinner, last week unveiled the Council's 10 Point Plan to fix public transport in Brisbane and called on the State Government to implement its ideas as a matter of urgency.
Cr Schrinner said that he has written to the State Minister for Transport proposing a new Public Transport Alliance for Brisbane, with 10 key initiatives for Council and TransLink to work cooperatively on, to improve the public transport network.
"Brisbane City Council has been providing public transport services for more than 90 years and this year alone, Council is contributing over $120 million to providing transport services and related infrastructure," Cr Schrinner said.
"There is no other local government operating or subsidising services like Council and it makes sense that Brisbane should be engaged as more than a contractor, but instead as a co-investing partner with a role in strategic planning for our public transport.
"With the upcoming Brisbane Metro and Cross River Rail projects, we also need to ensure these projects are complementary, not competitive, as Minister Trad suggested on radio this morning.
"We believe that Brisbane deserves a New World City public transport system and based on bus contract negotiations this far, we have lost confidence that the State Government's TransLink can deliver this for Brisbane residents.
"Council has been extremely concerned with the progress of bus contract negotiations, which from all appearances have been focused on cost-cutting measures, not improving public transport for commuters.
"The last thing we want is to see reduced service levels for the 68 per cent of all public transport users who catch buses in Brisbane."
Cr Schrinner said that Council had put forward a broad ranging plan for public transport, including proposals to accommodate the future growth of the network.
"I'm calling on the Minister to agree to our Public Transport Alliance for Brisbane and to commit to our 10 point strategy for fixing the public transport system," he said.
"By working together, we can deliver the best possible bus system for Brisbane residents with effective Metro and Cross River Rail systems to cater to the future public transport needs of Brisbane.
"We know that the State Government alone has no plans to fix bus congestion issues, which is why it is critical we are working together.
"A cooperative and strategic approach to our public transport will result in improvements which encourage more people, not less, to take advantage of public transport, by making services more user-friendly and responsive to community needs."
Council's Public Transport Alliance for Brisbane proposal involves:
- Establish a unique public transport alliance model, rather than a standard commercial contract model;
- A progressive review of the Brisbane bus network, involving staged and systematic localised reviews;
- Route simplification and re-branding of routes to improve network legibility for passengers;
- Developing a clear strategy for the use of High Capacity Buses on the bus network;
- Encouraging patronage growth and multi-modal trips through sharing of future fare box revenue growth across all modes (rail, bus, and ferry);
- A commitment to retaining a high quality Brisbane Transport workforce through the maintenance of above industry standard salary and employment conditions;
- Development of demand-responsive transport options to complement the existing TransLink network;
- Introduction of a loyalty program (frequent traveller program) for go card users;
- Initiating monthly operator meetings between TransLink, Brisbane Transport, Queensland Rail and private transport operators to deliver better network coordination; and
- Developing a clear Park and Ride strategy to encourage mode shift from private motor vehicles to public transport.