[QLD] New bus services to ease the squeeze

By: Chris Smith


Minister for Transport John Mickel and Brisbane City Councillor Victoria Newton today announced a $4.6 million commitment to provide new

Minister for Transport John Mickel and Brisbane City Councillor Victoria Newton today announced a $4.6 million commitment to provide new bus services for Brisbane.

From this Friday, February 18, the joint commitment will provide 96 additional weekday services catering for almost 6500 passengers a day travelling on Brisbane's busiest bus routes.

The project, which will include the provision of 31 new buses, will be funded by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.

Minister Mickel says public transport patronage numbers in Brisbane were continually increasing in line with population growth.

"Record numbers of Brisbane residents have been leaving their cars behind and getting on board public transport,’’ he says.

"Since TransLink was introduced in July 2004 public transport patronage across the TransLink network has increased by 30 percent.

"The number of passenger trips provided in 2003-2004 was around 123 million, a number which increased to 163 million in 2006-2007 — a rise of around 40 million trips,’’ Mickel says.

"These new services have been targeted at the routes under most pressure, with increased services for the South East Busway, the busy Mains Road corridor, the Western Suburbs and for people travelling to the University of Queensland.’’

Under the package, the Queensland Governmenthas contributed $2.25 million funding from the TransLink Network Plan and the Brisbane City Council has contributed $2.3 million funding from its ``Call to Action’’ project.

This is the first time since TransLink was introduced that Brisbane City Council has contributed operational funding for new services.

As part of the funding several routes will receive articulated banana buses to provide more capacity. Minister Mickel says more new services would be introduced when the $333 million Inner Northern Busway opened in mid 2008.

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