Qconnect bus services starts operations

By: Chris Smith

More 'user-friendly' is the claim for the new bus bus services beginning yesterday in Cairns. Transport Minister John Mickel says

More 'user-friendly' is the claim for the new bus bus services beginning yesterday in Cairns.

Transport Minister John Mickel says Cairns bus passengers will get a new deal under Qconnect with standardised fares based on new travel zones.

"A majority of Cairns bus passengers will find they now pay less for their normal trip under Qconnect. For example, the fare from Palm Cove to Cairns City will fall from $6.80 to $4.60.

"In addition, a number of new state of the art, low floor accessible buses are being introduced to deliver the improved services. They will provide a more comfortable ride in air conditioned comfort as well as being wheelchair accessible." Mickel claims.

"Information packs containing the new timetables, fare information and zone maps have been delivered to homes throughout Cairns. Anyone who hasn't received a pack should contact Sunbus.

"Qconnect will deliver to regional cities the kind of benefits south-east Queenslanders enjoy from TransLink.

"For Cairns, it means that from next Monday bus fares will be charged according to a new system of zones, which is easier for passengers to understand," Mickel says.

He says the zonal fare system is only the beginning of the Qconnect impact on Cairns.

Under qconnect:
  • bus services will be provided with modern air-conditioned buses that are wheelchair accessible
  • signage and timetables will be updated and simplified
  • bus stops will be modernised and made more accessible – the first has already been completed in Sheridan Street
  • bus services will be redesigned to ensure better connections with each other and with long distance rail services
  • long distance air and coach services will be better co-ordinated with regional city bus services
  • wheelchair compliant taxis are being provided to small communities throughout Queensland.

The Minister says Qconnect fulfilled the Government's election commitment to standardise fares and improve public transport services in regional and rural Queensland.

"The government is determined to ensure that adequate public transport services are available to all Queenslanders, no matter where they live," Mickel says.

"Through Qconnect, the State Government is working with local transport operators to make services more in tune with the needs of local communities and make public transport more attractive to users."

The Minister says that, after Cairns, Qconnect transport improvements would be rolled out progressively to all other major regional centres by mid-2008.

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