BREAKING NEWS: TransLink confirms focus on 'cost efficiencies

By: Graham Gardiner


Queensland’s TransLink Transit Authority says it will meet with service delivery partners in the coming weeks to identify where efficiencies

Queensland’s TransLink Transit Authority says it will meet with service delivery partners in the coming weeks to identify where efficiencies and enhancements can be made to the network.

As reported by ABC earlier this week, the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) is scheduled to meet with TransLink next week to discuss the future of government-funded services.

The talks are set to take place amid speculation of impending cuts to government funding for private operators that provide services under the TransLink scheme.

A spokesperson says TransLink is working, on behalf of customers, to drive cost efficiencies that allow ongoing investment in the continued growth of the network.

He refuses to comment on whether the level of funding for TransLink allocated in the recent 2009/10 State Budget will be maintained. The Budget committed $851.11 million to the authority this financial year, up from $821.721 million in 2008/09.

"These are tough economic times, and we need to make sure that every cent is being spent wisely," he says.

One example, the spokesperson says, would be strategies to reduce "dead running" when drivers return to depots for meal breaks.

"If we can provide facilities for drivers to take breaks without returning to depots, we could reduce dead running and cut costs. Savings that we make can be pumped back into enhanced services," he explains.

The spokesperson adds that the south-east Queensland public transport network is heavily subsidised by the State Government, through TransLink – for every $1 collected in fares, an additional $3 is funded by taxpayers.

This has led to almost 50 percent growth in patronage (trips) on the TransLink network over the past five years, he points out.

More than 180 million trips were taken on the TransLink network in the 2008/09 financial year. Brisbane bus trips topped 73 million, up 8 percent, on the back of an additional $18 million worth of new bus services introduced by TransLink in 2008/09.

Rail trips were just under 61 million, an increase of 5 percent, boosted by the increase of eight new train services and 12 new three-car trains introduced last financial year.

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook