TransLink network rationalisation talks 'productive

By: Jason Whittaker


Talks between the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) and TransLink are proving to be "very productive", says an industry representative. QBIC

Talks between the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) and TransLink are proving to be "very productive", says an industry representative.

QBIC President Graham Davis says QBIC and TransLink have developed a collaborative framework ahead of talks to identify where efficiencies and enhancements could be made to the network.

"Times are tough, we understand that," says Davis. "We’re not resiling from working with TransLink to identify efficiencies in the network where we can.

"We want to ensure that they’re going to reinvest it back in the network. I think we have that commitment now from TransLink publicly and in that meeting.

"Now it’s just a matter of working with them."

Davis says it is too early to know how the network might change. Discussions between the parties will continue over the next couple of weeks.

Last week a government spokesman told ABC TransLink was working to drive cost efficiencies into the network to allow ongoing investment and continued growth.

The comments came after ABC reported speculation of impending cuts to government funding for private operators that provide services under the TransLink scheme.

One example of a cost cutting strategy given by the spokesman was the introduction of 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.

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

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.

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