Patronage drops in south east Queensland

By: Jason Whittaker


New Translink figures show patronage on the public transport network in south east Queensland has fallen in the past year. Overall

New Translink figures show patronage on the public transport network in south east Queensland has fallen in the past year.

Overall patronage in July, August and September was 47.8 million trips – about 1.4 per cent less than the same period in 2008/9.

TransLink Transit Authority Chief Executive Peter Strachan attributes the drop in part to the economic conditions during the period.

"We are also seeing a correction in some of the data previously collected due to the accuracy provided by Go Card," Strachan says.

"For example a weekly train ticket was previously considered as 11 trips.

"The Go Card is providing a more accurate data showing customers actually travelled nine or 10 times, sometimes across train, bus and ferry.

"As Go Card uptake increases we expect to see this correction continue."

Across the three different modes on the TransLink network – bus, rail and ferry – patronage varied.

Overall bus patronage remained at 30.4 million trips across the network during the first quarter, but then dropped below the 30 million mark for the rest of the year.

Strong growth of almost 10 percent was recorded by operators in Logan, Caboolture/Bribie Island and Ipswich.

Patronage on CityCat and CityFerry services were down by 130,000 trips to 1.75 million on the same period last year.

Overall train patronage was down about 4.7 per cent compared to the previous year – 16.4 million down to 15.7 million trips.

Spokesman for commuter advocacy group Rail Back On Track, Robert Dow, says the fall in patronage reflects problems with bus congestion, rail disruptions and poor frequency of service and coordination of bus and rail services.

"There has also been major regular track closures and this would also have an effect," he says.

"A decrease in ferry trips is probably also due in part to a depressed tourist market in the quarter."

Go Card usage did not show a significant increase in use either, he says.

"Overall trips on the Go card were around 32 percent of all trips.

"This again highlights why additional fare options are needed for the go card - capping and periodical options."

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