20,000 extra bus seats a week for Brisbane commuters

By: Graham Gardiner

An additional 385 new bus services providing an extra 20,000 seats per week will be added to the TransLink network

An additional 385 new bus services providing an extra 20,000 seats per week will be added to the TransLink network in coming weeks, Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says.

The Bligh Government is providing $3 million for the additional services that will start on February 22 to coincide with the return of university.

"Buses carry about two-thirds of all passengers on the TransLink network and adding new buses and enhancing existing services are part of our commitment to meet the growing demand," she says.

"Under the recent fare changes, we have committed to adding another 301,000 new seats a week across the Translink network this year.

"This package adds 13 new low-floor, air-conditioned, environmentally-friendly buses to the fleet and it enhances bus routes that record more than nine million trips a year.

"This bus boost has the potential to take up to one million cars off Brisbane roads a year and continues to utilise key pieces of infrastructure such as the eastern and northern busways and the Eleanor Schonell Bridge."

The package includes substantial improvements to bus transport to and from the Princess Alexandra, Royal Children's and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and The University of Queensland - the second-busiest passenger hub on the network after the Brisbane CBD.

Nolan says more bus services will be added to UQ routes 109 (City to UQ via Eleanor Schonell Bridge), 169 (Eight Mile Plains to UQ via Eleanor Schonell Bridge) and 412 (St Lucia/UQ to CBD via Toowong).

This package will also continue to upgrade connections with train lines servicing Cleveland, Beenleigh and the Gold Coast via Park Road station and the state-of-the-art Boggo Road busway station.

Route 109 buses will now run along the entire eastern busway stopping at Boggo Road and PA Hospital busway stations instead of going through several sets of lights along Annerley Road.

The frequency of eastern busway services will double with a bus to UQ each weekday morning every two minutes and every 10 minutes to the city.

The busway-only route 66 between Wooloongabba busway station and QUT busway station will be extended out to RCH Herston and the new RBWH busway station.

"This package will allow us to continue to meet demand on some of Brisbane's fastest growing routes," she says.

Other areas to benefit include Brisbane's northern suburbs 333 (Chermside to City), 343 (pre-paid Aspley to City) and 345 (Maundrell Terrace, Aspley to City), southern suburbs route 160 (Garden City to City) and eastern suburbs with route 206 (pre-paid Carindale to City).

"Both the busway and the continuing efficiency benefits of Go Card - which reduces passenger boarding time by up to seven minutes a service - allow us to provide faster and more reliable bus services," Nolan adds.

"This package reflects the continuing popularity and expansion of Brisbane's busways which are used by services that make more than 60 million trips each year.

"We've also listened to commuters and we're acting on what they've asked for by extending route 66 and moving route 109 on to the eastern busway."

The Queensland Government will provide $212 million for bus services in the Brisbane area in 2009/10, up from $177 million in 2008/09 and $146 million in 2007/08.

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