Brisbane busway turns 10

It’s a day to celebrate as Brisbane’s south-east busway – a model for bus rapid transit infrastructure nationally and internationally – turned ten

Brisbane busway turns 10
Brisbane busway turns 10

By David Goeldner | May 3, 2011

Noted internationally as one of the world’s best examples of public transport infrastructure, Brisbane’s south-east busway has turned ten years old.

The milestone was marked this morning with a cake cutting celebration at the Eight Mile Plains bus station attended by TransLink CEO Peter Strachan, Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk, and local state member Phil Reeves.

It was Reeves who took centre stage at the tenth anniversary celebration, not just as the local member, but as the first ticket holder on the busway’s first day of operation in 2001.

"Ten years and three days ago at 3am in the morning I elbowed someone out of the way so I could be the first paying customer," Reeves says.

"And I was one of six people on the very first bus."

The bus departed at 5:07 am, and Reeve’s ticket has been kept and tabled in Queensland Parliament for ‘posterity’, displaying it this morning for the local media at the celebration.

"The south-east busway has been a huge success and I am very proud to be the number one paying ticket holder," says Reeves.

"This has revolutionised public transport in the electorate of Mansfield and the southern suburbs and we are seeing its duplication throughout Brisbane."

The busway has been such as success that parking for 465 car parks at the Eight Mile Plains bus station has reached capacity, with further space being allocated for 200 car parks at nearby Klumpp Road.

"Thousands of people are now catching public transport into work," Reeves says.

"From Eight Mile Plains into the city, it takes 18 minutes, doesn’t matter what time of the day."

Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says the opening of the busway in 2001 was the beginning of a network that has become an example of best practice for public transport across the world.

"What we have now are people from around the world coming down here to look at this network," Palaszczuk says.

The first stage of the south-east busway from Brisbane CBD to Woolloongabba was opened on September 13, 2000, in time for the first Olympic football match between Cameroon and Kuwait at the Gabba.

The second stage to Eight Mile Plains was officially opened on 27 April, 2001 ahead of a weekend of busway fun days before opening to bus traffic on Monday 30 April.

The 17 kilometre busway runs adjacent to the south-east freeway and includes 10 modern bus stations and a bus operations centre.

"The busway stations have been developed at areas to serve major activity centres, which allow buses to serve low-density communities, collect passengers on local roads, and then join the busway for a congestion-free trip to the city," Palaszczuk says.

"Its stations have won architectural awards for their creative design, and it has improved land values in the communities that it serves directly."

Palaszczuk says during the past 10 years, Brisbane's bus network had undergone a major transformation, with three major busways completed and two more currently under construction.

There is currently 24 kilometres of busway across Brisbane, predominately to the south and east of the city with 19 busway stations, seven interchanges, five park 'n' ride facilities and almost 600 CCTV cameras.

But today was about celebrating the first stage.

"People were amazed when this was opened ten years ago and what we have seen is heaps of people using this bus network," says Palaszczuk.

"We are building bus networks to the north of the city, to the east of the city, and the south-east busway was the first one."

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