Too high a price

A just-released TransLink report proves what the public already knew – Queensland bus fares are too high

Too high a price
Too high a price

By Sean Muir | April 5, 2012

Brisbane bus tickets are unaffordable and patronage growth is lagging behind rail, according to TransLink's quarterly report card.

Released yesterday, the October to December 2011TransLink Tracker report shows a bus ticket affordability score of 57.

The report notes that a score of less than 60 is unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, growth in bus patronage for the quarter has risen just 0.1 percent, or 20,000 trips since last quarter, while train patronage was up 5.7 percent, or nearly 700,000 trips.

TransLink CEO Neil Scales, pictured above right with TransLink Bus and Ferry Director Michael McGee, says customer satisfaction levels are being watched closely.

"The government has made a point wanting to see improvements in affordability for customers and we will be working closely with them to achieve that," Scales says.

Despite affordability issues, bus service kilometres increased from 23.7 million the previous quarter to 25.1 million kilometres this quarter.

The increase in service kilometres compared with 2010-11 figures reflect the additional services added as part of the October bus service changes, according to the report.

"With the introduction of two new high frequency bus routes to Forest Lake and Garden City which started service during this period (in October 2011), we'd expect this to reflect well in our customer's experience of comfort of ride and also frequency," scales says.

Satisfaction levels for comfort of ride, and reliability and frequency both remained at a ‘satisfactory’ level, but overall customer satisfaction dropped from about 71 percent last quarter to about 69 percent this quarter.

Proximity and information satisfaction levels were both reported as satisfactory, while safety and security, and accessibility remained above 75 percent, which is considered a ‘best-practise’ level.

Ease of use satisfaction – which measures, using and understanding ticketing including transferring between modes, purchasing, topping up and using go card, and ease of finding stops – also remained at a ‘best-practise level'.

However, satisfaction levels for bus efficiency, affordability, and the helpfulness of staff all dropped.

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