Boost for Brisbane

Brisbane budget has $228 mill for PT, with almost half going to bus in 2015-16

Brisbane City Council will invest about $100 million into the bus network over the coming year, while the CityCat ferries will also enjoy a massive makeover.

Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk says $228 million will be spent on public transport and bikeways all-up in the council’s 2015-16 budget, which was unveiled this week.

"Already we have the most modern bus fleet in Australia," he says.

"We have delivered 1090 new buses since 2004 with another 60 new buses in the coming year, 100 per cent of the fleet is air conditioned and 100 per cent low floor disability accessible.

"We will continue to improve the wheelchair and mobility-aid accessibility of Brisbane’s bus network with a $7.6 million project to upgrade the city’s network of bus stops.

"Council will also undertake a trial of dedicated priority seating at CBD bus stops to make these bus stops more accessible for passengers who are elderly, people with a disability, pregnant women and parents with small children."

While the majority of bus-targeted spending will go on subsidising the network and upgrades to bus stops, funds will also be spent on keeping the network in line with best practise while operating from a unique position.

"As the only city council in Australia that runs public transport, we will also continue our commitment to the bus and ferry network," Quirk says.

A $100 million revamp of the ferry network, will see the completion of upgraded ferry terminals that were started in the 2014-15 financial year, and a focus on better integration with bus services.

The council’s eight first-generation CityCats will have their engines and seating replaced and will be painted in honour of the city’s sporting teams such as the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Firebirds, Queensland Reds, Brisbane Lions and Brisbane Roar.

The bus network subsidy will rise to $81.9 million in 2015-16, with an additional $7.1 million for the CityGlider high-frequency services and $25.4 million for bus services that connect with ferries.

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