QLD needs a hand

Federal Government urged to contribute to better public transport to keep up with growth

The bus industry is urging the Federal Government to contribute towards Brisbane’s Eastern Busway.

The bus-way will ease traffic congestion and is vital as part of managing the growth of Brisbane in the future, but Federal Government has refused to contribute unless its terms are met.

Bus Industry Confederation executive director Michael Apps supports Queensland minister for transport Jackie Trad’s efforts to secure Federal Government funding for public transport.

"Jackie Trad is ahead of the game," he says.

"She has recognised the importance of getting stuck in right now to ensure Brisbane and Queensland’s public transport network is future proofed.

"It would be great if the Federal Government would act on the report and get involved in helping all states and territories with public transport and ensuring that our cities will be liveable, sustainable and vibrant in the future."

Brisbane is leading the way in terms of bus networks in Australian cities and Apps feels all levels of government should contribute financially.

"The Brisbane bus-ways are world’s best practice and their continued expansion as part of Brisbane’s public transport network will continue the success story that started in 2000," Apps says.

"We see a constant stream of international transport experts and government officials visiting Brisbane to see the bus-ways in operation."

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are projected to grow by 5.8 million or around 45 per cent by 2031, according to the Australian Infrastructure Audit Report released last month.

Without investment in new transport capacity, car travel times are expected to increase by at least 20 per cent in the most congested corridors, the report showed.

The cost of congestion in the six largest capital cities is also predicted to increase from $13.7 billion dollars in 2011 to $53.3 billion in 2031.

"New public transport infrastructure is a key to addressing these challenges and the bus-ways are a key for the future of Brisbane," Apps says.

"The investment in extending the bus-ways by the premier and deputy premier is the right way to go to address the challenges identified by Infrastructure Australia.

"Bus-ways and bus priority are less expensive to construct, less expensive to operate and maintain.

"They also provide the flexibility of buses being able to operate on and off the bus-way and provide much wider service delivery."

He believes that investment in the whole public transport network, including infrastructure and services, needs to take place.

"It is not bus-ways versus rail," Apps says.

"It is about the best integrated public transport network that can be delivered.

"Buses need rail and rail needs buses."

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