Queensland Bus Industry Council
QBIC'S Response to the OPT Review Green Paper
The peak body representing Queensland’s bus industry has applauded the State Government for reducing fares but warns it will count for nothing if there are cuts to services and infrastructure.
David Tape, executive director of the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC), says the industry supports any move aimed at increasing bus patronage and reducing congestion on busy arterial roads.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s ‘Fairer Fares’ package will have a direct effect on the number of commuters who can now afford to travel by bus, particularly with more off peak discounts and access to free weekend travel for children under fifteen.”
But Mr Tape says higher demand means more buses and drivers will be needed and has called on the State Government not to slash routes and services.
“QBIC hopes the State Government and Department of Transport can see the bigger picture and focus its planning on establishing more routes and services, especially in outer suburban regions which are growing rapidly.”
Mr Tape says the fare initiative will greatly encourage new customers who may not have considered - or had access to - bus travel before.
“Reduced fares will assist QBIC’s ‘Moving People Queensland’ blueprint which showed among other things, the vital need for new routes and more services.”
Media Contacts: Ben Dobson – 0434 791 084 // Lyall Mercer - 0413 749 830
A new tax ruling which will effectively provide cheaper travel on Translink operated bus services has been given the thumbs up from the peak body representing Queensland’s bus industry.
An ATO class ruling means a salary packaging provider can now offer eligible employees from about 300 Queensland organisations the ability to salary sacrifice bus travel within the south-east Translink network.
David Tape, the Executive Director of Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) says any measure aimed at getting more public use of buses is a positive on many levels.
“Cheaper travel means more patrons will think about taking a bus and the flow on effects from having more cars off the road are enormous, particularly around the heavily congested arterial hubs”.
Mr Tape hopes more employers will allow their employees the means to tap in to this scheme which could save commuters up to 15 hundred dollars per year in bus fares.”
“This should be the start of reducing the costs of fares for bus transport and hopefully complimenting the positive outcomes which QBIC hopes to see from the State Government’s review into fare prices later this year”
Media Contacts: Ben Dobson – 0434 791 084 // Lyall Mercer - 0413 749 830
The peak body representing the Queensland bus industry says the state of the art design of the new Redland Bay Marina bus station should be the template for future transport hubs throughout the state.
Final approval has been given for the construction of the bus station which will now have an increased capacity for three buses at a time plus additional bus waiting bays.
But Queensland Bus Industry Council executive Director David Tape says the key feature of the new terminal is that it improves the waiting environment for patrons travelling between ferry and bus services.
“The Redland Bay Marina station is what we want to see transport hubs look like moving forward as they fully service the needs of the customer without compromising safety for both patrons and drivers.”
Mr Tape says the design, which also incorporates driver facilities, will also enable waiting passenger’s better visual access so they can keep an eye on arriving and departing services.
“QBIC fully supports this type of forward thinking and planning and design as these new hubs represent the way forward in catering for increased services in expanding communities.
The peak body for the Queensland bus industry fully supports a move by Labor’s Lord Mayoral candidate who has promised to build more bus indent bays around Brisbane’s peak hour roadways.
David Tape, Executive Director of Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) says candidate Rod Harding’s plan to construct an extra 15 bus indent bays will contribute greatly to easing traffic congestion.
“Improving traffic flow must be a priority at all times and creating bays where buses will pull in to a designated stop, will ensure there is less stop-start traffic.”
“This will also help reduce frustration for vehicles forced to stop behind buses particularly along busy arterial corridors.”
Mr Tape says more importantly, extra indent bays will considerably improve traffic safety around the spots where commuters board and alight buses.
“QBIC knows full well the value and worth of these measures and fully endorses Mr Harding’s push,” said Mr Tape.
The peak body representing Queensland’s bus industry has backed a move by Lord Mayoral candidate Rod Harding for ‘fare free Fridays’ for bus passengers.
Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) Executive Director David Tape says the industry supports any measure aimed at increasing bus patronage and getting more cars off the region’s busy arterial roads.
“From what we understand it appears this plan will be entirely Council funded with no impact on the ratepayer but while we embrace this initiative, certain criteria must be met.”
Mr Tape says for ‘fare free Fridays’ to be successful, focus must remain on the efficiencies of SouthEast Queensland’s bus network.
“More buses need more drivers so that is one key area which has to be taken into account, plus we must ensure the right number of routes and services are in place in regions where there is increased demand.
“Research shows many patrons already travel for free later in the week because of Translink’s nine fare allowance so this could be seen as an extension of that initiative, which we fully support.”
Mr Tape says any move designed to arrest the slide in bus patronage must be given full consideration and believes this type of move can encourage new customers who may not have considered - or had access to - bus travel before.
“This can really assist QBIC’s ‘Moving Queensland’ blueprint which showed among other things, the vital need for new routes and more services.”
The head of the peak body representing Queensland’s bus industry says decision makers are finally starting to "see the light" by introducing more routes and services along Brisbane’s peak thoroughfares.
Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) executive director David Tape has applauded Brisbane City Council and Translink for committing to five extra peak morning routes accessing Legacy Way tunnel which will take passengers from the western suburbs into the inner city and CBD locations.
Mr Tape says the new routes and extra services should serve as the template for further changes to other congested corridors in the greater Brisbane region.
“Commuters, especially school and university students, will save up to 15 minutes each morning taking these routes, but the best news is that every new bus service takes approximately 50 cars off the road and goes a long way to easing congestion.”
“The Western Freeway is a carpark during morning peak hour and with more bus services soon able to access the new tunnel, the easing in congestion will be noticeable.”
QBIC, which this year released its ‘Moving Queensland’ blueprint for the future, is confident this move will show the tangible benefits that more services and extra routes will have on reducing traffic, particularly as the south-east grows.
"Bus infrastructure is pivotal in the current planning process for new developments and residential building projects," said Mr Tape, while also stressing the importance of having improved bus feeder networks into the train system.
“Buses enjoy 65 per cent of public transport market share in the south-east corner and continue to be the most effective and reliable form of passenger commute.”
The peak body representing the Queensland bus industry has called for more infrastructure spending with new figures showing bus travel to clearly be the most popular option for south-east commuters.
The latest Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) patronage figures for the year (2014- 15) showed 64 per cent of patronage was by bus, more than twice the number of the second leading mode of transport, rail.
Queensland Bus Industry Council Executive Director David Tape says the data again highlights the urgent need for a host of new bus infrastructure especially with the continuing rapid growth of outlying suburban regions.
“Buses enjoy a near 65 per cent of transport market share in the south-east corner and continues to prove to be the most effective and reliable form of passenger commute. Our internal research shows demand will continue to grow so we must put the infrastructure in place now.”
“Dedicated lanes, and priority signalling at congested intersections are imperative while more services are urgently needed and we call on all forms of Government to ensure improving bus networks remains high on their agenda”.
Mr Tape says as a congestion-buster nothing beats catching a bus because for every single bus service, at least 50 fewer cars are on the road.
DTMR figures showed buses accounted for 113.6 million trips through the south-east corner in the past twelve months while there was a slight drop in numbers in the Gold Coast region because of the region’s new light rail service.
The head of Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) says the penny is finally starting to drop as politicians realise the importance of building dedicated bus transport lanes in the south-east.
Brisbane City Council’s Labour opposition has flagged a 91 million dollar ‘Suburban Congestion Busting Fund’ to deal with a decades-old problem along two major arterial spots on Old Cleveland and Gympie roads.
QBIC executive director David Tape has welcomed the announcement and says these two ‘transitways’ will drastically improve peak hour flow on the two major roads.
“This is the best way of busting congestion in the middle ring suburbs like Chermside and Carindale because the public will embrace a fast, reliable and cost-effective public transport system.”
“Why this has not already happened is a mystery because for as long as I can remember, there has always been a need for dedicated bus lanes on these extremely busy routes.”
Under the opposition’s plan, the Northern Transitway would connect the Northern Busway at Lutwyche both inbound and outbound through a three kilometres stretch along Gympie Road.
The Eastern Transitway would provide ‘bus priority measures’ along Old Cleveland Road at five intersections from Cavendish through to Creek Roads.
Mr Tape says the industry has been calling for a greater focus on bus infrastructure including bus lanes and points to the fact that for every bus service, at least 50 fewer cars are on the road.
QBIC, which recently released its ‘moving Queensland’ blueprint for the future, says dedicated bus lanes underpins its transport strategy to combat Brisbane’s worsening congestion woes.
Media Contacts: Ben Dobson – 0434 791 084 // Lyall Mercer – 0413 749 830
The peak body representing Queensland’s bus industry says figures showing a decline in commuters using buses are alarming and will only improve if fares become affordable.
Executive director of the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) David Tape said it is no use playing the ‘blame game’, and has called on all levels of government to get on with the job of attracting new commuters.
“To see any decline in patronage is extremely disappointing as it will only lead to greater road congestion, which is both economically and environmentally damaging to our state.”
Brisbane City Council’s 2014-15 figures show Council bus patronage dropped nearly 3 per cent equating to around 42,300 less passengers per week while across the entire network, including private services, bus usage dipped around 4.6 per cent.
Mr Tape believes affordable fares remain the key to getting people back on the buses. “If commuters can afford the fares, it will lead to more demand; more demand means more buses and frequency of services. This is the only viable way of unclogging our choked up, major transport arteries.”
“The State Government review into public transport fares is crucial. Queensland must come into line with other states when it comes to fare affordability.”
QBIC, which recently released its ‘Moving Queensland’ blueprint for the future, has also called for an expansion of the existing busways network in conjunction with dedicated bus lanes, increasing park ‘n ride capacity and better integration between different modes of transport.
Mr Tape said every bus takes up to 50 cars off the road, and unlike rail travel which has a long lead time before new services are created, bus routes are flexible and can meet changing demands and population centres.
Media Contacts: Lyall Mercer - 0413 749 830 // Ben Dobson – 0434 791 084