Public transport use in South East Queensland is set to improve on last year’s record growth, according to state government figures.
The quarterly TransLink Tracker Report recorded over 45.49 million trips in the region in the second quarter of 2018–19 between buses, ferries, train and light rail, a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Trains represented 13.17 million trips, or roughly 29 per cent of the total for the quarter. Trams accounted for 2.61 million trips, or about 5.7 per cent of total trips in the region.
This growth suggests that the region is on track to beat the annual record of 182.8 million trips secured in 2017–18. The implementation of the Fairer Fares initiative, which reduced the number of fare zones in South East Queensland from 23 to 8 (thus allowing for longer journeys on a single fare), was cited by the government as a principal reason for the upswing.
“Strong growth across the board shows we’re well on-track to eclipse the record 182.8 million trips taken in 2017/18,” said Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.
“There were more than half a million [525,000] extra trips on the Gold Coast Light Rail, while train commuters took an additional 690,000 trips and bus patronage across the south east jumped an extra one million trips.”
Bailey went on to state that Queenslanders deserved their “fair share” of funding from the Federal Government for public transport projects in the region, such as the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail Project connecting Dutton Park to Bowen Hills.
“Investing in public transport means investing in how Queenslanders to work, and creating jobs. Cross River Rail alone will support up to 7,700 jobs and add to the 192,000 jobs created under the Palaszczuk Government since 2015,” he concluded.