Public transport on the nose

The State’s peak motoring body has renewed calls for an integrated public transport authority after it was revealed 72 percent of Brisbane residents had shunned public transport to travel to work in favour of driving.

The Brisbane Times reported Brisbane and Perth were the only Australian capital cities that had recorded a decline in public transport usage by commuters between 2011 and 2016.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed 20.2 percent of Brisbane residents travelled to work by public transport in 2011 compared with 18.6 percent in 2016.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said fare increases and a lack of reliability had forced commuters away from public transport.

“If drivers can’t be sure they’re going to get to work on time then they’re not going to risk it – even more so if they’re paying high prices,” Ms Smith said.

“Commuters want a seamless and reliable service on trains, ferries and buses. Current services aren’t able to deliver convenient, attractive public transport journeys, leaving frustrated commuters more likely to jump in their cars.”

RACQ called on the State Government to scrap its multiple transport agencies and introduce an integrated public transport authority to oversee the delivery of services across the state.

RELATED: Integrated public transport to ease commuter pain.

Ms Smith said merging TransLink and Queensland Rail, and coordinating with Brisbane City Council’s transport subsidiary would slash administrative costs and allow millions of dollars to be reinvested into services.

“A stand-alone authority would match our State’s growth and deliver reliable, cost effective, end-to end transport,” she said.

Ms Smith said RACQ supported good public transport systems that improved the mobility of residents and eased congestion on the State’s roads.

“Good customer service and reliability are critical if we want more people travelling on public transport – that’s why RACQ called for a second river rail crossing for years and threw its support behind Brisbane Metro,” she said.

“It’s about delivering on those critical infrastructure projects now, so that in 2021, when the next Census data comes out, we see people turning back to public transport to get them moving.”