New app to get people back to the train, bus and ferry

RACQ has welcomed the introduction of a new app to help tempt people back to public transport after it was reported patronage levels were still down by a third compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Commuter on public transport with phone
Brisbane Times reported the new app would be introduced leading up to Christmas to help forecast available seats on all bus, train, tram and ferry services across the network.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said the Club welcomed the technology as it would help allay social distancing concerns following the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our members told us they would use public transport less after the pandemic with many saying they had health and social distancing worries and were concerned about the lack of seating on services,” Ms Ritchie said.

“We applaud the State Government for bringing in the app because commuters will be able to see which services have space and it’ll give them assurance they’ll be safe and able to get a seat.

“The continuation of additional services is also welcomed because it’ll help allow for social distancing for those returning to traditional workplaces, but we’d also like to see planned increases to public transport fares deferred.”

Ms Ritchie said there were still urgent improvements to be made to entice people back on to public transport and out of their cars.

“Traffic levels are almost back to pre-pandemic levels – which indicates people are happy to jump in the car and go into work but they’re not back in the habit of catching the bus or train into the city,” she said.

“This means we’re seeing major congestion again on our roads which’ll only continue unless we take real steps to bring people back to public transport.

“We’ve long called for the introduction of an integrated public transport network to help streamline our services – because people aren’t going to trust public transport if we don’t see improved service frequency, reliability, efficiency and value for money.”

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