Public transport patronage in the south east is on track for its second year of record growth, new data has revealed.
The Palaszczuk Government’s latest TransLink Tracker Report shows more than 45.49 million trips were recorded on buses, trains, light rail and ferries during the second quarter of 2018/19 – 2.9 million more trips, or a five per cent increase, when compared with the same period last financial year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government’s record infrastructure investment and Fairer Fares policy was driving the jump in public transport patronage.
Between October and December 2018, 28.13 million trips were taken on buses, while trains saw 13.17 million trips, trams 2.61 million trips and ferries 1.58 million.
“Strong growth across the board shows we’re well on-track to eclipse the record 182.8 million trips taken in 2017/18,” Mr Bailey said.
“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.
“What is clear is that Queenslanders are hopping on board Gold Coast Light Rail, the Redcliffe Peninsula Line and the ongoing rollout of NGR trains, while benefitting from our Fairer Fares initiative, which has saved commuters more than $153 million since it was introduced.
“What is also clear is that Queenslanders are telling the Federal Government in Canberra that we deserve a fair share of funding for major public transport projects like the Sunshine Coast rail duplication and Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A.
“The Palaszczuk Government has demonstrated that it’s backing more frequent and reliable public transport for Queenslanders through the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, and it’s time for our federal counterparts to hop on board.
The 10.2km Cross River Rail project will deliver a new rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills together with four new underground stations unlocking new opportunities for a turn-up-and-go transport system for the whole of South East Queensland.
“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.”