BRT


The South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program (SEQIPP) for 2008 was released yesterday (June 3).

For the past few months various rumours have been floating around suggesting that major transport projects would be pushed back or dropped altogether. It seemed the government wanted to dampen expectations with regards to major projects.

Well, it turns out the rumours were wrong.

I have had a quick look through the SEQIPP document, and in particular the summary tables of works. There is a lot of motorway work, but there is also an incredible amount of infrastructure work now scheduled and budgeted for PT. Most of these are new for 2008.

Rail

$872 million for Darra – Springfield Rail (delivery by 2019)
$1.4 billion for Ipswich to Springfield Rail (commencing 2012)
$1.3 billion for Gowrie to Granchester Rail (Toowoomba Range freight bypass I presume) (commencing 2019)
$550 million for Petrie to Redcliffe (commencing 2019)
$1.1 billion for Robina to Elanora (underway)
$650 million for Elanora to Coolangatta (commencing 2019)
$650 million for Caboolture to Landsborough duplication (underway)
$800 million for Landsborough to Nambour duplication (planning to start now)

and of course the biggie:

$7.3 billion for Inner City Rail Capacity (commencing now)

Bus

$310 million for Centenary Highway bus lanes Ipswich Motorway – Toowong (commencing now)
$2.5 billion for Northern Busway – RCH to Kedron – Bracken Ridge (underway and continues over 20 years)
$3.1 billion for Eastern Busway – Buranda to Capalaba (commencing now)
$365 million for SE Busway extension to Springwood (commencing 2011)

$420 million for a mysterious Brisbane Cross River Bus Access (commencing 2012)
$750 for an HOV network program (commencing now)

and then there is the strangely named

‘Public Transport’

$1.7 billion for Gold Coast Rapid Transit (commencing now)
$3.1 billion for CAMCOS – Beerwah – Caloundra – Maroochydore (commencing 2012)
(CAMCOS is supposed to be a suburban rail extension, so I don’t know what it is doing here with GCRT that will probably be LRT)

Exciting times ahead!

Brisbane’s new Inner Northern Busway opened on May 19th. My bus route was one of those changed to use it.

The new cross-platform arrangement with trains at Roma Street is pretty neat (although the platform is the used once-a-day standard gauge platform).

Apart from that, I must say I am particularly underwhelmed by the changes.

Under the old system, my bus came down Countess Street, turned left at the lights onto Roma Street, stopped outside the station, continued along Roma Street, turned left at Turbot Street, right at Edward Street, stopping outside Central Station then left into Queen Street to a terminus outside the GPO.

Under the new route the bus runs down Countess Street, turns sharp left at Roma Street onto the busway on ramp (stop at lights) then up to the busway through route (stop at lights), turn right, stops at the Roma Street station, along the busway, into the left lane just short of King George Square station (stop at lights), turn right and out of busway onto Roma Street again, turn right (no signals) onto Roma Street slip road, left at Turbot Street and then as before to Central and the GPO.

Seeing as I get off at the Central Station stop, the whole deal has probably added 2-3 minutes to my trip in the morning.

There’s no improvement in reliability either because the congested part of the bus route is Musgrave Road through Red Hill before you get to the city. Roma Street was never any problem.

Woo! Go BRT!