One of the problems with exercising and losing some superfluous padding is that bus rides are becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

Time for better bus seats and suspension please!

They are rarely on time, uncomfortable when they do arrive and I’m paying about $150 per month for the privilege.

I actually found myself yesterday wishing my employer was in the burbs so I could drive to work!

1. Why is Queensland Rail still running an emergency hourly timetable on the Ferny Grove line?
2. Is the Great Circle Line bus running today?
3. How many calories do you burn standing at a bus stop?

It’s 2:30 in the morning and i’m on the nominally 2:15 route N390 bus from Fortitude Valley. The crowds on the street were crazy and the queue for taxis looked like at least 40 minutes wait.

No sign of chaplain or security at the bus stop this morning. The stop is on the street out the front of a couple of crowded night clubs.  It’s clear a fight could break out here easily. I’m just pleased to be on the move even tho it’s 25 mins walk from the bus stop home. I only hope the bus doesn’t hit a drunken pedestrian. There are lots of those. 

Posted time + 10 minutes +/- 15 minutes.

I’d love to see a ‘value of time’ calculation on that!

Enoggera on the Ferny Grove line is a designated bus-train interchange in Brisbane. It is one of the few purpose built facilities in the city (in fact, in the country). It was built with commonwealth funds back in the 80s.

Unfortunately, it has never worked well. It is so close to the city that passengers have always preferred staying on their bus rather than transferring to the train. I am told that when it opened (before multimodal fares) they even tried making it cheaper to transfer and people still didn’t.

As a result, not a lot of people use the interchange and it’s a bit of a white elephant.

The interchange is also a bit tricky to get to from the main road and requires lots of turns for buses. Most of the routes have since been diverted away from the interchange and just stop on the main road.

If, like I do sometimes, you want to transfer from the train to the southbound bus at the Wardell Street bridge bus stop there is a bit of a problem.

There is no footpath.

That’s right. There is no path connecting the station to the bus stop. You have to walk along a side street for a bit, cross the road near a slip lane and then clamber through a gap between trees.

It’s not very convenient nor very safe. The environment at the bus stop isn’t all that pleasant either. It’s hard to see buses coming and I’m always nervous that one is going to go right through without stopping (it happens).

  • 3 car trains which stop at the far end of the platform, not the middle, so you have to run along the platform to get on
  • Bus drivers at Roma Street busway station which stop halfway down the platform, not the lead stop, because they are inbound and therefore don’t expect to be picking up passengers
  • The stupid PIDs at Roma Street busway station which have to correlation whatsoever to the buses that might (or might not arrive)
  • Buses that only run once an hour at night (usually 5 minutes before whatever you are doing is finished)

That’s it for the moment!

My new boss and a number of my key clients are located up the Sunshine Coast, so I am finding myself up there about once a months for various meetings and workshops that can’t be done remotely.

It’s a really tedious trip to make, averaging about 1.5 -2 hours by car. This means a typical 90 minute meeting pretty much wipes out a day, once you take into account travel and preparation time.

Unfortunately, the Sunshine Coast is not currently linked to Brisbane by any serious public transport. There are long term plans for a suburban rail extension from Beerwah to Maroochydore (the so-called CAMCOS line) but this is at least 15 years away, if not further. In the meantime, the closest rail link is the North Coast line which passes through the Sunshine Hinterland to Nambour.

TransLink provides a bus service connecting with trains at Landsborough that is the main PT link to the Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately both the train and bus are really not good for business-type trips from Brisbane to the coast. It takes 2 to 3 hours do do the trip and there are also a grand total of 4 services that arrive on the Coast before midday.

It’s about time to do something serious about this.

Not only does CAMCOS have to be brought forward (instead of being pushed back as is constantly rumoured) but some decent interim solutions need to be found

  • more contra-peak Nambour trains need to be run (if the network can cope – it’s a single track line)
  • all trains at Landsborough need to be met by a direct bus to Mooloolaba and Maroochydore (not deviating through Chancellor Park back streets, although I guess the University is acceptable)
  • in fill express buses need to be provided from Caboolture direct to the Coast at times when the Nambour rail line is at capacity

I can’t be the only one who would rather not have to drive.

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.


$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)


$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!

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