The State Government’s focus on improving the frequency, reliability and affordability of south east Queensland’s transport network has increased patronage. Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the figures for the three month quarter from July to September showed an increase of 640,000 trips on public transport, compared to the same period the previous year.
“In the July-September quarter, there were 47.13 million trips on public transport across south east Queensland – up from 46.51 million the previous year,” Mr Emerson said.
“Annual patronage had decreased every year for the last four years – hitting 178.3 million in 2011-12. That was almost 8 million less than forecast in the previous government’s last budget.”
“I said from my first days as Minister that one of my biggest challenges would be to try to reverse the decline in public transport usage. This increase of almost 1.4 per cent is an encouraging start but there is a lot of work yet to be done.”
“People have started to return to public transport in the weeks since free travel after nine journeys in a week was introduced, as well as more than 2000 additional weekly bus services and improvements to reliability.”
Mr Emerson said recent announcements had also boosted patronage.
“Last month we announced a record public transport budget of $1.6 billion with more than $200 million in cost-of-living fare savings for families – including halving planned fare increases. “Earlier this month we boosted frequency by launching 15-minute off-peak weekday services on the Ferny Grove rail line.”
“These new figures are the first green shoots of growth from passengers after four years of declining patronage and I’m looking forward to even better results in the future.”