Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has called on the State Government to lift the handbrake on Brisbane bus funding to help cut road congestion.
Cr Schrinner said the appointment of a new transport minister was an ideal opportunity for the State to shift its decade-long approach towards funding Brisbane buses.
Brisbane City Council figures show State Government authority Translink, which receives all fare revenue, funded 82,000 fewer regular services on Brisbane buses last financial year compared to a decade ago.
In 2012-13, Brisbane’s bus fleet delivered 3,152,350 regular Translink-funded services.
In 2022-23, Brisbane’s bus fleet delivered 3,070,122 regular Translink-funded services.
The figures do not include the popular Maroon CityGlider service which is fully funded by Council or the jointly-funded Blue CityGlider.
“Brisbane is the fastest growing capital city in Australia, and we need far more public transport services, not less,” the Lord Mayor said.
“New and improved public transport services, along with major investment in our road network, is the key to catering for Brisbane’s rapid growth and tackling congestion.
“In Brisbane, two-thirds of public transport commuters travel by bus so that’s where the investment needs to go.
“The State Government is responsible for funding public transport services and for years it has capped Brisbane bus funding increases to inflation.
“As a result, there are now 220 fewer bus services a day in Brisbane’s suburbs than there were a decade ago.
“Without doubt, the State’s funding handbrake has made catching a bus less convenient, forcing people back into their car and adding to congestion.
“It’s time for the State Government to take the handbrake off Brisbane bus funding and match our commitment to significantly increase public transport funding to help us improve services and reduce congestion.”
Since 2019, Council’s public transport subsidy has increased from $126 million to $191 million.
Cr Schrinner said his Council was committed to increasing its public transport subsidy by a further $71 million over the next three years.
“Our investment in Brisbane Metro and delivery of Brisbane’s New Bus Network demonstrates our ongoing commitment to public transport and tackling congestion,” he said.
“Brisbane’s New Bus Network will deliver more capacity and more services to areas of Brisbane where they’re needed the most.
“Our new network, which has preliminary State Government approval following a major review and public consultation process, will incorporate turn-up-and-go Brisbane Metro services.
“Most importantly, Brisbane’s New Bus Network will deliver 160,000 additional services a year with more than half the journeys faster during peak periods.
“There will be new and improved routes that connect residents with high-frequency Metro services, ensuring residents have a more reliable and efficient journey.”
Brisbane Civic Cabinet Chair for Transport Ryan Murphy, who will meet with Queensland’s new transport minister next month, said Council’s public transport subsidy had doubled over the past decade.
“We’re the only Council in Queensland that subsidises public transport because we recognise how critical it is to keeping Brisbane moving,” he said.
“We’re also delivering the fully-electric turn-up-and-go Brisbane Metro which will carry 30 million passengers a year by 2031 and has significant scope for expansion into more suburbs.
“Unfortunately, Brisbane is also the only capital city in the country where public transport services have gone backwards in the last decade.
“The appointment of a new transport minister is an opportunity for the State to lift the handbrake off bus funding, start investing in new and improved services and help us tackle congestion.”