The Honourable Anna Bligh
BLIGH GOVERNMENT TO CREATE NEW TRANSIT AUTHORITY
The Honourable Anna Bligh
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
BLIGH GOVERNMENT TO CREATE NEW TRANSIT AUTHORITYPatrons of public transport will benefit from the creation of one new authority to manage all public transport services in south east Queensland, Premier Anna Bligh and Minister for Transport John Mickel, announced today.
Ms Bligh said the new authority would make it simpler and easier for customers offering a one stop shop for scheduling, customer needs and complaints.
“This will be a serious and significant shake up of public transport services in the south east ,” Ms Bligh said.
“The new authority will be more accountable to the needs of customers and have greater control over service delivery.
"At the moment there is a lot of confusion from the customer's point of view over who is responsible for public transport.
"Sometimes it is TransLink, sometimes it is the Brisbane City Council, sometimes it is QR or a private operator depending on where you live.
“We are going to create one authority to coordinate the myriad of 17 different bus, ferry and public transport service providers that currently service the region.”
Ms Bligh said the State Government would seek the input of SEQ Mayors, unions and service providers on the development of the new authority.
She said a model for public consultation would be released and a new authority up and running by July next year.
“The new authority will have real grunt,” Ms Bligh said.
"It will consolidate responsibility for public transport under one organisation, greatly improving accountability to the customer.
"For example, a transit authority will have greater freedom to redeploy resources, like buses, to different areas in South East Queensland as needed based on demand.
"It will also mean the introduction of complex, system wide initiatives such as real-time passenger information and smart card ticketing will be much smoother.
Queensland Rail passenger services - incorporating the Citytrain and TravelTrain division - will be structurally separated from QR’s other operations.
The new entity will have primary responsibility for delivering improved rail passenger services and ensuring a renewed customer service focus for our passengers. Its services will be contracted by the new Transit Authority
The focus will be solely on passenger services - unlike current arrangements in which QR passenger services are just one part of a larger organisation incorporating other businesses such as freight and coal.
This will allow Queensland Rail to clearly delineate between their separate businesses and focus on their continued expansion into the national freight market.
Minister for Transport John Mickel said the State Government would look at a number of models for the new transit authority, with the different options to be presented to Cabinet.
"One option is the model used by Transport for London," he said.
"Transport for London ties together public transport in the London area through subsidiaries that operate different activities across the city such as bus, underground, light rail and so on.
"When appropriate, Transport for London also partners with commercial providers to deliver services where specialised expertise is required.
"This model has been very successful and is being considered by a number of other cities around the world such as Dublin."
Minister Mickel said a new transit authority would provide an opportunity for local government to have greater input in the transport decision making process.
"Local government has always been an important stakeholder when it comes to planning for public transport," Mr Mickel said.
"Providing local government with a direct say in how public transport is planned is one option under a new urban transit authority."
Ms Bligh said the new authority would build on the work already undertaken to improve public transport services in the region.
“We have allocated close to $10 billion over the next twenty years to improve public transport infrastructure in SEQ,” she said.
“More than $950 million is being spent in the region on bus, train and ferry services this year alone.
“Four years ago we created Translink. Since then they have successfully implemented integrated ticketing, provided additional services including 500 new buses and are rolling out Smart Cards.
“Patronage has grown by more than 30% and trips have increased from 119 million trips per annum to more than 160 million trips per annum.
“However Translink does not undertake scheduling of services across the region.
“The new authority will be a one stop shop that will provide a better and improved service for customers.”
9 October, 2007
Media contact: Premiers Office (07) 3224 4500
Minister Mickel’s Office (07) 3237 1944