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Passengers travelling on the Ferny Grove railway line will benefit from off-peak services every 15 minutes from next month - but similar frequency boosts may be years away on other lines.
The Liberal National Party promised during the state election campaign to introduce 15-minute off-peak frequency on the Ferny Grove line.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson announced today the extra services would begin on October 8, at a cost to the government of $18 million over two years.
Mr Emerson said the move to 15-minute frequency would mean an extra 28 train services a day between 9am and 3pm.
Mr Emerson said existing off-peak frequency on the Ferny Grove line varied, but some services were up to half an hour apart.
He said the extra frequency would turn the line into "almost a turn-up-and-go" setup whereby passengers did not need to worry about checking a timetable for departure times.
A spokesman for Mr Emerson said services between Darra and the CBD already ran on a 15-minute timetable, but other parts of the network were held back by a lack of infrastructure.
Mr Emerson said the state government would trial 15-minute frequency on the Ferny Grove line for two years and would then look at rolling out such services on other lines.
"We want to see if people do take it up," he said.
It is understood some areas require extra platforms or other upgrades to allow 15-minute frequency to be introduced.
Mr Emerson said the government was looking at ways to improve timetabling across the board.
Robert Dow, from commuter lobby group Rail Back on Track, said public transport must be fast, direct and frequent.
"The Ferny Grove line is ideally placed to have an increased train frequency. This will drive patronage increases and cuts down on waiting time with bus/rail connections particularly," he said.
"The Ferny Grove line has now been duplicated and will be able to support the increased train frequency. This is a sound policy and will be welcomed by the community."
Mr Dow said it would have been a great outcome had the extra trains run through to Yeerongpilly rather than Park Road.
"This would have then given a 15 minute rail service from Ferny Grove to Yeerongpilly, Northgate to Darra," he said.
"Rail Back on Track has long called for improvements in train frequency on all lines. In time further incremental improvements will need to be made on the rest of the network."
The state government says the first new inbound train will leave Ferny Grove station at 8.42am weekdays, with a train departing every 15 minutes until 3.12pm.
It says the first new outbound train will depart from Central at 8.21am, with trains leaving every 15 minutes until 3.18pm.
Some changes are expected to be made to timetables on the Shorncliffe, Doomben and Cleveland lines as a result of the changes.
Ferny Grove MP Dale Shuttleworth said the $18 million Ferny Grove initiative would require an extra 18 train crew members.
Everton MP Tim Mander urged people to switch back to public transport, pointing to the LNP's incentive of free travel after nine journeys taken on a Go Card each week.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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