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Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy admits there is “still a lot more work to do” on the Redcliffe Peninsula Line.
It comes after the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald last week reported the $1.15 billion line was moving roughly a quarter of the passengers it was predicted to in initial forecasts.
It is a 31 per cent increase from the line’s opening month of October 2016. Commuters left 173 comments across three Quest Community NewsFacebook pages identifying three main issues: lack of express services, high fares and lack of parking or bus connections.
Mr Easy said there were express options from Northgate to Bowen Hills.
“We will be working to implement additional services once QR is in a position to sustainably do so,” Mr Easy said.
Many commuters said it was faster to catch a train from Shorncliffe to the city.
“If you live in the Peninsula then the choice is the Redcliffe line which takes 55 minutes or Shorncliffe line 35 minutes. Why not make the Redcliffe trains express to Petrie?” Karen Whittam said via Facebook.
“Fares are super expensive for trains that are too full and/or are unreliable due to cancellations or terminations,” Jody Walls said via Facebook.
“If you do need to catch a bus to the station the buses to and from don’t meet up with train(s) and go all over the country,” Jon Stower said via Facebook.
Redcliffe retailer Matt Burns said he used the Redcliffe Peninsula Line to commute to Brisbane until he “figured it was a lot easier and a lot quicker” to drive.
“There was no cost saving (in using the train service),” he said.
“The biggest issue is you look at transport time and for someone who doesn’t want to stop at every station during peak hour, they don’t have any express services.
“A good example is Perth rail, it has 3-4 different stopping patterns per line … they need to look at that.”
Robert Dow from Rail Back on Track. Pictures: Jack Tran / The Courier MailRail Back on Track (RBT) lobbied the State Government during the 2017 election campaign to implement a fare freeze for two years, which would result in an overall 4-5 per cent price decrease.
RBT spokesman Robert Dow said it would get commuters back on side after the Rail Fail saga that saw 167 services cancelled in 2016.
“We pressed for a fare freeze in 2018,-2019 where there wouldn’t be a price increase,” he said.
“An increase of 1.8 per cent, we thought was terrible. Reducing services and increasing fares, we didn’t think was fair.”
A TransLink spokesman wouldn’t rule out rezoning the Redcliffe region to make fares cheaper, but said it had recently rezoned the network in 2016 when the Fairer Fares program was introduced.
“For many travellers heading into the city from the new zone 3, this represents a saving of more than $3 per journey for a go card adult peak fare,” he said.
TransLink announced last month it would introduce an updated payment system where customers can use their bank cards and smart phones to pay for services. But it did not give a date or say whether it would allow for value for money packages for regular commuters.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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