Public transport use in Queensland’s south east has hit record levels for the second year in a row, largely due to an extraordinary spike in popularity of the Gold Coast light rail.
Light rail exceeded the overall growth figure, with patronage increasing by 13.24 per cent (1.26 million) from 9.49 million trips to 10.74 million trips.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says it’s more reason for the Federal Government to stump up its fair share for stage 3A of G:Link.
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“Here we have Australia’s sixth largest city moving with their feet on light rail, and it’s time the Federal LNP got serious about a fair funding offer,” Minister Bailey said.
Rail patronage also hit 55 million, growing 4.3 per cent, while bus trips grew 3.2 per cent with 117 million commuters getting on board.
The announcement comes on the week of 430 new train services hitting the track in Queensland.
“Late last year we upgraded 193 services from three-car trains to six-car trains, adding an additional 46,000 seats per week,” Mr Bailey said.
“This week, Queensland Rail will start 430 new weekly train services and upgraded 59 more three-car trains, adding 200,000 seats for commuters.”
A $371 million smart ticketing system is also in the works as part of the $23 billion Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.
“We know that for every person taking public transport, it means less cars on our roads, benefitting everyone,” Minister Bailey said.
“From Coolangatta to Cairns, we’re now delivering a smart ticketing system that means all Queenslanders and those visiting our state will be able to use their smartphone, smartwatch, credit card or debit to easily catch public transport.”