COMING SHORTLY - CAST Statement on the 3 Billion Tunnel

We have opposed the concept and construction of the 3B
Tunnel from the time it was first proposed by Jim Soorley.

We're preparing a detailed statement to explain why we
continue to vigorously oppose the Tunnel, and why we urge
all motorists to boycott the Tunnel.

Keep checking this site for our full statement.

INFORMATION ALERT CIty Bus Stops relocated from Monday 8 March

Bus stops 56 and 57 on Queen Street near Post Office
Square will be temporarily closed from Monday 8
March to Wednesday 30 June due to streetscape
construction works.
Stop 58 will be moved by up to 20m in the direction
of travel and services from this stop will also be affected.

For full details of bus services affected and a map of
the location of the new stops, go to


We are continuing to make submissions on behalf of public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians to Translink, service providers and Government.

These are shown on the page below described as 'Submissions to Translink' together with current status and replies if any.

If you are aware of a transport service or systemic fault that needs to be rectified or improved, contact us and we'll follow up the issue with the relevant authority on your behalf.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New route 77 - yet another example of confused thinking by Translink

On Friday 26 February, Translink announced that a new bus service 77
would operate from 29 March to take passengers from Eight Mile Plains
and other SE Busway stations through the 3 billion dollar tunnel and
continue to Windsor Rail and up to Chermside.
This basis for this decision must be challenged on a number of grounds.
Firstly, there has been no indication that there is any demand for this service.
At a time when Translink says that it must deliver services to priority
high volume routes and where services are currently not adequate, it
suddenly finds the funds to introduce a new service that is already covered
by other express services.
Secondly, if there was clear evidence that commuters were demanding this service,
then why did everyone have to wait until the 3B tunnel was operating?
This service could have been introduced and operating for many months on the route
via the Inner City Bypass just as efficiently.
Thirdly, there has been no timetable produced to date.
Clearly this is because Translink realises, as do we all, that traffic congestion
will now be compressed into the Windsor/Lutwyche area by the 3B tunnel
design and its users, and that all bus services in that corridor will need to have
new timetables because of the inevitable traffic jams.
Finally, the decision to have the service continue past Windsor rail to Chermside
proves that Translink planners do not understand that duplicating transport
services is wasteful and illogical. They have yet to realise that long bus routes
within an urban community are not an efficient use of transport resources.
All of these issues lead us to believe that this is just another rushed political
decision to support the 3B tunnel operator and the Council administration
that is desperate to have the predicted number of vehicles using the 3B tunnel.
How likely is it that the 3B tunnel operators and Brisbane Transport have played
a role in bringing this service into the Translink network?
We'll leave it to you to come to a conclusion about that.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

CAST supports sanctions on service operators that don't meet performance targets

 TransLink has acted to penalise Queensland Rail $203,000 after it missed its target for the number of peak-hour Citytrain services arriving on time last financial year
Last year, an average of 91.74 per cent of peak-hour services arrived within four minutes of their scheduled time, only marginally improving on the 91.15 per cent from the previous year.
The contractual target of 92.4 per cent  is set by the State Government, resulting in QR's fourth penalty in four years.
QR has been fined more than $7 million over the past four years for failing to meet its contracted target.
It was levied $6.7 million in the 2007-08 financial year after its worst performance in more than four years.
QR defines "on-time" as arriving within four minutes of the scheduled time.
CAST supports the levying of penalties on all transport service providers when they do not meet contracted performance conditions, provided that service delays are not the result of actions beyond the control of the operator.
The application of financial sanctions on providers sends a strong message to service providers, on behalf of all transport users, that they must improve their performance.
It must be recognised that all transport providers in SEQ are absolute monopolies, as the public transport system is a "closed shop" i.e. providers are issued with licences to operate within specific territories and routes that eliminate all other effective competition.
It must also be recognised that the majority of service delays on the QR network are due to ongoing poor
track and signal maintenance, perennial management and staffing deficiencies, and bureaucratic inertia and
empire-building. QR Citytrain HR and workplace policies also continue to be fundamentally deficient.
There have been assertions that Translink penalties remove funds from QR used for train services.
These assertions are not based on fact.
CAST would like to have financial sanctions applied to taxi operators who do not meet performance and service standards.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Transport Minister and Translink must cease issuing misleading statements

Minister Nolan and Translink continue to promote the line that
"every cent collected from the the increase in fares will go to funding
better transport services" when they know that this is misleading and

In the Minister's statement on 15 October 2009 this is what she said -
"Ms Nolan said the fare strategy also aimed to return the State 
Government's per-trip subsidy from 75 per cent back to 70 per cent 
within five years. To help reach that goal fares will increase 15% a year 
from 2011 to 2014 – or around 40 cents to 60 cents a year for a typical 
two-zone ticket."

[Note the Minister's misleading use of the word "subsidy" at the same time
she is responsible for increasing the rate of public transport use in Cabinet.]

So let's test the truth of the "every cent" statement above by using actual figures.
If we use approximate but fair and understandable amounts, and using the 
Minister's percentages above, this statement is almost certainly false. 
Amounts in $ millions.
Current annual revenue from fares before fare increase =  250 [25%]
Current annual operating costs of services/funding        = 1000
If fare revenue rises by 25% overall, annual fare
revenue then becomes                                                 =  300
And if the "subsidy" is reduced from 75 to 70% then the
300 annual fares revenue equates to operating costs of   1000
Same amount of expenditure, so where are the better services?
Let's assume a more realistic increase in overall fare revenues
of 15%, so fare revenue then becomes annually            =  287
And if this is equal to 30% of total operating costs,
these are equal to                                                         =  956
or 44 million less than what is spent now.
So all of the fare increase goes into general revenue, and none
into more or better services.
Only if fare revenues increase by more than 25% overall ,will there
be any additional expenditure on transport services or infrastructure
that results from fare increases.
So Minister, let's do away with the spin and propaganda. Resolve 
to level with the 250,000 commuters in South East Qld who support 
the current deficient public transport system and SAVE the taxpayers
millions of dollars in road transport costs and all its connected
expenditure, like road accident trauma costs.
We all know that the State's Budget finances are in a desperate
condition due to poor management over many years, but don't
ask train and bus passengers to bear the burden of fixing the deficit.
They didn't cause it - the Beattie and Bligh Governments did.
Support the long-suffering but loyal commuters by telling the truth,
cancelling the fare increases and retaining paper tickets - or resign now.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Yet another reason why bus passengers need to avoid the SlowCard

There have been consistent and confirmed reports of Slowcard readers
not functioning properly - or at all - on Brisbane transport buses.
Almost every day we hear reports from bemused commuters of delays
in exiting from their bus after one or or both card readers are not working.
Now, we have become aware of a flaw in the system that has not been
The card readers are activated using GPS technology to indicate just where the
bus is located. This is because the SlowCard fares are calculated according to
the zone/s where the user boards and alights from the bus.
But the system means that the bus must be within about 8 metres from the actual
bus stop to allow the reader to receive the GPS signal.
When a bus stops at a stop that is shared by a number of buses, it must now wait
in line to approach within range of the signal at the stop. Only after the bus has
closed on the stop will the card reader activate and allow the the SlowCard users
to touch off and leave the bus.
Recently, we have witnessed buses waiting in line for 2-3 minutes to approach the
designated stops in the CBD for this reason.
Paper ticket holders were able to exit the buses without any delay.
One driver was witnessed to drive his bus on to the next available stop 80 metres
further up the street, after ensuring that there were no passengers wanting to board
at the normal stop, to enable the card reader to operate and the Card users touch
off and leave the bus.
The card users were not happy about the delay, and why would they be? 
We've been told by the Transport Minister that the SlowCard system is technologically
brilliant, efficient, user-friendly, quick and cheap.
It is none of these. And public transport users are being told propaganda and spin
by a small army of young mercenaries who do not understand what they're saying
or how the system really works. And they're being paid out of the Transport budget
that is supported by passengers' fares.
We have now had four successive Transport Ministers who have not known what
they're doing, and have allowed the transport system in Brisbane to deteriorate and
Enough is enough. We say that it's time for Minister Nolan to resign or be sacked.
And the board of Translink and its CEO should follow her into oblivion.