QUT’s latest Real World Futures breakfast gave us some insights into two smart public transport initiatives for Brisbane.

Two big city-shaping transport projects currently underway in Brisbane were the focus of the Buses, Trains and Wired Brains breakfast at QUT on 2 August.

Here are the key takeouts.

Cross River Rail

Graeme Newton, CEO of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, showed us the exact route and each of the stations, and explained in simple terms the benefits of the project for Brisbane. The new rail link will run north-south, starting at:

  • Buranda station (near the P.A. Hospital); then on to
  • Boggo Road station (new)
  • Wooloongabba station (new, next to the Gabba)
  • Albert Street station (new, in the geographic centre of the CBD)
  • Roma Street station (part of a completely rebuilt Brisbane Transit Centre)
  • Exhibition Grounds station
  • Bowen Hills station

Newton talked up hubs and urban renewal, saying each precinct is already seeing renewal which will be accelerated by the rail project.

He also said  the line would do more than serve inner-city needs by making the city rail system more efficient, which would help serve the growing population areas in suburban and outer Brisbane.  This was designed to deal with the fact that population was growing on the edges of the city while jobs were in the inner city. Freeing constraints on the network would also allow more frequent trains that did not need to adhere to strict timetables.

Brisbane Metro

The new Brisbane Metro project is two new bus routes served by new-style buses and it partly reuses existing infrastructure. It’s about frequent, high speed services to, from and between the inner city boundaries. This is particularly beneficial from commuters from the suburbs, who will be able to park and ride without worrying about timetables or delays.

The two routes will link:

  • Eight Mile Plains on the southside with South Brisbane
  • Royal Brisbane Hospital on the northside with University of Queensland at St Lucia.

Deputy Mayor and Brisbane City Council transport chair Cr Adrian Schrinner said the city’s current busways had already served it well by moving multiple lanes of traffic from freeways to a dedicated system, but it had been a victim of its own success. With Brisbane Metro, the city’s busiest above-ground bus station and current ‘choke point’, the Cultural Centre, will move underground. The project will also remove 340 buses an hour from the city’s street level in peak hours.

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There were also talks from urban and social planner Stephanie Wyeth and QUT professor of urban informatics Professor Marcus Foth.

Professor Foth talked about the impact of technologies such as ride sharing on road traffic and questioned whether its true impact could be to damage the economics of public transport, rather than reduce private vehicle ownership.

Read a full event report at the QUT website.