Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has unveiled a $655 million package to deliver a world-class public and active transport network, with a clear focus on enhancing the travel experience for passengers while and maintaining a high-quality service.
“This investment includes Council’s $50 million commitment this financial year to progress the high-frequency, high-capacity Brisbane Metro, which will change the way our city operates by tackling inner-city bus congestion and freeing up buses for the suburbs,” Cr Quirk said.
“This budget will deliver more than $123 million for a public transport subsidy, encouraging more residents to choose public transport, which means fewer cars on the road and quicker, more comfortable trips.
“Brisbane City Council makes by far the largest contribution to public transport of any Council in Australia. This contributes to a range of services including the operation of our buses, CityCats and ferries, as well as free services such as the CBD Loop, Spring Hill Loop and City Glider services.
“Our buses will also be safer for staff and passengers, with Council investing $2.7 million over the next two years into a range of initiatives following an independent review into the tragic death of Brisbane bus driver Manmeet Sharma last October.
“The investment will deliver physical changes to the bus fleet including upgrading emergency exit signage and installing an additional emergency exit at the rear of the bus where there is no rear window emergency exit already in place.
“An education program about emergency procedures will also be introduced for bus passengers and Council’s driver training program will be expanded to better-equip drivers to response to violent situations.
“Council will also invest $33 million to purchase 60 new buses to maintain a 100% air-conditioned and accessible fleet which is the most modern in the country.”
Cr Quirk said Council would also build on its record investment in bicycle infrastructure across the city, with $100 million committed between 2016 and 2020 to deliver five major corridors and more than 35 suburban bikeways.
“We want to encourage more people to head outdoors and soak in our fantastic lifestyle, and this year we are investing $28 million into bikeways including the construction of key suburban bikeway linkages such as Woolloongabba Bikeway, Kangaroo Point Upgrade Stage One and Indooroopilly Bikeway Stage One,” he said.
“Our CityCat fleet will also receive a $5.8 million injection, which will deliver the design and construction of a brand new CityCat vessel and revitalise a further two vessels as part of our re-life program.
“This is about delivering a more modern and accessible fleet, with refurbished Cats fitted out with new engines, and a range of improved interior and exterior features.”