SEQ has expensive public transport due to low density and costly trains

While hard on commuters, the recent Translink fare hike (see Brisbane Times coverage) still leaves South-East Queensland with a heavily subsidised public transport system, which it will continue to have given a relatively low population density and historically poor choices of public transport investments. For instance, although commuters favour trains because they are viewed as more comfortable and reliable than buses, they are much more expensive to provide than buses, except in areas with very high population densities. While using trains for public transport might make sense in London, New York or Paris, there are big questions around their viability in less dense Australian cities. See, for example, this US study which provides an excellent literature review regarding urban rail transit investments in the US:

Urban Densities and Transit: A Multi-dimensional Perspective

My previous thoughts on public transport can be found in several posts, including:

Govt should explore transport demand management options before committing to costly infrastructure

SEQ’s extensive but costly public transport system requires thorough review

Also see Brad Rogers’s guest post which links heritage protection to low, inefficient population densities in Brisbane’s inner city:

Guest post – Old Queenslanders in a New City

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2 Responses to SEQ has expensive public transport due to low density and costly trains

  1. Katrina Drake says:

    Here is your solution to both the Qld Transport Crisis and QLd Health Obesity Crisis ….

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2013/11/14/moscow-subway-station-lets-passengers-pay-fare-in-squats/

    “The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are still nearly three months away, but the competition is already heating up in one Moscow subway station. Passengers can vie to pay their fare in exercise.

    The exercise in question is squats, that strength-training essential that helps build the muscles of the thighs, hips, buttocks, quads and hamstrings, as well as strengthen the core. To get the free ticket:
    1. Go to Vystavochaya Station and find the ticket machine with the special squat sensor.
    2. Squat away. Complete at least 30 squats within two minutes, and you get a free ticket, much personal satisfaction and perhaps a few cheers from bystanders. No word as to whether you get a seat on the metro for your weary legs.
    3. Fewer than 30 reps: squat fail. Pay 30 rubles for a ticket (about USD$0.91), and do the walk of shame to your train with the hundreds of other hapless losers.

    According to the Russian Olympic Committee, no count has been taken of the number of free tickets issued, but interest is “very strong enthusiastic.”

    I’d take this option every time – weekly ticket 3×20 push-ups.

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