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Go Card ‘smart card’ data shows SEQ struggling to keep pace

Go Card data suggests rail access is working for north-south journeys, but there is a dearth of east-west options. Photo: Tony Moore SEQ commuter data from Go Cards – where we travel to. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

Latest data from three million train and bus trips stored on Go Card “smart cards” shows SEQ’s “north-south” public transport system is not keeping pace with the widening distance between where people live and where they have to travel to work.

The data – analysed for the first time – calculates “workplaces” and “residences” and shows south-east Queensland’s “north-south” rail system funnels commuters at an “escalating rate” into the Brisbane CBD.

However it has little “east-west” flexibility to get to jobs outside the city’s CBD.

Most of Greater Brisbane’s “east-west” flexibility is handled by buses, which are regularly running late, with only 84 per cent running on time according to Translink, well below Translink’s performance requirements.

The implications of this latest Go Card smart card research will be debated at Tuesday’s Australian Institute’s Jobs Summit at Queensland’s Parliament House in Brisbane, where deputy premier Jackie Trad and Treasurer Curtis Pitt will be keynote speakers.

Traditionally transport data was gathered by surveys, or travel diaries, until experts in London (2011) and Shenzen (2012) analysed “smart card” data to show future work travel trends emerging.

The “smart card” research is factored into future jobs planning in London and in Shenzen in China in trying to locate future jobs closer to residential areas.

In Greater Brisbane, the Go Card research analysis by the University of Queensland’s School of Geography, shows the top six destinations for commuters as: 1 – Brisbane’s CBD,2 – The University of Queensland (UQ),3 – South Brisbane,4 – Queensland University of Technology (QUT)5 – Kelvin Grove campus and6 – Mt Gravatt’s Garden City shopping centre

It shows the seven significant “residential areas” where commuters leave from or return to – are: 1 – Bald Hills station,2 – Ferny Grove station,3 – Northgate station,4 – Darra station,5 – Goodna station,6 – Garden City7 – Eight Miles Plains.

However areas on the outer fringes of Brisbane City are the fastest growing population belts, while jobs are still concentrated in urban CBDs.

While rail is the main form of public transport, there is limited flexibility in Greater Brisbane, the research by Ming Wei, Yan Liu and Thomas Sigler found.

“There is a linear high intensity commuting pattern running from north to the south of Brisbane via the CBD, reflecting the large number of commuters travelling by rail along fixed routes,” their paper finds.

“The highlighted train corridor shows that rail service plays a more important role than other transport modes such as bus or ferry in residents’ daily commuting, and the distribution of rail commuters amongst all train stations is relatively balanced.”

“But there is also a lack of east-west connectivity.

“Griffith University station, Sunnybank and Eight Miles Plain are important transit locations for public transport passengers, contributing to the centrality of Garden City to a more influential sub-centre in Brisbane.

“However, the connection between Garden City and Sunnybank is quite weak, indicating a weak connection of public transport between the two locations.”

The research analysed 3.1 million bus, train and ferry trips over five days between March 4 and March 8 2013. What the research foundMount Gravatt’s Garden City Shopping Centre is increasing under pressure as a transport hub for the fast-growing southern edge of Brisbane and Logan;Rail is the major “north-south” public transport mode to get commuters to and from work; andBuses are struggling to keep pace in the “east-west” connections.

The new Moreton Bay Rail Link – running “east-west” from Kippa Ring to Petrie – will bring 600 trains to Redcliffe by late July or August 2016.

Tuesday’s jobs summit predicts future jobs growth from five industries. Health care and social assistanceProfessional, scientific and technical servicesEducation and training;Accommodation and food services (closely linked to tourism); andConstruction.

Economist Saul Eslake, who will also speak at Tuesday’ summit, said new jobs would come from Queensland’s services sector.

“The mining construction boom is over forever, and jobs growth in Queensland will overwhelmingly come from the services sector from now on.”

Meanwhile a ReachTEL poll of 1200 Queenslanders shows voters think the government should try to stimulate the manufacturing sector to create future jobs (27.2 per cent), but that health (19.5 per cent) and agriculture (22.8 per cent) had the best prospects for future jobs.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.