In the lead up to the Brisbane City Council election held on 19th March 2016, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced the Council’s commitment for a “Brisbane Metro” Subway System; a reliable high-frequency transport system that will reduce CBD bus congestion, cut travel times and allow for the redirection of buses to improve services in the suburbs. This $1.54 billion commitment, proposes a mixture of new underground tunnels as well as transforming the existing South East and Inner Northern Busways from Woolloongabba to Herston and into the CBD.
The Brisbane Metro Subway System is planned to run on a dedicated route linking Wooloongabba to Herston with these two suburbs marking the furthest points of the route at each end; interchanges with connecting bus services will link commuters with the metro to then carry them more efficiently into the CBD.
The route will make use of the Victoria Bridge, which will become a green bridge, dedicated to the Metro system, other bus services, pedestrians and cyclists.
Recent investigations by both the Brisbane City Council and State Government show that Brisbane’s bus network is already at capacity in many CBD locations, and with an ever growing economy, 108,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2031 which will only exaggerate the problem. Currently, two-thirds or 68% of public transport passengers are bus users resulting in around 113 million trips a year on Brisbane’s bus network. Without a significant investment, the city’s public transport capacity issues will continue to grow.
The Brisbane City Council is currently undertaking a business case on the proposed development with the aim to finalise plans by May 2017. If all goes according to plan, the design phase will follow on from the completion of a business case, and will be undertaken between 2017 to 2018.
Construction will follow State Government approvals and will take approximately four years to complete. Council will fund the majority of the project however will seek additional funding support from both the State and Federal Governments.
Key features of the Metro system will include:
- Services every 2 minutes.
- 7km of fast uninterrupted travel.
- Ability to carry up to 30,000 passengers per hour.
- Improved CBD amenity through a reduction of buses on streets.
- Victoria Bridge dedicated to Brisbane Metro Subway System, other bus services, pedestrians and cyclists.
- More effective use of existing infrastructure.
- Three new stations and upgrades to existing stations.
- Smoother, quieter and quicker than light rail.
- Improved journey times.