Locals to miss off-peak trains
THE chances of Ipswich commuters enjoying a higher off-peak train frequency look to have been derailed because of the Queensland Government's financially stricken status.
Translink chief executive Neil Scales said it was unlikely the 15-minute off-peak train trial would be extended beyond the Ferny Grove line, no matter how successful it proved.
Mr Scales said Translink's focus was to provide higher frequency bus services to feed the rail services.
"With the way the state's finances are at the moment, capital is going to be really scarce," he said.
Public transport advocacy group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said rather than implementing 15-minute trains, he urged Translink to look at 20-minute intervals to build up capacity.
He said the government's predicament did pose a problem.
"That's true to a point, but we think the pressure will build over the next two years to make it inevitable," he said.
"Rather than 15-minute trains, a move to three an hour is the next logical step."
Mr Scales said the extension to the Richlands line would be serviced by increased high-frequency buses as the rail line extended to Springfield next year and beyond to Redbank Plains by 2020 at the earliest.
He said the Springfield stations were being put in place before the expected population around the Redbank Plains area.
"We're making sure it (the stations) is there in advance. The other thing we are going to do is add to the bus network.
"That's our most flexible asset. The 535 in that area is growing steadily, carrying 1400 passengers per week and again it's promoting public transport in that area before 2013."
The new stations are expected to last for 30 years and Mr Scales envisages they will become a major asset to the community.
He said Translink would provide support to the fledgling Springfield area, which he described as a fantastic vision for the future.
"I think it will and I think Springfield itself is just a marvellous vision. Maha Sinnathamby has such a long-term vision and we'll walk with him to support that.
"From what I have seen from the outside looking in, the Mayor, Paul Pisasale, has done a lot of work with the economic future."