Rapid transport to cbd fast-tracked

A FASTER and more efficient public transport network is scheduled for Ipswich.

Joint state government and Ipswich City Council funding has delivered $100,000 for the Ipswich Bus Rapid Transit Project. A further $50,000 will be added by Ripley Valley property developer Sekisui House and Payce.

Minister for Transport Rachel Nolan said the three-month study would be conducted by the state government and Translink, in partnership with the council, later this year.

“It will build on the outcomes of the state government and council's Ipswich CBD strategy, and will develop plans for a high-level bus transit network linking the Ipswich CBD, Riverlink, the hospital, UQ Ipswich and, ultimately, the master-planned Ripley community,” she said.

Ms Nolan said the state government paid more than $9 million to subsidise the local Westside bus service, and a portion of more than $630 million to provide rail services in south-east Queensland subsidises the Ipswich line.

“For every dollar the commuter pays in fare, more than $3 is paid by the state,” she said.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said it was important to work in partnership with the state government and developers to plan for vital public transport infrastructure.

“The study will allow us to determine options for a fast and frequent rapid public transport to link the city centre with current and future residential growth areas,” he said.

“Ipswich will more than double in population in the next 20 years.”

Ms Nolan pointed to recent gains in local public transport, with five new trains on the Ipswich line to reduce crowding on morning peak services from 58 per cent to 23 per cent.

A safety audit had also led to improvements in the bus service.

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