How would you improve Brisbane’s public transport system?


It’s very easy to complain about what’s not working with Translink and Brisbane public transport, so let’s try and improve the existing network and system. What is the biggest change you would make to improve Brisbane’s public transport system?

Maybe you’d start with new train lines or address staffing levels… perhaps you’d think about making everything free! Everyone certainly seems to have an opinion on how Translink Go Cards could work better, so share your thoughts.

Are we making train, ferry and bus travel as easy as possible for those who are having a Brisbane visit and don’t normally live here? Does the timetable for Brisbane buses make complete sense? On that note, perhaps we need a few more bus stops around town, or you can suggest a new Translink route for trains around Brisbane. Perhaps you think Translink’s rail trip planner isn’t up to scratch or have ideas on how the Brisbane city cat can provide more services.

Share your ideas for improving public transportation in Brisbane in the comments below.


  1. Need to make public transport affordable, reliable, more accessible & available longer.
    More people will access it, but people will also utilise their own private vehicle for conveinance.
    You need more facilities where Go-Cards can be topped up. Maybe link the city cycle with the go card.
    Also night services need security beefed up on some train lines.
    I will still continue to use public transport

  2. I’m actually thankful that the fares are extortionately high and one of the most expensive in the world. Why? It made me walk the just under 2km everyday from my house in Bowen Hills to my place of work in the city and back. Every day. I’ve lost weight, I feel healthier and it’s a great way to be rid of the day’s stress before I get home. No more stinky, dirty buses, no more public masses. But there are many issues and not everyone has that option I realise……but seriously, a flat fee rate will see a lot more people using public transport.

    When I lived in Chicago it was a flat rate of $2.25 per ride (Adult fare) and .25c each transfer within 2 hours (students are as low as .75c per ride!). Simple. Didn’t matter where you were going, even Midway Airport! (I know it’s private but don’t get me started on the AirTrain prices!). People used the bus all day every day and the train was the same price. Frequency helps too. I think the government should take a look at the Chicago Transit System for ideas and inspiration

  3. how about stop always putting up the fares and make it more affordable,And it would be really nice to see the buses able to keep to there so-called schedule,It happens heaps of times here were supposed to have a 15 minute service but very frequently the bus wont turn up for 45 minutes and when they do get here you ask the driver whats goin on about the schedules they wont have a clue.Finally I figured out its more reliable and cheaper to get in the car and fight your way through traffic with the fuel prices the way they are,years ago from way on the south side you could get a paper ruturn tcket for almost $7 and your covered for trains,bus,and ferry nowadays its gotta be a one way ticket and that could be $10 each way..My solution boycott it if they wanna keep on just jackin up the price then I just wont use it anymore

  4. Heidi suggested Go Card only.

    Has she ever been stuck behind someone on a bus who wanted to put money on their Gocard because they don’t leave space for others to get through and because there is not enough places where you can topup especially on The Gold Coast?

    Also for better public transport, cancel the contract for both The Transtink Call Centre and gocard machines and you well see a great improvement in The Translink and Gocard Systems.

  5. More on zones being a super dumb base for the public transport fare system. Did you know you can travel from Brisbane CBD to Robina for less than $20 (over 70km), travel from Garden City to North Lakes for less than $10. People will continue to use cars for short trips because its expensive on public transport, and your own car is easy & convenient. To change behaviour shorter trips have to be less expensive. A per Km basis perhaps?
    Cheaper fares for short trips and watch the bus patronage numbers go up.

  6. Change the fare system. I mean there’s no incentive to travel on a bus for a short trip as you pay the same fare as for a much longer trip. Some of us do live near a bus zone boundary. The cost to travel 9 km is $3.85 and to travel 1.5 km is $3.85. Distance is markedly different.

  7. No big thing, I’m a very infrequent traveler(3-6 months between using public transport) I’d like my card to not expire and subsequently not have to jump through hoops to get anything back from it( a form that needs to be posted) its archaic and had been a huge inconvenience to me today.

  8. Larry claim that “”city of tunnels’ but they save time, and have made our roads safer” is clearly not based on the truth? As there have been accidents in road tunnels, just look at The North-South Tunnel in Brisbane where a truck caught on fire.

    Now back to the question “How would you improve Brisbane’s public transport system?” and let Larry work where he went wrong, just like The QLD Governments not willing to work what is wrong with TranSTINK.
    with The Community is telling what is wrong with TranSTINK and not willing to fix the problem and instead waste money on big ticket items like billions on road tunnels, a Cruise Terminal etc

  9. Would Paul Larry rather use the money being spent on road tunnels, being used to improve public transport, starting with tranSTINK call centre?

  10. Better training or training for TranSTINK call centre staff as many times they have give out wrong or not the full information for example they told me another bus would coming in 15 minutes when in fact in came in 5 minutes, another example they told me to walk to another bus stop to catch a bus hello I wanted a bus from the bus stop I am waiting at not another bus stop etc etc etc

    Also change it where the bus stop names on the streets is different to bus stop names on The Journey Planner.

  11. I believe that if there is anything much wrong with the public transport system there are two things that need fixing.
    1. The fare structure system, like sure go cards are more handier than paper tickets, but it is getting too expensive for commuters who have to go to and from wherever they have to go whether that is uni or work. I would suggest that we restructure the zones so it does not look like a rip off for even having to go a short distance.
    2. We need a daily ticket for people who are tourists. It is a shame of hearing my boyfriend having to tell tourists that they cannot get a day ticket for the services within Brisbane and yet our city calls itself a new world city. Melbourne and Sydney have got a daily ticket that covers all modes of transport there, train, ferry, bus, tram and also the Manly ferry.

  12. Light rail along the middle of coro drive. Congestion charge for peak our traffic into the city (zoned). Light rail is great for Brisbane, as new transformer and power management saves in breaking cycles. Light rail is cheap because it does not require expensive tunnels, but can be converted if necessary. It is also on time if not sharing the road (which it should never so). Cars are so woefully inefficient they must be kept out of the city by all means.

  13. Stop announcements on all vehicles. No more hailing, instead have stand-in areas. Publish live transport data on the net. Publish geo-coordinates of stops on the net. Publish current dispatch obstruction information on the net. Install ACCURATE arrival time indicators. Install Barcodes on stops, so you can quickly get information with a smart phone.

  14. How come there is no option for using change to top up go cards? what is with the 5 dollar only increment options?

  15. We live in Kedron and think with new bus and road tunnels, 24hr service at weekends and ‘9 then Free’ translink deal, I can hardly complain about much.
    People laugh about ‘city of tunnels’ but they save time, and have made our roads safer. Cheaper tolls would be great tho

  16. In the short-term I’d propose:
    – New $2 two-stop ticket (for people crossing the river a full zone 1 or 2 is really unfair)
    – Expansion of Zone 1 boundaries (Zone 1 needs to be bigger in the South and cover New Farm too)
    – Link Gocards with the CityCycles
    Longer term:
    – Review all the zones and tickets – there must be better options that suit our city
    – Build the cross-river underground then expand expand expand
    – We used to have trams, maybe we should reconsider them?

    I’m actually running as an independent for Anna Bligh’s old seat and even Andrew Bartlett has said that my plan for public transport is a good one :)

  17. Make all public transport free. Stop wasting millions on new roads, & focus on reducing needless commuter traffic by making it free. Will be particularly effective for people traveingl to work in the. CBD.

  18. A light rail running from West End ferry station through the city and valley out to Kingsford Smith Drive running close to 24hrs would be great.

  19. Make it cheaper, it’s so overpriced right now it’s cheaper for me to drive my car everywhere and park than to take a bus now.

  20. By *not* focusing solely on public transport (as we know it)! Of course by that I don’t mean build more infrastructure for private motor vehicles since we know well from experience that it simply doesn’t work – unfortunately, the “build it and they will come” mantra still rings true for new highways. [].

    It’s something the politicians rarely talk about – not even the Greens – perhaps out of fear of looking *too* green? The Brisbane City Council’s website has moved this whole potential gold mine from “Traffic & transport” to “Sport & leisure”.

    There’s no secret that bicycling is a serious mode of transport in many parts of the world and can be very safe with the overall benefits far outweighing the risks (that can’t be said of most other modes of transport). But for some reason in Australia and other English-speaking countries, governments and authorities like to treat it just as a “sport” and create other excuses when instead it could be realised as a genuine alternative transport. By the way, most trips in our urbanised areas (where most Australians, and the rest of the world now reside) are actually very short in distance yet still done by car in Australia. []

    Councils and government can’t be very serious about active travel – which links up perfectly with public transport, provided the bus and train stations are accessible without a car! – if we have infrastructure and laws that prioritise private cars and even parked cars over pedestrians and people on bicycles. For example, what’s with the intersections that require a button press and long wait for a green pedestrian light remaining for only 5 seconds before switching to “don’t start walking”, thus encouraging many drivers to not give way and rush the pedestrians? []

    Public transport (including light rail) while great, will alone never be able to be a realistic alternative to many if it has no chance of competing with the “freedom” of driving (in near-gridlock). Add cycling to the mix with proper, direct, world class (i.e., Dutch) infrastructure and that will truly be a powerful combination and incentive to reduce low occupancy car usage. So long as the politicians pretend that we already have “world cities”, we’ll only get to world average-class.

    Quite simply, if we build proper infrastructure for people (be it on foot, bike or wheelchair/stroller when we all get old and/or sore) things will be better for everyone – drivers included. This can only happen if we get the same convenient selection of direct roads and paths that are currently in the car’s domain. Public transport will immediately become more useful too.

    None of this will be cheap, but neither are tunnels and new highways for predominantly private motor vehicles. So what’s it all really worth? []

  21. Make it more reliable. Services come regularly ish, are very clean and the drivers are great. However, even on the regular routes the lack of reliability makes the system hard to use when you need to be punctual – leaving two hours for a 45 minute journey JIC two busses don’t show up is not fun.

  22. Make it free (or at least cost-neutral)
    Make it reliable (not just running on time, but reliably signed, and all timetable information accurate and consistent)
    Make it safe (throw people in the lockup for anti-social behavior … They’ll learn the lesson pretty fast)
    make it accountable (Tie executive remuneration to customer satisfaction surveys)

    all of this will increase use, feedback and problem resolution

    … and because I’m so furious about it’s current woeful state (take a trip to Melbourne and see a city that’s doing it better than most) I’m going to crunch the numbers from the current BCC budget to prove how we can afford to make a system that works!

  23. Light rail along all BUZ routes and moving the busses to more inter suburban connectivity. Thus clearing much of the congestion from the CBD, and coordinating what is routed through there.

  24. Stop increasing the price of tickets every couple of months. It is becoming ridiculous. It’s all very well to build new busways and have more frequent services, but if it is more affordable to drive your own car (provided you have one), then nobody is going to catch a bus or train anyway… Just sayin’

  25. if you scan your go card for more than one return trip each day it should automatically be capped to a daily fare that lasts until the last service for the day.

    more recharge points for go cards.

    more frequent services for Brisbane’s northside (takes me 2 hours to get to work in CBD from Brighton, and sometimes longer to get home)

    how bout a bus stop on either side of the bridge to redcliffe, so that all the bus services that run Redcliffe to Sandgate can service Brighton as well..after all..they are going that way anyway????

    Night bus all the way to Redcliffe.

  26. Phase out paper tickets. Put up more Go Card recharge spots more main bus stops (ie. South Bank, Woolloongabba, Central). Get more recharge facilities in suburban news agents and convenience stores. It’s annoying trying to track down a 7/11 or Night Owl that isn’t city based that is able to recharge the Go Cards.

  27. Use Maxi taxis on set routes akin buses but with  no timetable and charging by zones per passenger. Set amount of them on each route just get to linking area and turn around. Sign post pickup and drop points and frequency. Used in South A
    America very efficient. Covers all the runs where a bus is not viable and backs up buses where they are left wanting.  
    Bet our transport supremos will find reasons not to trial it for 12 months.

  28. Fix the Go Card system so it’s worth the hassle of getting. It has a bad reputation for having bugs and for charging people for faults with the service, and before people really embrace it, that needs to be remedied.
    Make it run on time. If services simply don’t show up, or show up over half an hour late, why would people use it if they can drive? The services need to be made more reliable if the government want people to use them.

    Pay the bus drivers a decent wage, have them on full time rather than contract and part time so they need to work elsewhere as well to make ends meet. Pay people fairly and they will provide better service.

    Make it safer. The Inala busses, for example, do not have a good rep, and the number of times my family have told me about fights on the bus even when there was security doesn’t fill me with confidence. Drivers have enough to deal with without poorly behaved passengers, and security needs to be tightened and punishments made more severe for people who make the public transport systems an unsafe place to be.

    Fire every single person who answers calls at Transinfo. Because I’ve yet to meet anyone who has gotten a correct answer to a question from them, and the theory is that they’re just making it up as they go. If you call someone who is meant to know what they’re talking about, and they give you information that leaves you miles from where you’re meant to be and hopelessly lost, it’s a bad system.

    Make everything transparent and accountable. No more hiding behind policy, no more of the idiotic behaviours that ruin peoples ability to trust in our public transport system.

  29. You think public transport systems in England “work quite well”??? Have you ever lived there? (And by that I mean not just in London). It’s expensive, unreliable and inefficient and the coverage is woefully inadequate. If Brisbane public transport was modelled on that it would be a lot worse than it is now!

  30. Go Card only, I am tired of having to wait to get on transport while people try to find the right change! I would love trams/tube in the outter Brisbane regions (like in Melbourne or London)so there is more access and reliability. More security is needed actually on buses, not just at the stations – drivers have enough to deal with without attention seeking teens or drunks causing a scene. Also, while in London I could access the Transport For London (TFL) website that informed me of all the forms of public transport I could use to take me to my destination – here I have to access Brisbane City Council website, Translink website and regional bus services to find out times, stops and transfer areas. A night bus service would be great!

    I love the city cat and would love to see it operate 24 hours or at least until 3 in the morning when most people go home after a big night out.

  31. model it more on european systems, as they seem to work quite well. think england and france.
    i think buses need to be run better in general here and also the trains should run more frequently

  32. As a public transport user in BRISBANE for the past ten years I can’t really complain. Having used systems overseas and had to suffer really late and really dirty trains plus very rude and unhelpful staff. I can only say it’s not THAT bad. Try the rush hour on the TUBE in London or a boneshaking local service in SPAIN! Brisbane is still a very bright and clean city- enjoy it! If anything a small minority of people need educating on timekeeping in peak time; this is one of the things that holds services back have the right money/concession card ready- plan your journey- use the Translink site! we all have to take some of the responsiblity ourselves and not just keep blaming the providers.

  33. 24 hour bus services to start with. Plus more frequent services to high use areas, and more suburban buses that service areas away from major busways and interchanges. Not to mention more frequent services to the outer reaches of the city.

    Queensland Rail/CityTrain/Airtrain are a massive fail that simply need to be scrubbed clean and started again. I can’t see any easy fix for that mess.


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