Public and Active Transport Chair Ryan Murphy is calling on Brisbane to get back on board buses, ferries and CityCats and help build back the confidence in public transport that was lost due to the pandemic.
Cr Murphy said public transport patronage was now at 70 per cent of normal levels, and while it is completely safe to use, there was still some hesitancy among commuters.
“It’s been a year since our city was gripped by the pandemic and we want to build back confidence in our buses, ferries and CityCats which, in April last year, plummeted down to 18.92 per cent of normal levels on buses and 13.96 per cent on ferries.
“As people are coming back into the City to work, eat and shop we are now seeing almost 70 per cent of normal public transport levels. I want to assure our residents and visitors that our transport is completely safe to use and a great way to see our city.
In order to keep our bus fleet clean and safe, we contracted a professional indigenous, social enterprise company, Multhana Property Services, to facilitate daily sanitisation across our entire bus fleet, including sanitisation of grab handles, poles and backs of seats. Our Ferry Contractor, RiverCity Ferries, continue daily sanitisation of high-use surfaces on CityCats and ferries.
“All buses are fogged on a weekly basis and we’ve maintained back-door boarding across our bus services to ensure a safe distance between driver and passengers.
“Additional services have been provided on high-demand routes and cashless payments and ticketing will also remain for the foreseeable future – all ways in which are helping reducing the risk of spreading illness in the community.”
Cr Murphy said behaviour in Brisbane’s CBD also played a key part in attracting people back to public transport.
“We’ve seen consumer confidence grow in our retail and hospitality sector, with pedestrian activity in Queen Street Mall back up to approximately 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels,” he said.
“This has helped our patronage levels get to where they are now but the next step is getting more people back into the office buildings.
“CBD office occupancy is currently at around 60 per cent occupancy and once we see this grow, patronage numbers will also climb.”
Cr Murphy said Council would continue to follow Queensland Health advice to keep transport and facilities safe.
“Brisbane is one of the safest and fortunate cities in the world right now thanks to everyone’s hard work over the last twelve months, and Council will continue to do what it can to maintain this progress and keep the community safe,” he said.