I am campaigning for an "Inner West Transitway" to create a new rapid and frequent public transport link between the southside and the west side. It would include:
- A cross-campus bus link at UQ, along with
- Bus lanes on Sir Fred Schonell Dr and Brisbane St between UQ and Toowong.
The Inner West Transitway would improve the whole public transport system in Brisbane by creating a totally new high frequency public transport route bypassing the CBD, connecting Toowong, UQ and Dutton Park. This new connection could well become one of the most important in Brisbane. It would:
- Link the Ipswich/Springfield train lines with the Busway/Brisbane Metro network, the Beenleigh/Gold Coast, Cleveland and Cross River Rail train lines.
- Link the west side to major destinations on the southside including the PA and Mater Hospitals, South Bank, the Gabba and beyond.
- Eliminate the need to change services in the CBD for many thousands of commuters travelling between suburbs; and
- On a local level, allow for fast, frequent bus services between Indooroopilly, Toowong & St Lucia and Woolloongabba, Dutton Park & South Brisbane and beyond.
Both the State government's 2021 South East Queensland Regional Transport Plan (SEQRTP) and UQ’s current St Lucia Campus Master Plan, published in 2017 support the project. You can read more about my proposal here.
An Inner West Transitway would work together with my proposed Western Busway on the Centenary Motorway corridor, providing a nearly continuous link between the western and southwestern suburbs and the CBD.
What I've done so far
In June 2022 I wrote to the Minister for Transport seeking State funding for a corridor study for Sir Fred Schonell Dr, Brisbane Rd and Swann Rd as a first step to deliver a new Inner West Transitway. A copy of my letter is here.
In June 2023 I wrote to the Minister again, calling on him to start a detailed delivery study by the end of 2023, and to get the project built by the end of 2026.
I have also published a detailed map showing how the cross-campus bus link could work, running mostly along existing surface roads. I am seeking feedback from local residents and the university community about that proposal.
Cross campus bus link at UQ
The UQ St Lucia campus functions like a roadblock, with two very busy bus stations at either end of the campus, just 1km apart. Removing this roadblock for public transport would be transformative for Brisbane, and it could happen fairly quickly.
UQ’s current St Lucia Campus Master Plan, published in 2017 supports a cross-campus public transport link and says: "A connection running from Dutton Park, across the Eleanor Schonell Bridge, and onto Indooroopilly and/or Toowong will greatly enhance the level and quality of public transport services to and within the St Lucia campus. It will also be a physical example of UQ St Lucia’s willingness to welcome the community by offering ease of access to campus facilities and activities."
Bus lanes on Sir Fred Schonell Dr, Brisbane St and Swann Rd
The detailed delivery study should consider reallocating some public road space along the corridors from private vehicles to public and active transport. This should include dedicated bus lanes Brisbane St, Sir Fred Schonell Drive and could also include Swann Rd.
The IWT and bus lanes on Sir Fred would mean Toowong and St Lucia residents could bypass traffic jams and enjoy reliable and fast travel times to Toowong Station, UQ and the southside beyond. It would also improve amenity and access for St Lucia residents by reducing the number of private vehicles driving through St Lucia.
The delivery study should also consider the potential for bus priority treatments on other west side roads to extend the benefits of the Inner West Transitway to other areas zoned for medium and high density residential development.
This could include Swann Rd in Taringa which provides a second major link between UQ and Taringa, Indooroopily and Toowong. Swann Rd has developed rapidly, and is zoned for further medium density residential development. Swann Rd residents living in apartments currently have no high frequency bus service apart from the 444 on Moggill Rd, and existing services on Swann Rd like the 427 and 428 are infrequent and often unreliable, especially outside university semester.