Proposed $1.54 Billion Brisbane Metro To Shape City


Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced plans for a new high frequency subway system called the Brisbane Metro in order to slash travel times for bus commuters if he is re-elected at the upcoming council elections.

Cr Quirk said the $1.54 billion Brisbane Metro would run on a dedicated route linking Wooloongabba to Herston, where there is currently strain on Brisbane public transport, particularly, the bus systems, during peak hours with over 230 buses transiting through the cultural centre per hour.

“This is a project that will be built over six years and provide a 100 year life for the city to keep Brisbane heading in the right direction,” he said.

“Brisbane Metro will offer a comfortable, high frequency, fast, time reliable and high capacity link between the suburbs and inner city using a subway system that is quick and easy to get on and off.

“People’s journeys from the suburbs to the city and home again will be faster.

“Brisbane Metro will remove up to 200 buses per hour from slow inner city movements, allowing for more bus services in the middle and outer suburbs. By comparison, Labor’s light rail proposal, that replaces the successful Blue CityGlider, would free up only 18 buses per hour.”

The proposed plans show the Brisbane Metro system utilising sections of the South East and Inner Northern Busways, which would remove excessive congestion in the morning peak from the Victoria Bridge.

The Victoria Bridge is planned to remove all traffic except for other bus services, pedestrians and cyclists, aiming to be dedicated to the Brisbane Metro System.

Existing sections of Brisbane’s Inner City Busways will be converted to metro Brisbane tracks providing approximately 7 kilometres of uninterrupted travel.

The converted busways will include Wooloongabba, Mater Hill, Southbank, Cultural Centre, King George Square, Roma St, Normanby, QUT Kelvin Grove, and Herston; with plans for Wooloongabba and Herston to be major terminals where suburban bus routes connect to the Brisbane Metro Subway System, relieving inner city congestions.

Completely new infrastructure that would need to be built is an underground passage under Adelaide St to link the King George Square busway and North Quay, from where the system would lead to the Victoria Bridge.

Route of the proposed metro[/caption]Cr Quirk said continued employment growth, especially in the CBD and inner city, required increased public transport for Brisbane and many parts of the bus infrastructure had reached capacity, and that the city centre was becoming clogged with a growing number of buses.

“Every day about 170,000 employees, visitors and students travel to or through the city centre, mostly by public transport and this is predicted to climb to 250,000 by 2031,” he said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, population growth for Brisbane and Greater Brisbane is annually averaging an increase of 1.6 per cent.

With significant population growth aligns job growth, and, according to Council, there will be an anticipated 443,000 more jobs in Brisbane, with almost a quarter of those located in the CBD.

Brisbane public transport currently accommodates the city; however, with the population and job projections, the public transport system expects an eighty per cent increase in service demand.

Cr Quirk emphasised the priority of developing Brisbane’s public transport infrastructure.

“Right now, buses carry a clear majority of public transport trips in Brisbane. The Brisbane Transport bus network carried 76 million passengers in 2014-15, 50% more passengers than the CityTrain network,” he said.

“The CBD’s existing bus infrastructure, already at capacity in a number of areas, will not be able to cope.

“The Cultural Centre busway station reached capacity in 2013 with 230 buses per hour leading to chronic congestion and queueing. The King George Square and Roma St Stations are already operating at capacity while Queen Street Bus Station has, of course, been at capacity for many years.”

Cr Quirk said the Brisbane Metro would deliver a level of public transport service not seen before in Australia.

“Around the world millions of people in cities including Paris, Montreal, Miami, Tokyo and Hong Kong use this rubber tyred metro service every day,” he said.
What technology will the Brisbane Metro system use?
This Metro system is anticipated to utilise a rubber tyred metro system. This form of rapid transit operates with both road and rail elements, running on both rubber and steel wheels.

The rubber tyres run on rubber padded guide bars whilst the steel have deep flanges that sit in steel tracks for conventional guidance through switches, and the carts are powered by an electric current circuiting through the guide bars.

Brisbane Metro rubber2-1

Ruber- Tyred Metro System[/caption]The Copenhagen Metro System is highly comparable to the suggested metro for Brisbane as it has only two lines totalling 20.4 kilometres whilst the Brisbane Metro will have half that, one line and approximately a 7 kilometres track.

Copenhagen Metro is a driverless, 24/7 system that, similarly to the Metro Brisbane proposal, connects to local bus lines and supplements the larger subway rapid transit systems and local trains.

An extension to the Copenhagen metro currently under construction is their City Circle Line, which suggests that the Brisbane Metro System will lend itself to further future developments.

“The Brisbane Metro is a step up from Light Rail – it’s a segregated, high frequency subway system with the potential to carry 30,000 passengers an hour, 10 times the potential capacity of the Gold Coast Light Rail,” Cr. Quirk said.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Rubber- Tyred Metro System:
Advantages of a rubber tyred metro system (compared to steel on steel):

  • Rubber tyres eliminate harsh ‘jostling’, allowing for smooth, quieter ride
  • Fast acceleration – high frequency service
  • Shorter braking distance allows greater frequency between trains as they can be signalled closer
  • The system typically has little noise pollution.
  • Higher energy consumption because of rubber on rubber resistance
  • Friction causes greater generation of heat
  • It is not possible to remove the steel from the system- it is kept as a safety precaution in case of tyre failure and therefore makes the system heavy.
  • Victoria Bridge would become a green bridge with general traffic prohibited
  • North Quay will be closed upon the introduction of the Metro System as road traffic and the Metro must be separated. Instead, the Brisbane metro line will connect North Quay, Victoria St and Adelaide St.
  • There will also be changes at the Cultural Centre Station which will be placed underground with a smaller at surface station to support buses going to and from West End, such as the Blue CityGlider.
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