Coast rail services to be cut during Commonwealth Games
IF you offer rotten apples of course no-one would eat them was the response from advocates to Queensland Rail's justification for cutting services to the Sunshine Coast during the Commonwealth Games.
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy has revealed that half-hourly services from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane would operate only during the two-hour morning and afternoon Monday to Friday peak hours from March 30 to April 20.
During the Easter school holidays and weekends when Sunshine Coast families could be expected to want to head south to the Gold Coast to catch our Commonwealth Games stars in action the service would be only once every two hours.
Mr Easy has pointed to a 21 per cent drop in patronage during a similar period in 2017 to justify the service cuts.
Rail advocate Jeff Addison was dismissive of that claim.
"Expect all Sunshine Coast traffic to be on the Bruce Highway until the service meets the need," he said.
"Queensland Rail doesn't recognise that demand is based on supply.
"If you supply rotten apples of course they won't be eaten."
The cuts to the Sunshine Coast service come as Queensland Rail was expecting the largest sporting event in Australia in a decade to generate an extra six million trips on the south east Queensland transport system.
"Given the enormous scale and unprecedented demand this major international event will place on our network, we've always said that there would inevitably be impacts to the wider SEQ network in order to support a significant uplift of services on the Gold Coast line - where our resources will be needed most during the Games' period," Mr Easy said.
"To accommodate high frequency Gold Coast services in both directions during the Games, service changes will be in place across the SEQ network from March 30 until April 20, which includes the Easter school holiday period where we typically see a drop in patronage.
"On the Sunshine Coast line, services will run half-hourly during peak times and every 90 minutes during off-peak. Based on patronage, on weekends and over the Easter period (March 30 - April 2) services will run two-hourly in both directions, compared with an average of 90-minute services on the current timetable."
Mr Addison said the lack of services was driving passengers away from the North Coast line.
"The Sunshine Coast has been singled out for significant service reduction and that comes back to our sub-standard line."