SE Queensland commuters pick up in 2015

By Greg Bell

A good public transport system is important to communities on a variety of levels. For one, it gives tourists easy connections to a wide range of facilities across the Gold Coast commercial landscape – the local light rail link, for instance, goes all over the region.

On top of this, it helps local business by giving consumers greater access to shopping centres and public infrastructure. It's also great for the environment, as it helps to cut down on traffic congestion and related pollution. It seems like locals are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of public transport, as recent figures have shown a sound increase in the number of people taking this on.

Trips in the millions

According to a 20 December media release from the Queensland government, patronage on southeast Queensland's public transport has gone up since last year. All in all, the September quarter of 2015 had 3.1 per cent more public transport users than the same time period in 2014.

State Minister for Transport, Stirling Hinchliffe, said the data was acquired through use of the TransLink Tracker.

"Through the TransLink Tracker, the community can measure how we are progressing towards our goal of providing a safe, integrated, reliable and efficient transport system," he stated. It's the sort of data that Gold Coast retailers can take and be very happy with. It paints a distinct picture of commuter numbers, how they travel, and emerging trends in public transport. The 2015 report recorded the following increases across SE Queensland:

  • Bus trips went up by 430,000
  • Train trips increased by 305,000
  • Ferry trips increased by 40,000
  • There were 47.09million trips in total

Clearly, the ongoing takeup of public transport is very good for Gold Coast commercial leaseholders. More people means more opportunity for growth.

Light rail takeup spikes

The Gold Coast Light Rail system hasn't been up and running for very long, but people have flocked to it like moths to a flame. The 2015-2015 TransLink Tracker report indicated that last year, there were 1.24million trips on this mode of transport. This year, the figure increased by 640,000 to reach 1.88million.

The affordability of public transport continued to be an issue for Queenslanders, but Minister Hinchliffe said work is being done in this area, with a fare freeze also announced on 20 December. This comes at the same time as a TransLink review of the fare structures for public transport across SE Queensland, and Mr Hinchliffe said it was a just decision to stabilise fares.

"In the spirit of fairness, while the taskforce continues its work, the Palaszczuk Government will suspend the projected annual CPI increase due in January 2016," he stated.

That helps Gold Coast commercial operators on a number of levels. It gives employees easier access to their places of work in and around Surfers Paradise, it gives businesses and consumers peace of mind regarding their transport budgets, and it ensures stability in the general public transport system.

Once the review is completed, there could also be even better news in store for Gold Coast office leasers and the like. 

"Queenslanders can be confident that the review will deliver a fair and affordable fare structure that will help boost patronage while delivering a sustainable fare revenue stream to allow the network to continue to grow," Mr Hinchliffe said.

With this sort of positivity in the wings for communities and businesses, it could be a great time to look at expanding your commercial lease or capitalising on incoming growth. When you have any enquiries about Surfers Paradise commercial real estate, get in touch with the team at Ray White. 

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