Australia COVID-19 takes a toll on public transport, speed camera revenue in Qld

11:17  27 september  2020
11:17  27 september  2020 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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  COVID-19 takes a toll on public transport, speed camera revenue in Qld

Queensland's public transport network recorded a drop in patronage of almost 20 per cent over the past year, costing more than $71 million in fare revenue.

In March, when most of Queensland ground to a halt, public transport figures collapsed as people turned to walking, cycling, private transport and working from home.

Across the financial year, none of the state's targets for patronage on state-government-owned transport were met, according to the Department of Transport and Main Roads' annual report.

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The network's total targeted patronage figures were set at 193 million trips, but only 152 million were actually taken. That was down from the 2018-19 figure of 189 million trips, which exceeded the estimated target of 186 million.

South-east Queensland's bus network met about 80 per cent of its target of 119 million trips, with 95 million trips across the network.

Trains also reported only 76 per cent of the 56-million-trip target, recording 43 million in total across the financial year.

Trams reported 8 million trips, missing their target of 11 million, and ferries recorded 5 million, missing the target of almost 7 million.

"The variance between the 2019-20 target/estimate and the 2019-20 actual results can be attributed to the travel restrictions introduced for the COVID-19 response and recovery in March 2020, including restrictions on work and travel associated with lockdown," says the annual report, tabled this week.

"The target/estimates for these measures will be reviewed in subsequent years to take into consideration the longer-term impact of COVID-19."

The department paid Brisbane City Council $328 million to operate its buses, $20 million for the ferries, and $57 million to GoldLinQ to operate the Gold Coast's light rail system.

Revenue from the state's speed cameras was also down on the previous year, with $172 million in fines collected through the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the State Penalties Enforcement Registry.

That figure was down from $191 million in the 2018-19 financial year.

The department issued 480,207 mobile speed camera infringements across the 2019 calendar year, more than 80 per cent of which were for travelling less than 13 kilometres over the speed limit.

But on the other end of the scale, 632 fines, or 0.13 per cent, were issued to people recorded travelling more than 40 kilometres over the speed limit.

More than 30,000 infringement notices from red light cameras were issued during the 2019 calendar year, and 67,161 from fixed speed cameras.

More than 73 per cent of those infringements were for travelling less than 13km/h over the speed limit, and 292 fines, or 0.64 per cent, for travelling more than 40km/h over the limit.

The report noted the $71 million in lost fare revenue hit the department's bottom line, but it still managed to record an operating surplus of $126 million across 2019-20.

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usr: 1
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