Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has proposed expanding the Brisbane Metro to the Brisbane Airport as part of future planning for the precinct to make it easier and more affordable for airport workers to get home quicker.
Cr Schrinner said the Brisbane Airport was the fastest-growing employment hub in Queensland with 24,000 people currently working there and numbers forecast to almost double to 46,000 people by 2040.
The Metro proposal has been submitted by Brisbane City Council in its submission on the 2020 Brisbane Airport Master Plan that provides an overview of future development between now and 2040.
Cr Schrinner said the privately run Airtrain costs about five times more than comparable public transport with commuters charged $19 for a journey between the airport and inner city while people travelling on the Metro would be charged a two-zone go card fare which is currently $4.03.
“My ambition is to deliver the Brisbane Metro to get people home quicker and put more buses in the suburbs,” he said.
“It’s one thing for occasional airline passengers to pay the cost of an Airtrain journey but it is unaffordable for the 24,000 workers commuting every day to the airport and the growing jobs hub.
“The Metro is a more affordable public transport option that would also make Brisbane a more attractive option for tourists and benefit the local economy.
“I’m committed to expanding the Metro to the northside and a future expansion to the airport precinct would improve the availability of public transport for people to get where they want to be quicker.
“The Brisbane Airport is the fastest growing jobs hub in Queensland but the existing public transport is not up to scratch and does not adequately cater for the workers.
“Airtrain has a long term exclusivity contract that restricts operations of public transport services near the airport before 2036 but I’d be seeking to talk with the relevant authorities so that affordable public transport can be provided earlier to this booming jobs hub.”
Council has proposed a public transport corridor, potentially along Airport Drive connecting to AirportLink, to enable a future high frequency extension of the Metro to better service the airport and the whole precinct, particularly for workers and business related travel in the precinct.
Gert-Jan de Graaff, Chief Executive Officer Brisbane Airport Corporation, welcomed the proposal of expanding Brisbane Metro to Brisbane Airport.
“Sustainable connectivity between Brisbane Airport (BNE) and the city and region is absolutely imperative with the forecast growth at BNE, both in passenger numbers and workers, expected to reach 50 million+ and 50,000 respectively in the next 20 years,” he said.
“While Brisbane Airport Corporation has invested heavily in the last decade to meet future growth projections, we have been very vocal about the need for similar investment in roads and public transport infrastructure between the airport and the city and region to ensure Brisbane is ready for the global opportunities coming our way.
“Inadequate infrastructure severely limits a city or region’s connectivity to the world, and moreover, significantly impacts economic growth through lost business opportunities, employment, and tourism.
“Therefore, it is critically important to the continuing social and economic development of our city and region that government and industry work together to plan and sensibly grow essential infrastructure.”
The first and second lines of the Brisbane Metro will be operational by 2023 to provide fast and convenient public transport from Eight Mile Plains and the University of Queensland through to the inner city – tackling bus congestion and freeing up buses for the suburbs.
The Brisbane Metro project is fully funded, including $300 million from the Federal Government, and is listed as the number one high priority project on the State Government’s Infrastructure Plan.
The Lord Mayor has also supported a Metro 3 line to the northern suburbs as part of a prioritised transport plan for the north-western suburbs.
Brisbane airport has released its Airport Masterplan 2020 which details new mass transit options for the airport as well as new terminal buildings.
The plan involves potentially an automated airside Mass Transit System connecting the Terminals as well as a new train station at Skygate.