Ipswich residents left waiting for new bus services

17 February 2022

The expansion of the bus network within Ipswich has not kept up with the population growth experienced within the city, with fewer bus routes and patronage lower than what it was a decade ago.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chairperson Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said while Ipswich is the fastest growing city in Queensland, a Council review shows the bus network has remained largely unchanged, and the Ipswich community deserves better.

“Council receives many requests to improve public transport services within Ipswich and in particular the bus services, and this report demonstrates that Ipswich residents have been left waiting for new bus services to arrive,” Mayor Harding said.

“Public transport services in Ipswich are the responsibility of the Queensland Government, administered by the TransLink and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

“We need new bus services in Redbank Plains, as well as a new direct bus service linking the Ipswich CBD with Redbank Plains and Springfield Central.

“The bus services currently on offer in these booming suburbs are not meeting the needs of our residents. With the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor (I2S) project still some years away, it is critical we have an efficient bus network in place to keep up with Ipswich’s growth.

“We need a plan for more services, better routes, and greater access to public transport now: the Ripley Valley region is the fastest growing community in Queensland, and residents need to know when their ticket to ride will arrive.”

Compared with other regions in South East Queensland, Ipswich (Western Region) has the smallest bus service contract spend by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) of about $106 per resident, correlating with the lowest number of urban bus routes at 18.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said that over the last decade, only eight bus routes in Ipswich have experienced improvements to routing or frequency.

“When the bus service has limited operating hours with low frequency, long journey times, indirect routes and don’t go to where the most people need them, people won’t use them,” Cr Tully said.

“Public transport is not only a means to relieving traffic congestion, but it also plays a significant role in supporting Ipswich’s economic success by connecting people to jobs and services, moving residents around the region, and reducing isolation and social exclusion.”

The report, tabled at the Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee (Item 2) meeting on 10 February, can be found on Council’s website here.