After significant delays in 2020, the state-of-the-art Brisbane Metro project is once again building momentum. The electric transit system is intended to reduce traffic congestion in the city, decrease vehicle emissions and provide more frequent and reliable transport between the CBD and the suburbs. The ‘turn-up-and-go’ public transportation network was originally scheduled for completion in 2022, but due to State Government delays and the impacts of COVID-19, the finalisation date has now been pushed back to 2023.
Stretching 21km and connecting 18 stations across the city, the Brisbane Metro system will intersect with the Cross River Rail at Roma Street and Boggo Road Stations. The system will have two lines; one running from the Royal Brisbane & Womens Hospital to Eight Mile Plains, and the other between Roma Street and The University of Queensland. The project is estimated to create more than 2500 jobs throughout the design and construction phase, with a projected cost of $1.24 Billion.
The Victoria Bridge was recently closed on the 24th of January as it undergoes an overhaul that will see the bridge permanently closed to general traffic. Viewing platforms, dedicated cycle lanes and extended footpaths will comprise the new ‘green’ design of the bridge, to be utilised only by pedestrians and public transport. Connecting the city to the Cultural Centre at Southbank, any general traffic heading into the city through South Brisbane or West End will be required to use either the Merivale or Go Between Bridges.
Among the conditions to move forward with the Metro project was toll relief for South Brisbane residents who will need to seek alternative commutes upon the closure of the bridge. Residents within the 4101 postcode are eligible for a $100 toll subsidy for the Go Between Bridge whilst the Victoria Bridge is closed for upgrades. Further conditions for approval set out by the State Government, include a new park for South Brisbane, a bus layover at Griffith University Station and improved customer information facilities at King George Square and Cultural Centre Stations.
In conjunction with the Metro, Brisbane Council have a vision for a revitalised Adelaide Street precinct including riverside bikeways, landscaping and new public infrastructure. With the transport system running beneath Adelaide Street, this will free up the area above for improved pedestrian access, retail outlets and green spaces. Currently underway, the Adelaide Street underground tunneling will push forward major construction planned for later this year, with other progressing works including site investigation on Countess Street and sewer relocation works on Grey and Melbourne Streets.
The 60 electric buses will each hold up to 170 passengers and feature in-built USB charging points, on-board Wi-Fi and information displays for passengers. The vehicles will run every three minutes during peak periods on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends, linking bus and train services to create faster and safer routes. Part of the plan to keep our growing population moving, the Brisbane Metro will better-connect the suburbs to the CBD, reduce our carbon footprint and promote an active lifestyle.