About 40,000 more people call the Sunshine Coast home compared to five years ago yet fewer people are using public transport. 120,000 fewer bus trips were made in 2017-18 compared to in 2013-14, showing that our public transport system urgently needs fixing if the Coast is to avoid more congestion and parking problems in the future.
I welcome news of a joint state government and council integrated transport study for the Sunshine Coast to design the best network and modes to carry the coast passengers into the future. However, there is an urgent need for a full audit of the failures of the current system if we are to find the best solutions for the future. The network must progressively improve to meet the needs of our growing community, rather than go backwards in the way that it has in the last five years.
I am calling on the State Government to overhaul the bus and rail network with better, more frequent connections as part of the solution as well as addressing public safety. The feedback I am receiving is that parents are not letting their kids travel by bus and elderly passengers are concerned about anti-social and abusive behavior and fare evasion.
The Minister has responded by providing an extra 16 transport officers across SEQ, but we need more resources targeting the Sunshine Coast if we are to crack down on this culture of violence and abuse.