In its brief to IMIS, the Department of Transport specified it must measure the likely popularity of the train line based on a $16 one-way fare (the cost of the existing SkyBus).
It found few people who now drive to the airport would be convinced to use the rail line, and it would instead take passengers off existing bus services and taxis.
It also found an airport rail link would ruin the taxi industry, which relies on 7000 trips a day to the airport.
Wrong. So very wrong.
Sure, it would kill the Sky Bus, but it wouldn’t ruin the taxi industry. When was the last time anyone could say they visited an airport with a rail link and not found a busy cab rank. I haven’t been into Brisbane that often but always see cabs. Have been to Sydney fairly regularly, and I always have to queue for cabs, even though there’s a perfectly good rail line that connects into the city.
The misunderstanding is one of taxi use: people catch a cab now because it’s quicker and drops you to your door.
The Sky Bus on the other hand gets caught in traffic and is piss poor.
If you had an express train to the city from the airport, you’d actually have more users than the Sky Bus.
Would some switch from cabs: yes. But likewise it may also force Melbourne cabs to reduce charges to the airport as well, which in my experience traveling are some of the worst in the world price wise.
To get from Mont Albert to the airport costs me a staggering $90 in a cab…to travel 38kms. If I could get on a train that takes 10 mins into town, and a 25 minute trip out, hell I’d consider using it…because in traffic and thanks to a piss poor situation at the end of the Eastern Freeway, it takes just as long, if not longer in a cab, unless it’s early morning or late night.
I’m not anti-freeway or anti-car by any means: connect the Eastern to Citylink tomorrow I say, but likewise if Melbourne believes it’s a serious city in a global sense, it would also build a line to the airport.
PS: and it should connect to the Doncaster line, which should ALSO be built ASAP.