Workers in Dutton Park, Yeronga, and Fairfield are facing significant delays in their daily commute due to ongoing disruptions caused by the Cross River Rail construction project and frustration is mounting.
Train lines are operating on a “special timetable,” and multiple rail replacement buses have been deployed to assist commuters travelling to and from the city. Translink and Queensland Rail had previously warned commuters about potential delays. However, the situation has already prompted frustration among passengers, with some experiencing lengthy wait times for buses.
The Commuter Struggle
On the first day back at work in the new year, commuters encountered substantial delays and inconveniences.
“I’m at a train station waiting for the rail replacement bus with the equivalent of about 2-3 bus-loads of people. So far in 40 minutes, 1 full bus has turned up, didn’t let anyone on, and f***ed off. Another just turned up and let on maybe 10 people. Good luck out there…” a commuter posted on Reddit.
Frustrations grew as one commenter revealed they chose to extend their commute by taking another bus route to avoid the rail buses altogether. The situation was described as “ridiculously inconvenient” for a workweek, and many individuals were compelled to work from home due to the disruption.
“While I was well aware of the track closures, I was not prepared for how inadequate the rail buses would be. TransLink really should have made more of a point that buses could only accommodate limited numbers and that passengers should drive instead, or reconsider travelling altogether. Lesson learned, thankfully my employer is paying for our parking until this is over,” another commuter said.
Duration of Delays
The State government had previously committed to building 200 rail replacement buses, with an investment of $133.8 million. These buses were intended to ensure that South East Queensland public transport users could travel across the network during track closures on the train network. However, the delivery of the first bus is not anticipated until March 2024, and the full fleet of 200 buses is not expected to be available until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, several train stations in the area have been closed since 23 Dec 2023, affecting approximately 49,000 customers.
Dutton Park station is currently under construction, with ongoing work on platforms 1 and 2, including the installation of platform shade canopies and lift structures.
Annerley Road has been temporarily closed during this period, leading to bus diversions via Fairfield Road and Fenton Street. On-street parking is restricted in specific areas while these diversions are in place.
Yeerongpilly station is also closed until late 2024 due to major construction, with temporary relocations of bus stops on Wilkie Street. Commuters in the affected areas are advised to stay updated with the latest information on the Cross River Rail and Translink websites, as these details are subject to change.