This week my commute by train was constantly interrupted by an annoying automated message from Queensland Rail, telling me to be ready for the Commonwealth Games. Here’s what it really means.
The Games are coming. We’ve known this for seven years, but we decided not to hire enough drivers and buy enough trains to keep our promise of free travel for all spectators. Just those based or staying in Brisbane. We never thought about building a train link to the Gold Coast Airport or other major Australian cities.
To ensure that the Commonwealth media sees us looking good, we will be halving the frequency on all our other routes, those are the ones used by you, our regular fare-paying customers. We make no apology and offer no compensation for the disruption which will begin the week before the games and continue for five days after. This period includes Easter, the busiest time of the year for leisure passengers, and a full normal working week for you to experience double the usual overcrowding.
We suggest that you consider other forms of transport, noting that many of our stations are not served by bus routes from the city and that they’re too far to walk or cycle. If you feel that you must travel by train, allow extra time, and expect delays. If you commute on the Gold Coast line, you should avoid peak times as the additional trains are not for your benefit.
Please be ready for the Games because we are now.