GAMES A GREAT CHANCE TO EMBRACE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
FORGIVE me for touting the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games as the “Public Transport Games” but it really is.
It is no secret I am passionate about the role public transport plays in building integrated and sustainable communities. So as we anticipate the legacy of GC2018, I hope it’s one where the Gold Coast has a greater appreciation for its worldclass transport system.
While some may view the Games as a disruption to their normal lives, I encourage them to take the opportunity to embrace local transport – some probably for the first time.
With buses, trams and trains operating at double time, there’s probably no better time to do so.
Whether it is to get to work, or to explore the myriad of activities on offer as the city comes alive, I hope people discover a new appreciation for this vital piece of social infrastructure.
I honestly believe we have one of the best bus networks in Australia and more people should be using it. Following the Mayor’s announcement of a new bike-share scheme this week, come Games time people could even run a transport triathlon if they wish – light-rail, bus and bike.
However, the appreciation I’d really love to see from the community is for the hundreds of public transport workers who every day help people commute to school and work, access essential services, and explore the region.
These people are our neighbours, our families, and our friends – and this is why it astounds me that they are still disrespected in the course of their daily jobs.
It is well publicised the amount of youths and free loaders who evade fares on Gold Coast transport – and I’m tired of fronting up to media every time a Surfside bus is targeted by fools throwing rocks.
It is high time we, as a community, took responsibility for our actions and showed pride in our public transport. Something as small as saying “hi” next time you board a bus makes a huge difference.
As we welcome a raft of international sporting talent in April, I’m equally excited about the challenge of mobilising an unprecedented number of visitors to the Gold Coast.
There is no doubt transport will come under strict scrutiny throughout this period, but I’m quietly confident our system will stack up well on the international stage.
I know for a fact my drivers are proud to be part of this once-in- a-lifetime event – and they’ll be driving for gold just as hard as our Aussie athletes.
I just hope the Gold Coast community gets behind them with the same level of support and pride in what they achieve.
I HONESTLY BELIEVE WE HAVE ONE OF THE BEST BUS NETWORKS IN AUSTRALIA AND MORE PEOPLE SHOULD BE USING IT