Earlier this week, ABC Brisbane Radio and Brisbane CBD BUG staged a race to test the door to door travel time using the CityGlider bus, CityCat ferry, and CityCycle public bicycle hire.
Start Location: Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe
Finish Location: ABC Studios, Southbank
CityCycle bike: Andrew
CityGlider bus: Donald
CityCat ferry: Nick
At 7am, breakfast presenter Craig Zonca officially started the race. Andrew had the shortest walk to a CityCycle station, but quite a long detour for a flat, comfortable cycling route. Donald and Nick both left for the Teneriffe terminal where you can pick up either the CityGlider (and other bus routes) or the CityCat (as well as the Bulimba ferry). Donald just missed the late departing 7.02am CityGlider, and then had to wait for the 7.07am bus which also left late. Nick was on the CityCat at 7.09am and departed on time
Andrew chose to travel ‘the long way,’ along the river; passing the Brisbane Powerhouse, the Howard Smith Wharves, and the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. Although wearing his formal work clothes, riding at a steady pace and putting his bag in the front basket allowed Andrew to avoid sweating, and he arrived fresh and ready to work/interview. Conditions were perfect for cycling, and without any timetables or traffic to deal with, Andrew arguably had the least stressful journey. The only delay occurred right at the end of the race when construction at Southbank and a reversing truck blocked his access to the ABC studios for a couple of minutes.
Donald found the Glider filled up very quickly. After leaving Gasworks stop the bus was completely full and had to leave people behind at the next stop. While being air-conditioned the bus still got a little warm.
Nick found the journey very pleasant but slow. What struck Nick was the number of people getting off the Cat at Teneriffe to use the Glider as a quicker route to the City. He was also surprised by the number who boarded at Bulimba and Hawthorne compared with the remainder of the stops.
Andrew – CityCycle – 33 minutes
Donald – CityGlider – 34 minutes
Nick – CityCat – 58 minutes
Andrew – who cycled in business attire – arrived looking unruffled from the gentle 33 minute ride, whereas Donald looked a little warm after his trip on the full bus.
Even though Andrew rode over 50% further than the route Donald travelled on the CityGlider bus, Andrew still arrived first on the bike. This is in line with many other little races that have been conducted in cities throughout the world in cities. Even compared to frequent public transport services, a bicycle can still be very efficient.
In fact, the direct route by bicycle to the ABC Studio is only 5km, and should only take around 15 or 20 minutes, rather than the 9km and 33 minutes that Andrew travelled along the river. Unfortunately the route through the Fortitude Valley, and the CBD is intimidating and unrideable for most potential cyclists. Andrew looks forward to a day when Brisbane City Council might install safe bicycle lanes through these areas, not only allowing people from places like Newstead and Hamilton to save some time, but allowing them to also safely access destinations such as the Brunswick Street Mall, Centenary Place Park, and Central Station.
On the Radio
You can listen to the ABC Radio broadcast from Wednesday 28 March here.
- 40:22 – introduction and start
- 1:01:17 – mid-way status
- 1:28:43 – wrap-up
If we had safe cycling lanes into the city from all inner city suburbs, we’d immediately solve so many traffic congestion problems. There are already thousands of Brisbanites cycling for exercise each morning (before the roads are full of cars) and if they could safely cycle to work, I’m sure a good percentage of these people would choose to ride.
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Ahh, that ‘can’t get from Valley to City without fear of death’ conundrum strikes again eh.
But it shows just how effective cycling is in the city. It’s still about 10mins quicker at peak times for me to ride my bicycle from Highgate Hill through most of Fortitude Valley than riding my motorcycle, and I lane filter on my moto every chance I get.