A NUMBER of south-west bus routes could be axed in a review of Brisbane's bus services, ordered by the State Government.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson has used the Inala/Forest Lake service to the City, known as route 461, as an example of one of the bus routes which could be reviewed because it ran parallel to the railway line and duplicated existing train services.
The State Government has instructed TransLink to review issues such as service duplication to simplify the networks, increase connectivity between modes and redirect resources where there is overcrowding.
"The 10 worst performing routes cost more than $5 million a year with less than 5% of the cost paid for through fares," Mr Emerson said.
The move follows revelations from the Transport Workers Union who claimed the State Government had secret plans to rip up to $20 million from the Brisbane bus network as part of a plan to cut $40 million from Queensland bus transport services.
The Premier has announced about 2000 full-time jobs will also go in the restructure of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and TransLink, saving the government $287 million over four years.
But Richlands Councillor Milton Dick said he was concerned Campbell Newman had already made his mind up about slashing funding to outer Brisbane services without consultation with Brisbane City Council.
"The Lord Mayor should stand up for Brisbane and demand the State Government not rip funding from our bus service and guarantee that local bus routes won't be adversely affected," he said.
Jean and Fred Wright, of Forest Lake, rely on several of the local bus services three to four times a week to attend medical appointments, reach shops and go into the city.
Mrs Wright said she had fought to have bus services in the Forest Lake area 18 years ago and her day-to-day life would be threatened without them.
"I've got an artificial hip, knee and femur, and arthritis, I can't drive," the 70-year-old said.
Without the local service to the city, Mrs Wright would need to rely on her husband Fred, an ex-service man, to drive her places.
"It's gotten to a point now where it costs us so much to park at the hospitals, we rely on the buses," she said,
"I went in the ambulance to Greenslopes with Fred one day and it cost me $50 in a taxi to get home.
"What pensioner can afford $50 to get to the hospital each way to be with their loved one, they can't."
State Member for Inala Annastacia Palaszczuk said the potential cuts would hurt those in her community who were most vulnerable.
"These routes can include shopping routes that wind through streets, dropping off and picking up locals who might not have other means of transport," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"These are the routes that allow locals to get to the shops, visit their doctor or even visit family and friends.
"It is the elderly and disadvantaged Queenslanders that will be hit hard by any change or cancellation of these services."
The Department of Transport and Main Roads have identified a list of 10 bus routes with poor cost recovery.
About 96 to 98% of the cost to provide these services were covered by the taxpayer-funded public transport subsidy.
A spokesperson for Mr Emerson confirmed the poor performing or duplicating bus routes "wouldn't necessarily be removed altogether," but said "they do need to be improved".
Cr Dick has started a local petition.