Measuring benefits of the South East Busway: towards a new approach for valuing public transport projects

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - busway, economics - benefits, mode - bus


The much heralded South East Busway is a flagship public transport project for Brisbane and was the first busway delivered as part of Brisbane‟s busway strategy; which is now coming to fruition with parts of the northern and eastern busway under construction.

Less than 10 years after it was constructed, parts of the South East Busway are close to full capacity, with people cramming into buses and buses cramming into busway stations.

Why then, with its apparent success, is it still so difficult to prove the benefits of busway projects (and other public transport projects)?

This paper looks at the first comprehensive evaluation of the South East Busway since it opened in 2001. This included the first comprehensive passenger and bus survey completed since the South East Busway opened. Using the results of this survey, and blending it with a range of other data sources, alternative methods for quantifying the benefits of busways and potentially other public transport projects are presented.

Key conclusions are then drawn regarding how the findings can be used to establish support for future busway projects, as well as ways to build on this evaluation to assist in establishing more robust business cases for future projects.