Brisbane has an extensive transportation network within the city, as well as connections to regional centres, interstate and to overseas destinations. The use of urban public transport is still only a small component of total passenger transport, the largest component being travel by private car.
Public transport is provided by bus, rail and ferry services. Bus services are operated by public and private operators whereas trains and ferries are operated by public agencies. The Brisbane central business district (CBD) is the central hub for all public transport services with services focusing on Queen Street Bus Station, Roma Street and Central railway stations, and various city ferries wharves. Brisbane's CityCat high speed ferry service, popular with tourists and commuters, operates services along the Brisbane River between the University of Queensland and Apollo Road.
The Citytrain urban rail network consists of 10 suburban lines and covers mostly the west, north and east sides of the city. It also provides the route for an Airtrain service under joint public/private control between the City and Brisbane Airport. Since 2000, Brisbane has been developing a busway network, including the South East Busway, Northern Busway and the Eastern Busway. TransLink operates an integrated ticketing system across the public transport network.
The Brisbane River has created a barrier to some road transport routes. In total there are ten road bridges, mostly concentrated in the inner city area. This has intensified the need for transport routes to focus on the inner city. There are also three railway bridges and two pedestrian bridges. The Eleanor Schonell Bridge (originally named, and still generally known as, The Green Bridge) between the University of Queensland and Dutton Park is for use by buses, pedestrians and cyclists. There are currently multiple tunnel and bridge projects underway as part of the TransApex plan.
An extensive network of pedestrian and cyclist pathways have been created along the banks of the Brisbane River to form a Riverwalk network.
Brisbane is served by several urban and inter-urban motorways. The Pacific Motorway connects the central city with the Gold Coast to the south. The Ipswich Motorway connects the city with Ipswich to the west via the southern suburbs, while the Western Freeway and the Centenary Motorway provide a connection between Brisbane's inner-west and the outer south-west, connecting with the Ipswich Motorway south of the Brisbane River. The Bruce Highway is Brisbane's main route north of the city to the rest of the State. The Bruce Highway terminates 1,700 km (1,056 mi) away in Cairns and passes through most major cities along the Queensland coast. The Gateway Motorway is a private toll road which connects the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts by providing an alternate route via the Gateway Bridge avoiding Brisbane's inner city area. The Port of Brisbane Motorway links the Gateway to the Port of Brisbane, while Inner City Bypass and the Riverside Expressway act as the inner ring freeway system to prevent motorists from travelling through the city's congested centre.
Brisbane's population growth placed strains on South East Queensland's transport system. The State Government and Brisbane City Council have responded with infrastructure plans and increased funding for transportation projects, such as the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program. Most of the focus has been placed on expanding current road infrastructure, particularly tunnels and bypasses, as well as improving the public transport system.
Brisbane Airport (IATA code: BNE) is the city's main airport, the third busiest in Australia after Sydney Airport and Melbourne Airport. It is located north-east of the city centre and provides domestic and international passenger services. In the 2008–2009 year, Brisbane Airport handled over 18.5 million passengers. The airport is serviced by the Brisbane Airtrain which provides a rail service from Brisbane's city centre to and from the airport. Archerfield Airport (in Brisbane's southern suburbs) acts as a general aviation airport.
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“One may disavow and disclaim vices that surprise us, and whereto our passions transport us; but those which by long habits are rooted in a strong and ... powerful will are not subject to contradiction. Repentance is but a denying of our will, and an opposition of our fantasies.”
—Michel de Montaigne (15331592)