Queensland Rail Passenger Ratings 2016

Queensland Rail passengers generally report safe and comfortable journeys, but think they’re paying too much for the privilege – and are not too fond of the ticketing system.

Canstar Blue’s 2016 report on Brisbane’s metropolitan train service has found that concerns around overcrowding and anti-social behaviour have remained fairly consistent with last year, while complaints of delays have dropped significantly.

However, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of passengers who do not feel safe travelling at night. In addition, a growing number of customers would like to see extra police or security staff on trains and at stations, as the following survey results show:

Statement 2015 2016
I often experience delays 33% 26%
I often experience overcrowding 48% 45%
I often witness anti-social behaviour 45% 44%
I feel safe catching the train during the day 92% 91%
I feel safe catching the train at night 57% 43%
I would like to see extra police or security staff on trains and stations 66% 76%

Queensland Rail ratings

Despite increased concerns over night time travel, Queensland Rail has been rated five stars by passengers for overall safety. It also rated favourably (four stars) in respect of service reliability, timetable/scheduling, journey comfort and cleanliness (on trains and stations). However, the network was let down by its ticketing system (three stars) and ticket price (two stars). For overall customer satisfaction, Queensland Rail received four stars out of five – the same as in 2015.

This year, Canstar Blue surveyed a total of 6,000 adults across Australia to form its 2016 customer ratings for city trains. For the fifth year in a row, TransPerth was rated highest overall with five stars. Adelaide Metro and Sydney Trains join Queensland Rail on four stars overall, with Melbourne’s Metro Trains scoring just three stars overall.

Star rating screenshot qld

Cost of travel

Brisbane survey respondents who use the rail network to commute to and from work every day spend more than those in any other major Australian city, at an average of $46 per week. This compares to $43 in Sydney, $38 in Adelaide, $35 in Melbourne and just $33 in Perth.


Brisbane (26%) compares favourably to most other cities where complaints about delays are more common. In Melbourne, 53% of passengers often experience delays, followed by Sydney (40%) and Adelaide (33%). However, just 15% of travellers in Perth report the same troubles.


It’s a similar story in regards to overcrowding, with passengers in Melbourne (70%), Sydney (62%) and Perth (51%) more likely to often experience overcrowding, compared with 45% in Brisbane. This time customers in Adelaide are least likely to report regular overcrowding (36%).

Anti-social behaviour

Brisbane (44%) is fairly typical of most other cities when it comes to anti-social behaviour on the rail network. In Adelaide, 51% of passengers say they often witness anti-social behaviour, followed by Melbourne (50%), Sydney (47%) and Perth (43%).


There is little difference between the cities when it comes to feelings of safety during the day. Brisbane rail passengers are most likely to feel safe during the day (91%), followed by those in Adelaide and Perth (90%), Sydney (89%) and Melbourne (88%). When it comes to travelling at night, rail passengers in Sydney (46%) are most likely to feel safe. In Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth the number is 42%, with Brisbane now at 43% after a big drop from last year when the number was 57%.

After a significant jump from last year, from 66% to 76%, Brisbane is now in line with the other major cities in regards to the number of passengers who would like to see more police or security staff on the network. Sydney leads the way at 78%, followed by Melbourne and Adelaide (77%), then Perth (74%).

Threat of terrorism

In addition to the rise in the number of Brisbane rail passengers who do not feel safe travelling at night, there has also been a marked increase in the number who are concerned about terrorism. In 2015, 17% of Brisbane survey respondents said the threat of terrorism has made them more nervous about catching the train. This year, the number has gone up to 25% – the biggest increase in the country.

Passengers in Sydney (29%) are most likely to say the threat of terrorism has made them more nervous about catching the train, while the number in Melbourne is also 25%. In Adelaide and Perth the number drops to 18%.

Pet hates of rail travel

Aside from issues already reported, such as delays and overcrowding, Brisbane rail passengers were also asked about their other ‘pet hates’ of traveling on the network.

Top of the list was ‘other passengers having loud personal conversations’ (including on the phone). More than half of survey respondents (56%) declared this a frustration. The second most common complaint was ‘other passengers sneezing or coughing’ at 54%, followed by:

  • Smelly passengers: 50%
  • Other passengers being rude: 46%
  • Children being loud or misbehaving: 46%
  • Other passengers playing music loudly: 44%
  • Other passengers standing too close: 24%
  • Other passengers taking up too much room (e.g. with laptops or newspapers): 21%
  • Other passengers pushing past to find a seat or leave the train: 20%
  • Parents with prams/strollers taking up space: 8%
  • Other passengers trying to make conversation: 7%

For more information on this year’s report, or to speak with a Canstar Blue spokesperson, click here for contact details.

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