Western Australia Minister for Transport Troy Buswell
Light Rail, Bus Rapid Transit And Railway To Yanchep Part Of 20-Year Public Transport Plan
Victor P Taffa
The introduction of light rail, development of bus rapid transit services and extension of the rail line to Yanchep is the State Government’s priority projects to meet Perth’s public transport needs for the next 20 years.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the ‘Public Transport in Perth in 2031’ plan outlined a strategy to increase capacity and efficiency of the current network and further expand it, as well as implementing a rapid transit system to move more people during peak hours.
“Over the past 10 years, public transport use in Perth has increased by 67 %, and by 2031, Perth residents will more than double their use of public transport, which will see it account for nearly 70 % of all trips to the CBD.” Mr. Buswell said.
“To cope with this increase and the future growth of the city, which has a predicted population of 2.2 Million by 2031, we need to develop a mass transit system which integrates the heavy rail system, buses and road-based rapid transit services, using light rail or bus.”
“Our two key transformational projects to redefine travel and development patterns are the extension of the Northern Suburbs Railway to Yanchep and a light rail from Mirrabooka to the CBD.”
“The extension of the rail line north to Yanchep will support the development of the Yanchep City Centre, with a station at its centre, and the fast-tracking of this line will provide developers with the certainty they need to proceed with higher density development.”
“By 2031, the Central Northern corridor connecting Perth to Mirrabooka and suburbs to the north has a projected patronage equivalent to that on the Fremantle, Armadale or Midland railways, and light rail is the most feasible rapid transit option to provide this service.”
The Minister said on-road rapid transit, which would operate with dedicated priority within existing streets, utilises the capacity of public transport to move many more people in one road lane than cars.
“Rapid transit services will provide connections to strategic centres, which have a large workforce or are centres of education or health, where demand for public transport is currently high and will grow significantly.” Mr. Buswell said.
“Our first priority for the implementation of this type of service is for Ellenbrook, where projected passenger numbers show a Bus Rapid Transit service between Ellenbrook and Bassendean, and across to Morley is feasible.”
Mr. Buswell said the Government would use $11 Million allocated in the 2011-12 State Budget to progress planning for the three priority projects.
The Plan also identifies the need for:
• A significant expansion of the bus and train fleet;
• New train stations and bus interchanges;
• Introduction of 180 route kilometres of bus priority infrastructure;
• The construction of a new rail line to Perth Airport.
‘Public Transport for Perth in 2031’ was developed in close consultation with the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) and is in accordance with the ‘Directions 2031 and Beyond’ planning framework.
The plan is open for public comment until October 14, 2011.