The Western Australian Government has called for a ‘significant change in the way public transport operates’ if it is to deal with the expected exponential growth in demand over the next 20.


The Public Transport Plan for Perth in 2031 has found that the current network will be unable to cope with the expected demand growth in public transport use and growth of the city.


The report finds that ‘over the next 21 years, much of the investment in public transport infrastructure and system improvements is needed within 15km of the perth central area’.


The report also finds that public transport will account for the following by 2031:

  • One-in-eight of all morotised trips – currently one-in-fourteen
  • One-in five of all morning motorised trips – currently one-in-eight
  • Over 30% of peak hour distance – currently around 20%
  • Nearly 70% of all trips to the CBD – currently around 47%


It states that public transport is a public necessity, finding exponential increases in the use of public transport over the last ten years and recording a growth of 67% over that period. The Perth public transport system currently serves 330,000 trips every weekday.


The report also cites a discrepancy between inner metropolitan service quality and that of outer areas, particularly that of the northern sector of Perth which it describes as having ‘limited quality mass transit services’.


It calls for systematic improvements of the existing infrastructure and network, saying the public transport system can be enhanced by increasing capacity on the existing network, expanding the network and developing transformational projects. The project proposals are grouped into two categories – stage one or shorter term/ before 2020 and stage two or medium term/ before 2031.


The report calls for an expanding of the existing network in a four-stage method:

  • Purchasing new trains and buses
  • Upgrading major bus interchanges and providing bus services to transfer passengers to rail services
  • Building new train stations
  • Providing access to the system including adequate park and ride facilities


The following initiatives are proposed to expand the network:

  • Providing priority bus lanes along routes that connect major centres through congested intersections
  • Adding a rail spur service to the Airport and Hills area
  • Extending the Armadale line to Byford and Mundijong in the longer term
  • Extending the Northern Suburbs Railway to Yanchep and other transformational projects


The report also estimates that annual public transport costs will rise to $1.2 billion per year, up from a current level of $691.2 million.


The costs of major infrastructure spending initatives are estimated as following:

  • Rail system expansion – $1.2 billion
  • Light rail - $1 billion
  • Bus rapid transit and bus priority infrastructure - $343 million
  • Additional rail, bus and light rail depot and maintenance facilities - $180 million
  • Transit interchanges, including park and ride - $135 million


The full report can be found here


The comment period for this plan closes on 14 October 2011. Comments will be considered by the Department of Transport before a final plan is released.


For more information or to provide feedback please call 13 62 13 or complete the online survey.