Transport Minister Eric Charlton has unveiled a major public transport initiative with the launch today of a double-decker bus service to operate between Mandurah and Perth from next Monday.
Two 62-seat luxury double-decker tourist coaches will join three existing coaches adding eight extra daily services to the Mandurah-Perth run.
Each weighing 15 tonnes and measuring just over 12m in length, the coaches are the largest of their kind to be used for public transport in Western Australia.
Passengers seated in the upper level will be able to enjoy panoramic views from two metres above the road surface during the estimated one hour-long 100km trip between the two centres. The coaches feature aircraft-style recliner seating, floor-to-ceiling carpet, refrigerated air-conditioning, and facilities for wheelchair patrons. They are also fitted with security cameras to enable drivers to monitor the upper and lower decks at all times and have multi-rider ticket validators at front and rear doors.
The new coaches provide additional weekday services departing Mandurah's Dower Street depot at 8.30 am, 10.30 am, 12.30 pm, and 2.30 pm. Perth commuters will be able to board from the central city Bus Port at 7.20 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. Some changes have been made to existing schedules to accommodate the new services. A full standard adult return fare for the 200km round trip will remain at $13.
Mr Charlton said the new coaches and additional scheduled services would benefit the increasing number of workers now commuting between Mandurah and Perth.
"These coaches and the additional services are part of our overall metropolitan transport strategy which is designed to provide improved access to regional centres. They are also part of this Government's election commitment to improve public transport facilities and to lessen dependence on the motor vehicle, thereby reducing traffic congestion and pollution," the Minister said.
The coaches will be run by Southern Coast Transit which services Transperth routes between Mandurah and Perth and in the Peel region.
Drivers, who are already licensed to operate the coaches, are undergoing additional advanced skills training, which will see them accredited to the nationally recognised Coach Captain Standard. The competency-based program includes road craft which focuses on avoidance procedures, on-road maintenance and specialised customer service training.
Since October 1996 Transperth has overseen a 25 per cent increase in passenger services on the route. The number of seats available on the Perth Mandurah run has increased from 336 to 1,124 per week.
Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333