The first stage of a new bus service which provides a rapid cross-suburban link between major centres and other public transport services, was launched at Murdoch University today by Transport Minister Eric Charlton.
The Minister said the new Transperth Circle Route bus service would provide a faster and more convenient service for public transport users.
"The Circle Route concept is another important component of the State Government's 10 year plan for public transport development in the Perth metropolitan area," Mr Charlton said.
"Circle Route is a new style of transport system which will eventually circle through the Perth suburbs, offering a new and more efficient way of travelling through Perth's suburbs."
The current map of Transperth's bus services shows that almost all the bus services radiate from Perth like the spokes on a wheel; this is the first initiative which will change that system.
The Circle Route is designed to provide the first rapid cross-suburban service linking key community facilities.
"Part of the Better Public Transport Plan involves improving frequency, ensuring reliability and increasing the speed of the service," Mr Charlton said.
"Perth is growing very quickly and the geographic spread of our suburbs, together with relatively low population density, presents a range of challenges for public transport.
"An enormous amount of work has been done in the last year to ensure the surge in the service quality of our bus system continues."
The first of the new Transperth Circle Routes commenced today and will run through suburbs south of the Swan River between Fremantle Station to Oats Street Train Station in Victoria Park.
From Monday to Friday each week the new service will provide a bus every 15 minutes, in each direction, from 6.30am to 6.30pm. On Saturdays buses will run every 30 minutes in each direction from 7.15am to 6.15am. The service will not run on Sundays or public holidays.
Fremantle Hospital, Fremantle TAFE, Murdoch University, St John of God Hospital in Murdoch, Canning College, Curtin University, Bentley TAFE and Carlisle TAFE are all major stops on the new service.
There are only nine new bus stops on this 30km first stage of the route. Most stops are located at existing bus stops to enable passengers to access interchange opportunities with other services.
Each stop has a name and number, as well as a display stand showing specific route and connecting services information. Future plans include consultation with local government authorities on the provision of shelters and the introduction of a real time passenger information system (similar to the CATS Global Positioning System).
In several areas the introduction of the Circle Route will mean minor changes to some existing services. Transperth has taken steps to ensure that existing passengers are aware of these changes and has also provided information explaining the advantages of using the new route.
The next stage of the three stage program for the Circle Route is scheduled to commence in the first half of 1999.
The second stage will run between the Morley Bus Station to the University of Western Australia. It will link the Galleria Shopping Centre, Stirling Interchange, Innaloo Shopping Centre, Edith Cowan University Churchlands Campus, Royal Perth (Rehabilitation) Hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre.
The final stage, which will link the first two stages and complete the circle, is planned for the year 2000.
Media contact: Nicole Trigwell 9321 7333