Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Transform WA initiatives will lead to state-of-art public transport system

    13/04/1998 12:00 AM



    Transport Minister Eric Charlton said the TransformWA initiatives would provide a world-class platform on which Transperth would develop a state-of-the-art public transport system.


    "This package of capital works fits in with our 10-year masterplan to provide Perth commuters with a genuine, viable and economical alternative to the private car," Mr Charlton said.


    The Minister said the $1.3 billion TransformWA works program announced today by Premier Richard Court would complete the State's unfinished road and transport network.


    "We propose to fill in the missing pieces to the transport network across Western Australia and at the same time focus on building an urban public transport system using the latest vehicle technology and innovative planning and management," he said.


    "Urban public transport is a major plank of the TransformWA package which embraces all of Western Australia.


    "The dedicated dual bus lanes across the Narrows Bridge and down the Kwinana Freeway to Murdoch Park n' Ride station at South Street will provide a major boost for commuters in the southern regions.


    "South of the river commuters will also benefit through the construction of a dedicated transitway between Rockingham and Fremantle, with work on stage one starting this year.


    "The south-west corridor of metropolitan Perth is expanding rapidly and congestion on key roads will become an increasing problem.


    "The rapid transit facility will allow for high-frequency direct public transport access between Rockingham and Fremantle and at the same time ease congestion on other roads in the region. We see the transitway offering commuters a viable alternative to the private car."


    In conjunction with TransformWA the Government was completing the masterplan for the Kenwick-Rockingham-Mandurah urban railway.


    Mr Charlton said that pivotal to the success of the major thrust to build a better urban public transport system was the gradual replacement of the city's ageing bus fleet with modern, air-conditioned, low floor, low-emission vehicles.


    "The first 133 replacement buses for the 850-strong fleet would come on stream in October this year and they will be the best buses money can buy. To complement the wider bus service we will also be introducing more CATS buses to ferry commuters around the inner city," he said.


    The Minister said Transperth's System 21 program involved using low-floor, easy access buses to provide high-frequency, reliable services including weekends. Buses would have priority at congested intersections.


    Under System 21, upgraded bus stops would incorporate high-technology, real time service information. The first of 14 planned System 21 routes (Fremantle to Rockingham) would be operating by early next year.


    Mr Charlton said another key component of the TransformWA capital works program was the construction of the Morley-to-Perth transitway, a dedicated high-frequency bus route from Morley Galleria to Perth city.


    The TransformWA program would streamline and complete the Circle Route, a high-frequency bus route which would link Morley, Stirling and Fremantle, taking in major university campuses, major medical centres like QE 11 Medical Centre, Shenton Park Rehabilitation Centre, Fremantle Hospital and St John of God Hospital in Murdoch.


    The Circle Route would also include industrial and commercial centres and the domestic airport.


    Stage one of the Circle Route, which began operations in February, had been an overwhelming success.


    "The route links Fremantle via Murdoch and Curtin Universities to Oats Street railway station on a 15-minute frequency and has carried more than 4000 passengers a day," Mr Charlton said.


    "The completion of the Circle Route and the implemention of System 21 is expected to almost double the number of bus service kilometres to nearly 70 million by 2007."


    Transperth's executive director (metropolitan) Greg Martin said Transport and Main Roads WA were working together to ensure a consistent, integrated and thorough approach to developing long term alternatives to private car travel.


    "We are confident of providing a fully integrated system of buses, trains and ferries with services tailored to suit different groups of travellers," Mr Martin said.


    "I am also confident that Perth will have a public transport system which will be the envy of other Australian capital cities."


    Media contact: Doug Cunningam 9321 7333