Perth's popular Circleroute for buses was completed today with the official inauguration by Transport Minister Murray Criddle and Seniors Minister Rhonda Parker of a 50km extension to the existing service through the northern and western suburbs.
“This high-frequency bus service links tertiary institutions, hospitals, schools and major shopping centres and is a major boost for people who use the public transport system,” Mr Criddle said.
"I’m pleased that the 84km Circleroute has been opened in time for the tertiary academic year and we expect it to be a boon for students.
“However, the Circleroute is not only about students. It is also for people who want a high-frequency service to hospitals, schools and shopping centres.
"It does not replace existing bus services; it is a completely new and exciting transport system which will allow people to travel a route through a circle of suburbs including Morley, Bayswater, Belmont, Carlisle, Bentley, Willetton, Murdoch, Fremantle, Cottesloe, Claremont, Shenton Park, Wembley, Churchlands, Innaloo and Stirling.
“The route takes in key railway stations as well as the universities, schools, hospitals and the shopping centres.”
Mrs Parker said older Western Australians would benefit from the initiative.
“The Circleroute fulfills a Coalition Government election commitment and is part of our five-year plan to improve transport services for seniors,” she said.
“The service links areas with large numbers of seniors, such as retirement villages, with recreational, shopping and medical facilities they use frequently.
“It increases the mobility of seniors and a lot of people are going to welcome and enjoy the convenience of this new service.
“The service will be fully-accessible with new ultra low-floor buses coming onto the route next month.”
Mr Criddle said that the public was embracing public transport as never before because services had become more innovative and flexible.
“Before stage one of the Circleroute opened through the southern suburbs a year ago, the existing bus routes serviced about 1,500 passenger journeys a day but after stage one was opened, this figure rose to 4,000,” he said.
The Ministers said the Circle Route would shorten the daily journey times of many workers and older travellers in the suburbs.
The route had 133 stops in each direction and links to the fast and regular suburban train services.
It would be user-friendly, with timetables specific to each bus stop and announcements made on the stations as to when the next bus was due.
Buses would run every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on Saturdays and some public holidays.
It would also be economically attractive to use the service, with a two zone maximum fare of $2.40 or $1.10 concession.
Mr Criddle said the target was to increase usage of public transport and lift Transperth's share of the public transport market from its current level of less than six per cent, to around 12.5 per cent by 2029.
The Minister said every household within 500m of the route had received a brochure and timetables and there would be extensive media advertising of the new service.
Anyone seeking more information should call the Transperth InfoLine 13 62 13 (TTY 9485 0485), or contact the www.transperth.wa.gov.au Internet site.
Media contact: Steve Manchee on 9321 7333