- State Budget includes $12 million to upgrade and expand popular CAT bus services
- Includes creation of a new Purple CAT servicing Perth Children's Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and UWA
- New stops added to existing routes at Kings Park, Elizabeth Quay and Matagarup Bridge
- Red CAT expanded to run until midnight on Friday and Saturday
- Strong Budget position enables McGowan Government to invest in key services
The McGowan Labor Government has allocated an additional $12 million in the 2021-22 State Budget to upgrade and expand the popular CAT service, which provides free transport around key Perth landmarks.
A new Purple CAT will be created and travel from Elizabeth Quay Bus Station to Perth Children's Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and The University of Western Australia, via Kings Park Road and Thomas Street.
Services will commence on February 27, 2022 to align with the start of the university year, providing free travel from the central business district for students, hospital staff and visitors.
The Red CAT's operating hours will also be extended to similar times as the Blue CAT, with expanded services to incorporate Kings Park, Elizabeth Quay and Matagarup Bridge, and the installation of more than 20 new bus stops.
The Red CAT will expand to include Matagarup Bridge, with expanded hours to 9pm Sunday through Thursday and to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The Blue CAT will now stop at Kings Park, Elizabeth Quay and Northbridge, providing quality connections for local residents and tourists looking to explore the city.
The Red and Blue CAT changes come into effect from December 5, 2021.
The expansion of the CAT services builds on the McGowan Government's significant investment in the Perth CBD, which includes the new ECU inner city campus, the revitalisation of the Cultural Centre, the Causeway cycling and pedestrian bridge, and redevelopments of the WA Art Gallery, East Perth Power Station and the WACA.
It is envisaged that over time the Perth CAT bus network will transition to electric buses in the long term.
The first delivery of electric buses is expected later this year and will be trialled on the Joondalup CAT network in early 2022.
The McGowan Government will make changes to the Perth Parking Management Regulations, with funds for the new service to be sourced from the Perth Parking Levy.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"We've allocated an additional $12 million in the State Budget to create a new Purple CAT bus route and expand the existing Red and Blue routes to include new stops at key landmarks.
"The new Purple CAT bus will start from Elizabeth Quay Bus Station and include stops at UWA, Perth Children's Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
"The new stops on the Red and Blue CAT routes include Kings Park, Elizabeth Quay and Matagarup Bridge, with the Friday and Saturday night services to run to midnight.
"The CAT services are popular with both tourists and locals, and will work in tandem with key City Deal projects to return vibrancy and energy to the Perth CBD."
Comments attributed to Perth MLA John Carey:
"There's been a lot of talk about how we can improve the CBD, and expanding and improving the CAT service is a small but critical way we can encourage more foot traffic and vibrancy in our city.
"This is fantastic news for our city, with not only the extension of routes but the expansion of services until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
"I'll be jumping on board the new Purple CAT when it starts operation early next year and I encourage the people of Perth to come into the city and do the same."
Comments attributed to Nedlands MLA Katrina Stratton:
"The University of Western Australia and QEII Medical Centre are key hubs in our western suburbs, and it is important people have easy and affordable access to these areas.
"This new Purple CAT will provide a new, free transport option and a direct link to these important medical, employment and education hubs.
"I'm very excited to see the new Purple CAT start up in time for Semester 1, 2022 at UWA."
Minister's office - 6552 5500