WA govt commits to $1.65m-plus security upgrade

By: Jason Whittaker


The Western Australia Government has committed to a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Transperth bus fleet and security services in

The Western Australia Government has committed to a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Transperth bus fleet and security services in an effort to protect drivers from passenger violence.

Ths follows the brutal bashing of two drivers on Friday, July 31, in two separate incidents.

Transport Minister Simon O’Brien has approved a range of recommendations agreed to at a meeting between the Public Transport Authority (PTA), the Transport Workers Union WA (TWU), government contracted companies Southern Coast Transit, Path Transit and Swan Transit and police on Wednesday (August 5).

"I have approved a package of measures to immediately enhance security on our metropolitan bus network," O’Brien says.

The number of bus security personnel will be increased by nearly 50 percent, which translates into a 120 percent increase in mobile security patrols.

The PTA’s contracted transit officers will increase patrols at interchanges where bus and train stations are co-located.

O’Brien has approved the installation of an additional 295 security screens for bus drivers, on top of the existing 495 buses that already have security screens.

"When it is completed, this program will mean that all bus drivers working after 6pm will have the extra security of a protected cab," he says.

"I have also approved the installation of duress alarms on an additional 736 buses across the network, which means duress alarms will exist on all buses."

The beefed-up security will require an immediate one-off investment of $1.65 million and an ongoing yearly cost of $2.2 million for the extra mobile security patrols.

"Protecting public transport workers and their passengers is a priority for this Government and we will not shirk our responsibility to them," O’Brien says.

TWU State Secretary Jim McGiveron says drivers were accepting of the proposed security upgrades.

"There [is] general acceptance that they have no choice," he says. "The assaults are getting more violent. While we don’t like it – driving around in a cage – it’s something that’s necessary to protect their bodies, to protect them."

Related stories:

- Transperth attackers charged

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