Buswell's bus and rail master plan unveiled

A twenty year strategic plan for WA’s public transport has just been released for comment

Buswell's bus and rail master plan unveiled
Buswell’s bus and rail master plan unveiled

July 15, 2011

The future for bus is bright in Western Australia following the release this week of a 20-year public transport plan.

The development of bus rapid transit services, introduction of light rail, and extension of the rail line to Yanchep north of Perth will be priority projects under the plan.

WA Transport Minister Troy Buswell says the ‘Public Transport in Perth in 2031’ plan aims to increase capacity and efficiency of the current network and further expand it, as well as implementing a rapid transit system to move more people during peak hours.

"Over the past 10 years, public transport use in Perth has increased by 67 per cent, and by 2031, Perth residents will more than double their use of public transport, which will see it account for nearly 70 per cent of all trips to the CBD," Buswell says.

"To cope with this increase and the future growth of the city, which has a predicted population of 2.2 million by 2031, we need to develop a mass transit system which integrates the heavy rail system, buses and road-based rapid transit services, using light rail or bus."

Buswell says on-road rapid transit would operate with dedicated priority within existing streets, utilising the capacity of public transport to move many more people in one road lane than by using cars.

"Rapid transit services will provide connections to strategic centres, which have a large workforce or are centres of education or health, where demand for public transport is currently high and will grow significantly," he says.

"Our first priority for the implementation of this type of service is for Ellenbrook, where projected passenger numbers show a Bus Rapid Transit service between Ellenbrook and Bassendean, and across to Morley is feasible."

Buswell says the WA Government would use $11million allocated in the 2011-12 State Budget to progress planning for the priority projects.

The plan also identifies the need for:

• a significant expansion of the bus and train fleet
• new train stations and bus interchanges
• introduction of 180 route kilometres of bus priority infrastructure
• the construction of a new rail line to Perth Airport

The ‘Public Transport for Perth in 2031’ plan is open for public comment until October 14, 2011, and is available at www.transport.wa.gov.au.

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