Buswell's bus budget

WA’s commuters have been kept ‘top of mind’ as Transport Minister Buswell spends up on buses

Buswell's bus budget
Buswell’s bus budget

By David Goeldner | May 18, 2012

Western Australia’s Transport Minister Troy Buswell has backed his state’s fortunes led by the resources boom and committed $3.9 billion towards new and ongoing transport projects, announced this week.

Although freight movement and road networks take the largest share of the multi-billion dollar pie, a significant slice of the WA transport budget will be allocated to expanding public transport services and building related infrastructure.

Buswell says the WA Government was investing in a range of transport projects across the State to deliver a balanced transport system which would benefit metropolitan and country road users, public transport patrons, cyclists, pedestrians and industry.

He says $105 million would be invested in initiatives to ensure Perth’s CBD had a sustainable transport network to accommodate major city projects and a growing population.

"We are investing $57 million to increase capacity on the Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel and Mitchell Freeway, which will ensure traffic into and around the CBD will continue to flow with the roll-out of the city’s transformational projects," Buswell says.

A further $47.6 million from the Perth Parking Management Fund will provide new CAT buses, a new Green CAT service from Leederville to the CBD via West Perth and CBD cycle and bus lanes.

"We will also invest $31.5 million for a traffic management trial to manage congestion on Perth’s freeways," he says.

Buswell will invest heavily in road safety which he says is a key component of the transport budget, with $97 million for road safety projects across WA.

"Road safety funding has increased with $35million provided for the ongoing Safer Roads and Bridges program, $20million for the ongoing State Black Spot Program, and an additional $41.7 million for safety improvements to crash sites across the State," he says.

Perth’s commuters look likely winners from the budget, with Buswell announcing an allocated $10 million to buy 20 additional Transperth buses as part of the Public Transport Authority’s (PTA) seven-year $88 million bus acquisition program.

A further $26 million will be allocated to replace about 60 buses across the network.

Ongoing investment by the Public Transport Authority in WA includes $134m to roll out additional bus service kilometres of 3.3 million in 2011-12 incrementally increasing to 15.2 million kilometres a year from 2015-16 onwards.

Buswell says in 2011-12 this enabled the PTA to introduce nine new bus routes and improve the service and frequency of a further 91 existing bus routes.

In 2012-13, the PTA intends to introduce a further 2.9 million service kilometres, involving four new bus routes and service improvements to 37 existing bus routes.

All up, $519.3m has been committed to an approved 10-year program for bus acquisition, maintenance and infrastructure which will see the replacement of about 640 old buses, introduce 158 new buses, improving bus stations and maintaining the existing fleet.

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