Public Transport

FuturePerth 2013 State Election Guide
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“We believe a significant investment in public transport is a major part of the solution to Perth’s congestion concerns.”

What did we ask?

1. Please list the public transport projects you can commit to starting construction in the next term of Government.

2. Briefly, what are some of your long-term goals for public transport in metropolitan Perth?

Why did we ask it?

Apparently this is the ‘Congestion Election’, and boy aren’t we lucky – WA voters have been dished up a smorgasbord of public transport promises.

While obviously the best outcome would be a mix of all of the proposals – unfortunately our system doesn’t work that way.

In recent years our roads have become busier and our trains more and more cramped. We believe a significant investment in public transport is a major part of the solution to Perth’s congestion concerns.

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Liberal Response

No response.

FuturePerth comment:

The Libs have been a bit slow on public transport in their first term – the Premier almost said as much in the recent debate with Mr McGowan. The Butler extension is underway, and we’ve got a lot more buses and trains on order, but we certainly haven’t been spoilt with a new rail line. Our packed trains show that more could have been done.

Despite the Liberals not getting back to us on this one, they have a few major public transport projects up their sleeve. These promises are strengthened by the fact that they appear realistic and link some key activity areas and under-serviced suburbs.

Their keystone project is a $1.8billion 22km light rail network – running from Mirrabooka to the city, then west to QEII and east to the Victoria Park transfer station – with provision for future extensions to UWA, Burswood and Curtin University.

FuturePerth would prefer if the UWA and Curtin links were prioritised as part of the first stage. This project reaches under-serviced inner and middle northern suburbs and is likely to result in plenty of FuturePerth’s favourite thing of all – density, density, density.

You can find out more about the project here, or if you just want a squiz at the proposed route, look no further than this map.

The Libs are also offering a new Airport rail line, branching off the Midland line after Bayswater, and on to Forrestfield. See a map of the proposed line here.

The Libs have also promised a new train station on the Mandurah Line at Aubin Grove, a multi-storey car park at Edgewater Train Station, and have 22 three-car train sets on order.

Labor Response

“1. WA Labor’s key public transport project will be the METRONET plan, details of which can be found at The project comprises a North Circle Line (commencing 2013-14), Airport Line (commencing 2014-15) and the Ellenbrook/Morley Line (commencing 2014-15). Further announcements will be made during the election campaign.

2. WA Labor will build METRONET to ensure that Perth has an integrated plan for public transport; using heavy rail, light rail and buses to connect our suburbs and places of work and study.

METRONET will encourage people to walk, ride or catch a bus to rail stations whilst also providing 17,000 additional car parks across Perth.”

FuturePerth comment:

Metronet is a whopper of a project – 75km or so of new heavy rail by 2018 – this is the sort of thing trainspotters have dreams about. It is ambitious and visionary… we like!

An airport link, Ellenbrook line, northern circle line, southern circle line, and to top it all off – an orbital freeway between the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways via Reid Highway, Tonkin Highway and Roe Highway. Oh, and did we mention 144 new rail cars?

Now this thing won’t come cheap – more expensive than a pint in a Perth pub – $3.8 billion to be exact.

Metronet very much represents what Perth’s heavy rail network should look like in the future. We have concerns that the ALP will scrap the proposed light rail project to pay for Metronet. This may be a wasted opportunity after the current government’s feasibility studies have also cost a pretty penny – not to mention the increased housing density that could eventuate.

It is clear that Metronet is a core constituent of WA Labor’s election campaign and we would love to see it become a reality.

Greens Response

“1. Congestion in Perth is at an all-time high, and the associated costs in terms of lost time and productivity, high fuel and parking costs, high anxiety and frustration, are enormous. Alleviating congestion is one of the Greens’ highest priorities. To achieve this, the following should be commenced in 2013:

  • Incentives to increase bus and train commuters by examining the feasibility of the Greens’ proposal to offer free public transport before 7:00am and extending peak services to 6:30pm in the evening;
  • More feeder buses to railways and bus stations would be needed in the short term, pending construction of more extensive public transport networks;
  • Construction of the Perth to airport rail link;
  • Beginning construction of the 6600km of safe, separated bike lanes and paths that that are needed to implement the Greens’ 2029 Bike Vision, at a total cost of $76.91m pa to 2029;
  • Making the required investment of approx. $90m needed to keep Tier 3 open

2. The Greens’ principal long term goals for Perth are:

  • An integrated public transport network of heavy rail, light rail and buses that provides clean, efficient and fast transit to the outer suburbs;
  • To relieve traffic congestion in the city.

The Greens’ plan for an urban light rail system in Perth has been in the public domain since 2008. It delivers 363km over 15 years in three phases at a cost of approximately $3.5bn. As such it is the most comprehensive of all the plans recently rolled out by the Liberal Government, and even more recently by Labor.”

FuturePerth comment:

The Greens were the first party in WA to call for light rail in Perth – and you should all be forever grateful to them for getting this form of transport onto the horizon!

The Green’s bike plan is a total winner – everyone knows that walking and cycling are a key part of the transport mix. Hopefully the Greens can influence whichever party forms Government in this regard.

We appreciate the more practical aspects of their policy, including free transport before 7:00am. To complement the growth of light rail we would love to see some specific heavy rail expansion details.

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  1. Glen Waters says:

    I’m greatly appreciate that you asked these questions! I quite like the Green’s idea of an urban light rail system complementing our current heavy rail network. This appears to be a more effective solution in terms of potentially reducing the need to build more “park and ride” bays. I am befuddled why neither Labor or Liberal have adopted at least some aspects of the plan after 5 years!