The Perth and Peel Region has experienced rapid population growth in recent years. Our growing and spread out city places pressures on transport infrastructure with often competing demands for finite levels of funding.
To ensure the metropolitan passenger rail network continues to meet Perth’s growing needs, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) has developed a Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS). This is a long term vision for the rail network’s evolution through to 2031 and beyond to make the best use of existing rail assets and guide staged improvements and future investment.
The RUS sets out a framework to make the best use of existing rail assets and guide staged improvements and future investment.
It will guide future passenger rail investment to ensure the PTA continues to address increasing demands to move people where they want to go as effectively as possible.
The strategy does this by:
- Identifying the future rail network, with assumed new line extensions and stations
- Forecasting patronage on each of the rail lines
- Proposing an operating rail plan, such as timetabling changes and allocating rolling stock (trains)
- Identifying the infrastructure investment needed to deliver the operating plan
- Considering issues and flow on effects from implementation
The RUS is an evolving plan and will continue to be refined as Perth grows to cover timeframes to 2050 and beyond.
It will do this through a systematic analysis of the rail network’s future needs to balance capacity and passenger demand with operational performance and cost, whilst addressing stakeholder needs.
Route Utilisation Strategies are strategic planning frameworks that have been progressively developed and implemented in the United Kingdom (UK) over the past ten to 15 years. They aim to balance supply with demand and to outline a long-term vision for improvements across a given rail network. According to the UK’s Office of Rail and Road, a RUS:
”…takes a strategic look at the rail network and its usage and capability in relation to current and future demand. Where shortfalls in capacity are identified, the RUS will identify options for addressing them. These options may involve timetabling changes or investment. To address the requirements of funders and stakeholders, a RUS seeks to balance capacity, passenger and freight demand, operational performance, infrastructure maintenance and costs.”
The PTA considers the RUS as fundamental for planning the required investment in the rail network up to 2031 and beyond.
It draws from government-approved documents, studies carried out by PTA and best global practices. The recommendations and supporting evidence contained in PTA’s RUS will form a key part of the future investment and operational planning, assist in preparing investment proposals, support decision making, and achieve staged improvements over future years.