Bunbury to be linked to the Perth-to-Mandurah railway
The arrival of the new Mandurah railway next year will bring the opportunity to overhaul rail and coach services between Bunbury and Perth.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan today released for public comment a proposal to boost public transport services in the South-West.
"We have always believed the new railway could provide benefits beyond the metropolitan area," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The proposal capitalises on the start of the Mandurah railway, and aims to broaden the range of travel options between Perth and Bunbury.
"I asked the Public Transport Authority to come up with a range of options which would provide links between Bunbury and the new rail service, and we are keen to get feedback from local communities."
One of the PTA's key recommendations was that extra coach services could replace one of the Australind trains' two daily returns trips between Perth and Bunbury.
"Rather than run the early morning Australind service, Transwa coaches linking Bunbury to the Mandurah rail terminal could provide a quicker, more flexible service," the Minister said.
The major benefits of the coach-rail link include:
- an extra six return coach services each day;
- an extra 3,752 passenger seats per week; and
- reduced travel time of up to 22 minutes.
"This coach link would be a much quicker journey than the Australind Train's existing morning and evening service," Ms MacTiernan said.
"Currently the train trip takes two and a half hours and will get longer as the amount of freight traffic on the line increases."
The proposed rail-coach trip would be two hours and eight minutes, and even faster when the Perth-to-Bunbury highway is finished.
The early morning Australind train to Perth would be replaced by:
- return coach trips between Mandurah and Bunbury at 6am, 7am and 8.50am; and
- a return coach trip to Armadale from Bunbury at 6am.
The evening Australind train to Bunbury would be replaced by:
- coaches leaving Mandurah (the second half of a round trip from Bunbury) each day at 5pm, 7.20pm and 7.50pm; and
- a coach leaving Armadale (the second half of a round trip from Bunbury) each day at 6.30pm.
The Mandurah coach trips would be along the Old Coast Road; the Armadale trips would be along the South Western Highway.
The Minister said the Australind would still make one trip a day, from Perth at 9am and from Bunbury on the return trip at 2.45pm.
"Traditionally, public transport between Perth and Bunbury has focussed on the South Western Highway, whereas much of the growth has been in the coastal area," she said.
"The proposal puts six return coach services a day through this important new area, linking it directly with the rail line to Perth, while still improving the level of service to all the towns along the South Western Highway."
Ms MacTiernan said Transwa would brief local councils and stakeholders in July and would accept written submissions until the end of August.