Transwa is the brand and operating name for the road and rail public transport system View image serving regional centres in the southern half of Western Australia.

Transwa’s purpose is to provide a customer-focussed, safe and cost-effective public transport service to regional Western Australia. To achieve this, it is recruiting people, and planning safe, clean and reliable services to meet customers’ current and future needs.

Transwa monitors its performance against key aspects such as customer satisfaction, OTR and cost per passenger kilometre.

objectives and outcomes


To provide customer-focussed passenger transport services for regional Western Australia.

The 2008 PSM indicated that Transwa is maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

A new web-based call management system was introduced, ahead of schedule, to improve performance of the reservations area and deliver a more efficient service to our customers.

To provide safe and cost-effective passenger transport services for regional Western Australia.

Transwa’s excellent safety record continued with a decrease in the number of incidents or accidents recorded.

Further initiatives in safety were implemented including a comprehensive training program for all Transwa staff on safety legislation, regulations and systems.

Services to arrive within acceptable punctuality parameters.

During 2007/08 Transwa maintained a high-level of OTR for the AvonLink, MerredinLink and road coach services.

Prospector and Australind punctuality was adversely affected by track conditions. Track upgrades being completed during 2008/09 by the network owner should improve this performance.

The following results were delivered during the year:

  • AvonLink – 99 per cent of services arrived within 10 minutes of schedule

  • MerredinLink – 84 per cent of services arrived within 10 minutes of schedule
  • Australind – 83 per cent of services arrived within 10 minutes of schedule
  • Prospector – 42 per cent of services arrived within 15 minutes of schedule
  • Road Coaches – 95 per cent of services arrived within 10 minutes of schedule


review of performance

Transwa key performance indicators target for the on-time performance of its train and coach services for 2007/08 were:

Prospector View image
80 per cent of services to arrive within 15 minutes of schedule
Australind View image
90 per cent of services to arrive within 10 minutes of schedule
AvonLink View image
95 per cent of services to arrive within 10 minutes of schedule
95 per cent of services to arrive within 10 minutes of schedule
Road Coaches View image
95 per cent of services to arrive within 10 minutes of schedule

The road coaches maintained a high level of reliability with 95 per cent of services arriving within 10 minutes of the scheduled arrival time, continuing a record of performance at or above target since 2000/01.

Results for the AvonLink remained high at 99 per cent but the MerredinLink experienced delays as a result of being held for late-running Prospector services, resulting in an on-time performance of 84 per cent.

Prospector performance declined to 42 per cent due to trackwork (involving the laying of concrete sleepers and the extension of crossing loops) on the Eastern Goldfields Railway (EGR). The track upgrade, scheduled for completion in August 2008, is expected to improve the Prospector’s OTR performance. Since work started in October 2007, Transwa has been able to provide all scheduled services either by rail or road.

The Australind’s performance was down to 83 per cent due to speed restrictions required to maintain safe running over sections of the track with old wooden sleepers. Track upgrade work planned for the coming financial year will have a detrimental effect on performance in 2008/09 but, when completed in June 2009, should enable the Australind’s OTR to return to the previous high levels. Transwa will provide a combination of rail and road services to accommodate passengers during the upgrade period and a comprehensive communications strategy is in place to keep customers informed.

Bar chart: Transwa: OTR performance

Trends in patronage

Overall patronage decreased by 2.5 per cent in 2007/08 due mainly to a decline in road coach passengers to the mid-west and lower south-west regions. The non-availability of some Australind railcars due to refurbishment work also impacted on patronage.

Bar chart: Transwa: Total patronage

Service coverage

The total passenger place kilometres for rail services has decreased due to a reduction in rail service kilometres as a result of eight months of replacement road coach services while track upgrades were conducted on the EGR.

Total passenger place kilometres for road coach services remained static in 2007/08.

Bar chart: Transwa: Total passenger place kilometres

Passenger satisfaction

Customer satisfaction continued at a high level in 2007/08 with 88 per cent of passengers either satisfied or very satisfied. The key areas of cleanliness, staff manner and comfort all rated highly.

Bar chart: Transwa: Customer satisfaction

Passenger safety

Transwa achieved a reduction in safety-related incidents for passengers through its continued commitment to safety and ongoing reviews of safety systems, procedures and processes.


The cost of providing Transwa services in 2007/08 was above expectations, due to the provision of contract coach services in lieu of the Prospector during track upgrades, and increased capital costs resulting from a revaluation of Transwa assets.

Bar chart: Transwa: Average cost per passenger kilometre

Revenue and expenditure

Revenue increased by 6.7 per cent in 2007/08, with a continuing trend of increasing numbers of full fare paying customers.

Expenditure in 2007/08 increased by 11 per cent due to maintenance of the Australind and Prospector railcars to maintain high levels of reliability.

The provision of contract replacement coach services for the Prospector and higher depreciation due to the revaluation of assets also impacted on the levels of expenditure in 2007/08.

Bar chart: Transwa: Revenue ($ millions)

Bar chart: Transwa: Revenue (millions) by service

Bar chart: Transwa: Expenditure ($ millions)

Service information

For much of 2007/08, a number of Prospector services were replaced by coaches (operated by Goldrush Tours) due to the track upgrade work on the EGR. Despite the disruption to services, patronage figures have remained relatively stable with only a 1.2 per cent drop in passengers over the course of the year. The trackwork are due for completion in August 2008 and improvements in both OTR and patronage for 2008/09 are expected.

Transwa continued its refurbishment of the Australind railcars in 2007/08 and, as a result, was not able to provide the same level of railcar availability. This impacted on passenger numbers with a 2.9 per cent fall over the course of the year. It is expected that the south-west railway track upgrade scheduled for September 2008 to June 2009 is likely to have an adverse impact on the Australind’s patronage and on-time performance in 2008/09.

During the year, AvonLink patronage edged up 0.5 per cent and MerredinLink patronage rose seven per cent. While this is pleasing, overall passenger levels on these services remain low and Transwa will continue to identify opportunities to promote them.

Passenger numbers on Transwa’s road coach services continued to decline in the first half and, by January, were almost seven per cent below the figures for the previous corresponding period. However, this trend started to reverse in the second half of the year and, at year-end, patronage was down only 3.4 per cent. It is expected that passenger numbers will further increase in 2008/09 following changes to services in the mid-west.

In the future

Transwa will continue a campaign to promote its brand through the placement of posters on Transperth trains, a full wrap on a Transperth bus, View image and bus-back advertising on Transwa coaches.

Transwa has created a commercial branch to continually monitor and review its performance, and to drive strategies and initiatives to improve customer service. One of its first milestones was the introduction in June 2008 – ahead of schedule – of a new, web-based call management system. This new system will deliver a more efficient service to customers and enhance the performance of the reservations area. Improvements to the Transwa online booking facility are also planned for 2008/09 to progressively offer concession cardholders an opportunity to book online.

Ongoing refurbishment programs for railcars and road coaches will continue in 2008/09 with the aim being improved service comfort and increased amenity.

Upgrading of the south-west railway track by WestNet Rail between Pinjarra and Brunswick Junction will involve the replacement of old wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers and is due to start in September 2008. During the works, the on-time performance of the Australind will be reduced, but the work is expected to deliver significant improvements in the future.

Transwa will provide a combination of rail and road coach services to maintain all scheduled services to its customers, and to reduce passenger inconvenience as much as possible.

Transwa trains

In 2007/08, Transwa’s 62 scheduled weekly train services were provided by a mix of rail and road due to the unavailability of rail access during periods of track upgrade work.

Four distinct train services were operated:

The train fleet consists of 14 railcars – seven Prospector railcars, two AvonLink railcars (also used to provide the MerredinLink services) and five Australind railcars.

Transwa employed 17 railcar operators based at East Perth and Bunbury.

The on-board services on the Australind are provided by Bunbury-based Transwa staff, and a contractor provides on-board services on the Prospector, AvonLink and MerredinLink.

Bar chart: Transwa Trains: Total passenger place kilometres (millions)

The year’s developments

The mechanical reliability of the Prospector train improved in 2007/08 as PTA maintenance personnel continued to work in close partnership with Prospector manufacturer United Group Rail to ensure that issues affecting reliability were dealt with quickly. Additional maintenance and servicing was carried out when railcars were unable to operate due to the track upgrade works.

Increased utilisation of multiple car sets during periods of high demand saw Prospector patronage increase by 5.1 per cent before the trackwork started. However, demand reduced while the work was taking place, resulting in a 1.2 per cent decrease overall at year’s end. With the expected completion of the work in August 2008 and the cessation of services by Goldrush Tours, patronage levels on the Prospector are expected to increase in 2008/09.

The capacity of the Australind in 2007/08 was limited as a result of ongoing upgrades which contributed to a 2.9 per cent decrease in the number of passengers. The continuation of this refurbishment program and the program of track upgrades on the south-west railway track are expected to further affect patronage numbers in 2008/09.

The AvonLink and MerredinLink continued their high standard of performance in OTR and customer satisfaction as well as recording increases in passenger numbers.

Transwa’s commitment to safety saw a continuation in the downward trend achieved in the previous year for rail-related incidents.


Patronage on Transwa train services decreased by 1.8 per cent compared with the previous year, a downturn which was expected because of the EGR track upgrades and the reduced capacity available for the Prospector while the upgrading program was progressing.

Trackwork scheduled for the south-west line from September 2008 to May 2009 is expected to have an adverse impact on the Australind’s patronage. However, Transwa will maintain all scheduled services by either rail or road to offset passenger inconvenience as much as possible.

Prospector results were particularly pleasing in light of the adverse effect of the track upgrading work, with several services replaced by road coaches and the on-time performance for those services provided by rail being regularly affected.

Bar chart: Transwa Trains: Patronage

Passenger satisfaction

The PSM continued to show good overall satisfaction levels for Transwa trains with the Prospector improving slightly to 86 per cent, the AvonLink/MerredinLink maintaining a rating of 87 per cent and the Australind constant at 89 per cent.

Bar chart: Transwa Trains: Customer satisfaction


Construction of new accessible stations at Meckering View image and Doodlakine were completed in November 2007. A detailed maintenance agreement for all Transwa facilities is being developed to ensure all facilities are regularly inspected and maintained to a high level.

Transwa road coaches

Transwa delivered all scheduled road coach services as a vital transport link to regional communities in the south-west of Western Australia. The Transwa network extends to Kalbarri, Geraldton and Meekatharra in the north, Augusta, Pemberton and Albany in the south-west and Esperance in the south-east.

During the year, Transwa operated 144 road coach services each week and employed 34 road coach drivers for its fleet of 22 five-star coaches.

Bar chart: Transwa Road Coaches: Total passenger place kilometres (millions)

The year’s developments

A program of preventative and restorative maintenance including repainting, equipment upgrades and interior detailing was put in place in 2007/08 to ensure the road coaches continue to offer customers a high level of reliability and amenity.

Transwa’s commitment to safety was recognised by a reduction in overall incidents, with no major incidents occurring across some 225,000 coach journeys.

In an effort to improve services to the community, Transwa is planning some service enhancement to the Geraldton region in 2008/09.

Bar chart: Transwa Road Coaches: On-time performance


Transwa coach service patronage was down 3.4 per cent on the previous year and a detailed analysis of patronage showed a decline across most services.

The decline was attributed to a number of external factors including a population and demographic shift in regional areas, increased vehicle ownership, high employment rate and a buoyant economy. The continued rise in the cost of fuel, modifications to schedules and provision of additional services to the Geraldton region is expected to reverse this decline.

Bar chart: Transwa Road Coaches: Patronage

Passenger satisfaction

Customer satisfaction with Transwa coach services was down slightly at a still-commendable 88 per cent.

Bar chart: Transwa Road Coaches: Customer satisfaction


Work has started on the trialling of GPS locating sensors, to improve on-time performance information with a view to providing real-time information to customers.

From a safety perspective, GPS technology also ensures Transwa is able to maintain contact with all services even in isolated areas. The results of the trial will be reviewed in 2008/09.