Infrastructure Planning and Land Services
The Infrastructure Planning and Land Services division was formed in mid-2009 in recognition of the need to focus on planning for the future of the public transport network, including the management of PTA land and properties. The division has since settled its structure in three key work streams:
- Land and Property Services
- Transit and Business Development
- Rail Engineering.
Senior managers were appointed during the year and recruitment of appropriately-qualified specialist staff continues. IP&LS also provides master-planning services to the PTA as required.
Land and property services
Most of the PTA’s land and property functions, including corridor management, heritage, leasing, acquisitions and sales were previously located within separate divisions. Following a major review, these sections have now been amalgamated within one branch. The result has been a more strategic focus, synergistic integration of the services and a defined career path for staff. Income for leases administered by the branch is estimated at $11.96 million.
Transit and business development
This group was established as the starting point of infrastructure project development. Its task is to identify transport needs, evaluate options to meet those needs and conduct business analyses to determine preferred options before moving to the design and master-planning phase.
This group provides technical expertise on the engineering feasibility of rail projects. It looks at all aspects of rail engineering from vertical and horizontal alignment profiles through to geotechnical assessment of routes. The RE group will typically conduct the technical analysis of all rail projects from concept design to master planning.
A major requirement of the division is to undertake master planning for major projects. The objective of master planning is to prepare for project implementation through a rigorous evaluation of needs and the scope of engineering infrastructure to satisfy these needs from which credible cost estimates are derived. The two most recent projects are the extension of the Joondalup Line to Butler and the sinking of the railway lines through Northbridge.
Marine Terrace, Geraldton
A significant property between Foreshore Drive and Marine Terrace in Geraldton was put out to tender in 2009. Unfortunately, factors beyond the control of the PTA, including the global financial crisis and significant development conditions, affected the outcome. We are continuing to negotiate with potential purchasers.
Perth City Link Project
The Perth City Link Project has recently been successful in achieving WA Government funding as well as an Infrastructure Australia contribution of $265 million. IP&LS undertook the master planning. The project is part of The Link development project, which will provide permeable access between Northbridge and the Perth CBD and the opportunity of developing blighted land between the Mitchell Freeway and Perth Station. The Link project was only possible with the undergrounding of the Fremantle Line between Perth Station and Milligan Street and the undergrounding of the Wellington Street Bus Station (WSBS). These two projects, in conjunction with some redesigning of platforms, access and infrastructure within Perth Station, constitute the bulk of the project.
The PCLP Master Plan was undertaken consistent with the Link Master Plan. The planning process was undertaken in two parts - a rail infrastructure master plan, and a WSBS master plan. IP&LS provided senior staff to manage the production of these plans, which consider demand, staging, functionality and concept development. The resulting concept designs and functional definition allow the project to be costed to an accuracy required by Infrastructure Australia, which supported the subsequent Cabinet submission and final Government approval and funding.
Airport rail link
As part of the Perth Airport Transport Master Plan, the PTA has been investigating the feasibility of developing a Perth Airport (and surrounds) rail link. The proposal is to provide a rail link from the Midland Line near Bayswater Station to the consolidated international and domestic terminal as proposed by Westralia Airports via the proposed business/industrial park (the current domestic terminal site). Access to the stations will be provided from High Wycombe, Maida Vale and surrounds. The study is nearing completion and a business analysis shows forecast patronage to be an acceptable level for further development. The PTA will move forward with the Master Plan this year.
Bunbury fast rail
Initial feasibility and demand forecasting studies have been undertaken for a fast rail route between Bunbury and Perth. The proposed route is aimed at providing a 90-minute travel time. Further feasibility work is continuing, including analysis of Bunbury city centre requirements, timetabling with suburban rail and verification of demand forecasts. A business analysis will also be conducted to determine financial and economic feasibility and potential timing of development.
Ellenbrook transit study
The branch is undertaking a review of the public transport requirements of Ellenbrook and the surrounding Upper Swan area and commissioned Parsons Brinckerhoff with Syme Marmion and Co to undertake a feasibility study to provide strategic advice to Government. The study shows that population growth in the corridor is lower than expected and an interim service may be required to meet demand. Work will continue to establish service requirements.
Transport Network Plan (20-year Public Transport Plan)
The branch has been involved in the research and drafting of a 20-year plan for public transport in Perth, intended to inform and guide the implementation of public transport infrastructure towards an ultimate mass transit network. The plan is a report from an independent panel, with representatives from relevant government departments and industry experts that discusses the public transport challenge in Perth and recommends mass transit projects to contribute to an ultimate vision.
It will identify investment opportunities by expanding the rail network and developing rapid on-road transit solutions over particular corridors. The project team has worked closely with the Department of Planning to ensure consistency with Directions 2031, the next development plan for Perth. Consultation continues with Main Roads WA, Treasury and the Department of Transport, as well as local governments and interested parties such as the University of WA and Curtin University. The project is likely to be presented to government for consideration in the second half of 2010.
Mandurah Line stations
Planning investigations have begun into construction of an additional station at Paganoni Road, Karnup, about halfway between Mandurah and Warnbro. The station will directly serve the existing communities of Golden Bay and Singleton. It will operate as a bus interchange and park ‘n’ ride facility for residents and employees in the coastal area north of Mandurah. Station designs are close to being finalised.
Brighton forward earthworks
During the year work was completed on the 2.2km Brighton forward earthworks project. This is in the Brighton sub-division development immediately north of where the future extension of the Joondalup Line from Clarkson to Butler leaves the future Mitchell Freeway. The work was carried out by the WA Planning Commission with the PTA as its agent.
Extension of the Joondalup Line to Butler
The branch produced a master plan for the extension of the Joondalup Line from the current passenger terminus at Clarkson, to a new station at Butler in the Brighton sub-division (via the Brighton forward earthworks). The government approved the project in November 2009, and detailed design work is under way. Site construction is set for January 2011 with train services due to commence end of 2014.
The PTA is represented on the board of the Stirling City Centre Alliance, the aim of which is to plan the redevelopment of the city centre into a sustainable city of the future. A key element of the planning is to favour public over private transport and the PTA, through its involvement in a Transport Technical Working Group, is providing planning and drafting advice to help achieve these goals. The latest year was a busy one for the working group and included concept design for improved public transport facilities including priority for strategic bus services and the possible introduction of light rail. As part of this process, the PTA is working with the Alliance to investigate innovative funding mechanisms to bring this planning to fruition.
Central Northern Corridor
The Central Northern Corridor is a key project for the PTA to improve access to Perth for residents living in the only quadrant without some form of priority mass transit service. The scheme has a potential catchment of about 250,000 residents. The project area includes that sector of the city, between the Joondalup and Midland rail lines, which is bisected by the Fitzgerald Street/Alexander Drive alignment. Following completion of a corridor strategic report in October 2009, the PTA has embarked on a pre-feasibility study to prove up the concept. Heritage and ground surveys have been completed and tenders evaluated for a corridor design.
Perth city strategic bus routes
As Perth’s city streets become more congested, there is a realisation that if public transport is to play a greater role in delivering people into the city, bus services must be given priority over the private car. The City of Perth’s approach to transport planning is set out in its draft Urban Design Framework and includes “the creation of quality on-street public transport that encourages use by improving reliability and reducing delay”. To address this objective, we have been working with the City of Perth and Main Roads to establish a network of city streets to be used by strategic bus routes and an implementation plan that integrates these routes with the city’s reintroduction of two-way streets.