AvonLink to be replaced with twice-daily road coach service
The AvonLink train between Northam and Perth is to be replaced with a road coach service, which will operate twice as often as the train.
The changes – as a result of declining passenger numbers - will be effective from December 30 this year.
Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said the train’s patronage had been poor for several years.
“On average we now have about 30 passengers on each AvonLink service – out of a total capacity of 130 seats,” he said.
“By operating road coaches instead of the AvonLink as it exists today, we will save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars each year.”
“The PTA has taken the responsible decision to operate a service that is still capable of moving all our passengers, but in a more cost-effective way.”
Mr Hynes said the train would be replaced with a twice-daily return road coach service.
“Though timetable details have not yet been finalised, we expect to offer a Northam-to-Midland return service early in the morning and again late in the afternoon Monday to Friday.”
This expands the existing train service which operates from Northam at 6.30am (and Toodyay at 6.50am), arriving at Midland Station at 7.50am, Monday to Friday, returning at 5.50pm and arriving Northam at 7.10pm (Toodyay 6.43pm).
“The additional trips (return to Northam in the morning and Midland in the late afternoon) are designed to encourage tourists to visit Northam and Toodyay by offering same-day travel. In all other respects, the services are comparable,” he said.
The Avonlink started operating in 1995.