Free rail travel to celebrate network expansion
Travel on Perth's trains will be free next Monday to celebrate the extension of the Northern Suburbs Railway, the first services of the network's new trains and the opening of the new Clarkson station.
"Monday is a significant day for our public passenger transport system," Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said.
"It marks the first expansion of Perth's rail network since the newly-opened Joondalup line was extended to Currambine in March 1993 and is part of our plan to double the capacity of our passenger rail network.
"Clarkson, which extends the Northern Suburbs Railway by a further four kilometres from Currambine, is the first completed segment of the $1.518billion New MetroRail Project.
"We want to use the occasion to encourage the public to try the system and the new trains."
Last year the State Government provided free train travel on all lines to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the re-opening of the Fremantle line - the event proved hugely popular with thousands of people taking to Perth's passenger rail network for the first time.
Ms MacTiernan said she hoped Western Australians would use Monday's event as an opportunity to discover the benefits of public transport and Perth's world-class rail system.
"Monday is an excellent opportunity to promote the benefits of our clean, green and fast rail network," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The Gallop Government believes an efficient public transport system is the key to a liveable city and we want more people to consider public transport for their next journey."
Ms MacTiernan said patronage on Perth's passenger rail network has continued to grow.
Since 1992-93 when the Joondalup line opened, annual patronage has skyrocketed from 14.2 million passengers to more than 31 million passengers.
Rail patronage is expected to jump again to 51 million passengers by 2007-8 following the first full year of operation of the new Southern Suburbs Railway to Mandurah.
Five new three-car trains will come into operation on Monday.
Passengers who interchanged to or from trains will have to pay the appropriate bus fare.