Mandurah line leads public transport boom
The opening of the Perth-to-Mandurah railway may have triggered a major change in the way Western Australians use public transport, with many more people using the system during the holiday period.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that during January, there were 500,000 more public transport boardings than in the same month a year ago.
These figures measured where people first purchased their tickets or swiped their SmartRiders, so they did not double-up for journeys which used more than one service.
“Across our whole network of bus, train and ferry services, there were more than 4.8 million boardings in January, which is a 13 per cent increase on January last year,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“January is traditionally a time when public transport patronage is at its lowest, but this year numbers grew more than eight per cent compared with December.
“Not surprisingly, train boardings performed most strongly, up 41 per cent from January last year to reach almost 2.4 million, higher than in any single month last year.
“Patronage on the Mandurah line is continuing to strengthen, with normal weekday boardings now averaging more than 30,000 and reaching as high as 34,000 on Friday of last week.
“Weekend patronage is also staying strong, averaging more than 15,000 daily boardings.”
Ms MacTiernan said the biggest change during January was the increase in the numbers of people using Family Rider and Day Rider cash tickets to take off-peak and weekend leisure trips.
“It seems a lot more people are taking advantage of these very affordable opportunities to use our world-class public transport system to enjoy the city,” she said.
“Of course, we will have to wait and see if this upward trend continues as people go back to work and students return to school and university.”