New look, new home and new route for bigger, greener CAT bus fleet
The prototype for Perth's new bigger, greener and quieter CAT (Central Area Transit) bus fleet rolled out of the depot for the first time this morning.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the new gas-powered Mercedes OC500 CAT was the first of 21 buses that will take to city streets during the next few months.
The buses, acquired under a $9.9million contract, will meet increased demand for public transport within the city - more than 170,000 commuters use the free service every week.
"With a better layout and twice as much seating, the new buses are well-equipped to meet growing demand for CAT services," Ms MacTiernan said.
"As petrol prices continue to rise and our population increases, it is important that our public transport system is ready to meet growing demand."
The Minister said the Mercedes OC500 would replace the fleet's existing diesel-fuelled buses.
"The new gas-powered buses are Euro4-emission compliant, making them cleaner and greener that the Euro2 Scania and Mercedes diesels in the current fleet," she said.
Other features include electrically-operated ramps for wheelchair access, two wheelchair spaces, refrigerated air-conditioning and improved CCTV camera coverage.
The prototype will go into service across all CAT routes in about a week, after the completion of delivery checks, enabling adjustments to local conditions before the new fleet starts arriving from about November.
Today, Ms MacTiernan also opened the new $1.3million CAT depot at Claisebrook and announced plans to extend the Yellow CAT service to include the Harbour Town shopping precinct.
The new CAT depot at Claisebrook adjoined the train yard and replaced a leased facility in Perth.
The extension to Harbour Town should take place in November - in time for the Christmas shopping rush - subject to final approvals from other stakeholders.
Perth MLA John Hyde welcomed the new depot and extended route.
"Investing in Perth's CAT bus network is another way the Gallop Government is improving the liveability of our city," Mr Hyde said.