New MetroRail Project the solution to skyrocketing petrol prices
Skyrocketing petrol prices highlight the importance of building the Southern Suburbs Railway as soon as possible, according to Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
As Perth fuel prices hit $1 per litre yet again, Ms MacTiernan launched the Transperth Savings Calculator - a web-based calculator allowing commuters to compare the annual cost of travelling by car versus public transport.
Ms MacTiernan said the calculator showed that southern corridor residents would save thousands of dollars in annual transport costs each year by using the new Southern Suburbs Railway when it opened in 2006.
Based on today's average fuel price, savings would range from $2,074 per year for commuters making the regular nine-kilometre trip from the proposed Canning Highway Station to Perth, to a massive $3,904 per year for someone travelling from Mandurah to Perth on the Southern Suburbs Railway.
The savings are not restricted to the southern component of the project.
At the new Greenwood and Clarkson stations on the upgraded Northern Suburbs Railway, commuters would save $2,216 and $2,674 respectively each year.
"These savings will increase as fuel prices continue to rise," the Minister said.
Ms MacTiernan urged Perth residents to beat the petrol price hike by exploring their public transport options.
"As Perth petrol prices top $1 per litre yet again, there is no better time for the State Government to be pushing ahead with the expansion of our public transport network," she said.
The Minister said fuel prices would inevitably increase over time.
"This week, the United States oil price hit a 21-year high," she said.
"We are committed to getting people out of their cars and on to public transport - it makes our city more efficient, gives us clearer air and it is good for the public's hip pocket."
The Southern Suburbs Railway and Thornlie Spur will carry more than 28,000 people per weekday - the equivalent of almost 23,000 vehicles.
Annually, the 73km railway - which passes through nine new stations south of the river - will take the place of almost 9.6million motor vehicle journeys.
The line will service almost 400,000 people - a quarter of Perth's population - by 2006.
"For the first time, southern corridor residents will have access to fast, direct public transport that is more than competitive with the motor vehicle," Ms MacTiernan said.
"A trip from Rockingham to Perth will take just 33 minutes - 20 minutes faster than the motor vehicle, 12 minutes faster than the previous Government's Kenwick deviation option and almost twice as fast as the morning peak bus trip."
Across the $1.518billion New MetroRail Project, more than 62,000 boardings are expected to be generated on a daily basis.
The calculator is available online at http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au.