ALP gone in WA – what now for Transperth?

Against all odds, it seems that the Liberals will form the next government of Western Australia. I’m no expert of WA politics by any stretch – but with the Liberals and ALP both holding 24 seats, and the Nationals with the balance, I can’t see how it’s going to go Labor’s way.

I’m no great fan of the Labor party generally, but there’s no doubt they did a damned good job in WA on public transport with Alannah MacTiernan as minister. Their policies have really lead to a true public transport renassance in Perth. How sad it is then, to see them replaced with these guys.

If the ALP can’t win the WA state election – where they have a proud record on public transport and have an opposition that kept that idiot Troy Buswell in for ages and ages; what hope do they have in a state like Victoria? Our forthcoming (2010) state election will be fought in large part on public transport issues – an area where the Victorian ALP have miserably failed – I honestly can’t see the ALP holding on in Victoria – and they don’t really deserve to either.

PS. Apologies for my blog absense of late, I’ve been pretty fatigued and was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease a couple of weeks ago. But recovery is easy so there should be a lot more posts from me in future.

cheers

Phin

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15 Responses

  1. Hmm actually they might hold out – the ABC tells me 27 Labor, 22 Liberal, with the Nationals on 4 and independents 3. With 30 seats required to govern, it’s not game over yet. Antony Green has a good post up here:
    http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2008/09/wa—state-of-u.html#more

  2. I wouldn’t say that Perth has fantastic PT in general – just average. Look how poor the bus feeders to the Northern Suburbs Line area for example – and 15min off-peak frequencies to inner suburban areas or 22min Sunday gaps aren’t terrific.

  3. Shame about Alannah

    Butler and Ellenbrook were both offered as ‘matched’ promises (with as much enthusiasm as dishwater) but the others – the Airport, Byford, Yanchep, Light Rail and so on are probably dead.

    The Leach hwy extension that the ALP kept trying to kill off is probably back on.

    However, we may see the rest of the unbuilt Kenwick loop through Canning Vale built (beyond Thornlie) as apparently this was a big thing the Libs wanted when they were in last time and it appears the Libs haven’t learnt anything. ‘Small target’ usually means ‘no policy change from when we were in last time’

  4. Here’s the list from the Libs. Interesting to note the following;

    -Fremantle to the Southern Line
    -Butler on the backburner
    -Mundijong (not mentioned by the ALP)
    -tourist services to Busselton

    *************************
    High capacity passenger rail services to major centres such as the Perth Airport and major
    hospitals.
    Rail services from Fremantle to the Southern rail line
    A new rail service to Ellenbrook
    Extension of the Northern Suburbs line to Butler, Brighton, Alkimos and beyond.
    Extending the Armadale line to Byford and examining the case for services to Mundijong
    The extension of high-speed future services to Bunbury, with possible extension of tourist
    services to Busselton.

  5. Phin

    If you’d like some soy-bean and mung-bean high protein noodles, my wife was selling them. We still have some in stock. No gluten.

  6. Thanks for the comments Somebody and Riccardo.

    Somebody, I think you’re right to point out that Perth isn’t perfect, and that frequency is often not fantastic, but there’s no doubt there’s been big improvements there over the last few years – improvements that we’re just not seeing in Victoria. I think Alannah deserves a lot of credit for trying to improve the system – but there’s still quite a way to go.

    Riccardo, it will be sad to see those promised projects shelved. Even if the ALP sneak back in with National support – having to deal with their regional rent-seeking (with this 1/4 of the state’s mining royalties nonsense) may very well impede their ability do deliver effectively. If the Liberals get in it will be more or less back to the Court days.

    I’m very interested in the soy and mung bean noodles – I’ve been eating a lot of 100% buckwheat soba, but a change is always good. Let me know and I’ll swing by and buy some.

    cheers,
    Phin

  7. Phin, I hope you meant 1992 (Court Jnr) days, not 1974 (Court Snr) days!

    The main transport things that happened during the Court Jnr years was a. massive road building (including the Northbridge tunnel and duplication of the Narrows, b. contracting out metro bus routes (though unlike The Met, Transperth survived but as a different organisation), and c. some fare increases (Labor had let concession tickets get very (too?) cheap, something that it was repeating now with their stupid pensioner promise).

    The main public transport achievements of the Court Jnr government were buses. It was they who introduced the very successful Circle Route.

    They also upgraded/restructured some popular bus routes and started to dismantle the very limited Sunday timetable (where most suburbs had departures at 10:00am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00 and 7:30pm and that was it). The Court Government was starting to introduce its System 21 routes when it lost office, with the popular 920 and 940 routes the legacy. We also saw clockface bus timetabling with fewer historical idiosyncracies in bus service levels. Buses were however a bit older and dustier in 1997 than they were in 1992.

    I am not sure when Sunday evening trains started; whether these were introduced under Court or Gallop. However only the Fremantle and Joondalup lines had 15 minute Sunday service during Court with the rest on 30 minutes. But under Gallop this was extended to all but a handful of stations on the Fremantle, Thornlie and Armadale lines. Gallop/Carpenter can also take credit for the number of suburban stations that were rebuilt or renovated (Bassendean, Armadale, Vic Park, though Subiaco happened under Court IIRC).

    In relation to stopping patterns, less use is made of express services, with the higher frequency of more stopping all stations now favoured, especially on the Joondalup line during the day. Expresses only saved a few minutes (especially with widely spaced stations) and the 7.5 minute (instead of 15 minute) off-peak service was welcomed. However the Armadale line received a welcome improvement with expresses throughout the day when Thornlie opened. Late night weekend trains at 1, 2 & 3am were introduced, but the last one was scrapped. Labor was however promising to reintroduce it.

    The move to 15/30/60 harmonised bus timetabling continued under Labor. Today the only major area that doesn’t have it is Morley/Mirrabooka where the key routes (60 & 354?) still run every 20 minutes. Buses continued to be improved on the busier routes and routes were straightened. Universities in particular got better buses.

    Some northern suburb feeder routes struggled with basic services reduced from 45 to 60 minutes. However the Mandurah line got better feeders from the start, with many area getting a 15 or 30 minute frequency. Nevertheless many inner suburbs of Perth still get a fairly patchy bus service and the network remains inferior to Melbourne’s trams or even Adelaide’s Go-Zones. The proposed Met-Transperth routes may have helped though the 60 minute Sunday minimum service frequency is still half that of Adelaide and a quarter that of Melbourne’s trams.

    General system presentation and passenger information was generally good though scratch vandalism remains very apparent. Staffing at stations appears to be markedly higher than it was, though most are security people rather than customer service people as in the larger capitals.

    Country areas had their public transport revamped with new Trans branding (both statewide and regional cities). There were also route changes and streamlined routes. However with the exception of Bunbury, overall service levels in regional cities such as Geraldton and Kalgoorlie are quite low and are inferior to many eastern states regional cities.

    Regional city timetables are often not on the web and the incorporation of at least Northam and Bunbury into SmartRider or the zonal fare system has not happened.

    There also remain high demand urban fringe, tourist, regional and coastal areas with no or very little public transport, such as Cervantes, Northam/Toodyay, Pinjarra, Byford, the Swan Valley and Busselton/Margaret River. The Perth-Bunbury corridor could reasonably support a Victorian-style hourly RFR train service with connecting coaches every hour to Busselton and every two hours to Collie and Margaret River. The Dunsborough – Busselton corridor is substantially urbanised and requires a metropolitan-type service level; probably every 30 minutes.

    However generally speaking the highest priority projects got done and the system has improved significantly from the ramshackle two diesel lines and unconnected buses it was in 1983. Progress occurred under both sides and it is hoped this can continue.

  8. Excellent post Peter.

    I wonder if the Perth-Bunbury high speed line proposed by Allanah earlier this year will ever end up going ahead, esp with the possible change of government.

    As to my anti-Perth attitude – just a carryover from my attitude on the SkyscraperCity forums where I try and stir WA members (who seem to have an insistence that nothing is wrong with Transperth).

  9. Somebody – it beats the anti-Transperth attitude on Railpage!

    In that place I suspect there are too many train drivers who a) don’t travel and b) bring their industrial grievances into a more general condemnation of the system

    I also note many Railpage WA posters are Liberal sympathisers which somewhat flies in the face of the realities of the situation for rail in WA.

  10. Riccardo, the WA board on Railpage seems to have nothing more than crap like locomotive sightings and that sort of dribble. Hard to find any threads about Transperth let alone any decent transport planning discussion.

    Even if a lot of it is dribble, at least the other sections like the Victorian ones get some decent planning related threads.

    I’ll have to admit that I do go out regularly for a spot of foaming but I care for more than what was the latest locomotive out of Dynon.

  11. It seems that NSW’s new premier has been taking PT advice from the WA chair-sniffers:

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=705752

  12. Thanks Somebody

    I don’t have any problems with people whose only interest is sightings (and the sightings become very useful at certain points for example, if you have sightings off the Mansfield line in 1977 or NSW steam in 1972)

    But when the sightings crowd start lecturing me on how the PTUA are crazy or how come I didn’t know that the rails at Mooroopna siding are shiny then I admit I lose my cool somewhat.

    Same with photographers – I love a good photo but have never suggested my photos were any good. I generally take photos to illustrate points on my blog.

  13. DrWaddles

    I’m glad I don’t regularly contribute to Skyscrapercity as it seems to have the same problem as the page with buses.

    I don’t particularly like buses either but I don’t base my transport policies on such dislike.

    Just as I enjoy a good ride on a Dubbo XPT but would never recommend subsidising one just because I like it.

  14. Nats back Libs.

  15. Well there goes PT for … a few years. Let’s see if a coalition of Lib, Nat and 2 independents needed to hold power can stay.

    ABC tipping St Alannah to become opposition leader

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