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Car still rules city access

DESPITE a WA Government plan to spend nearly $1.8 billion on

public transport, it is likely the car will still be king when it comes to getting into the CBD.

The Government is proposing suburban rail extensions south from Perth to Jandakot, Rocking-ham and Mandurah and north from Currambine to Clarkson and Butler worth about $1 billion.

It also intends to construct new and better public transport stops including Park’n’Ride stations worth about $68 million and improve weekend and night bus services.

New high-speed bus routes worth about $16 million are planned, as are transitways to provide high-speed bus travel on major routes worth about $280 million.

The bus fleet is to be completely replaced with new low-floor, airconditioned buses worth about $300 million, and a further 190 new buses worth about $75 million purchased.

Aa assumption of the Perth parking policy, which describes how parking will be handled in the CBD, West Perth and East Perth, is continued reliance on private cars.

About 80,000 people come to the city during the working week – about two-thirds by private car.

The parking policy is designed to improve pedestrian and short-stay access to key areas of the city such as the CBD and, in particular, the main shopping precincts.

Both the Perth City Council and Transport WA agree any new long-term parking facilities will be based on the city’s outskirts.

Transport WA manager travel demand Bruce James said short-term parking was what made a city work.

The parking policy also involved a licence fee of $70 per year for each non-residential private parking bay with exemptions for businesses with fewer than five car bays.

Public parking facilities, such as those operated by the PCC and Wilsons, have paid a per-bay licence fee since 1980.

In the year since the licence fee has been in place, $3.25 million has been raised.

The funds are to be directed to improving the free transit zone system within the city and the CAT bus services.

According to Transport WA’s Metropolitan Land Transport report, Perth will remain car dependent unless it becomes a more compact city with less outer suburban development and greater focus on revitalising regional centres and inner suburban areas.

The report also cites the need to significantly improve the public transport system and provide better walking and cycling opportunities.

It also identified the need for Perth residents alter their lifestyle and transport decisions towards more public transport, walking and cycling.

The Government plans to spend about $90 million on the Perth bicycle network and another $27 million on the TravelSmart information program to help people use the intermodal transport system more effectively.

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