The Western Australian Government must take decisive action on introducing a light rail system in Perth before the public transport crisis worsens, WA Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
Senator Ludlam, the Australian Greens spokesperson for transport, said dramatic overcrowding on bus routes in the northern and eastern suburbs of Perth could be alleviated by a new tram system.
"Three-car trams carrying 180 passengers each would take pressure off the bus system and reduce congestion on our streets. Late last year we heard a commitment from the Premier to establishing light rail in Perth within a decade - we can't wait ten years, we need action now," said Senator Ludlam.
The WA Senator has been an advocate of light rail in Perth since before his election in 2007.
"Until now discussions of light rail have been about lines on a map; we now need line items in the State Budget and an application to Infrastructure Australia for Federal funding," he said.
"We have seen overcrowding on the Joondalup rail line and similar pressures on the Midland line, overcrowding on buses for Beaufort Street, Shepperton Road, Albany Highway and Wanneroo Road, a need for increased services from Morley to Warwick and Cannington to Midland and the buses on Alexander Drive look like bursting at the bolts most days," said Senator Ludlam. "Clearly we need a city-wide, lasting solution."
"Perth's growing outer suburbs are not adequately serviced by public transport. As the price of oil goes up, diesel buses - which are already problematic - will become an even less viable option. Light rail can be powered by renewable energy - which makes it a clean, sustainable and cheap solution," he said.