More Rail Cars Need Feeder Light Rail

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren welcomed the recently announced increase in funding for rail cars, but cautioned on its impact.

“While there will be more carriages, getting to the train along the north-south line is still going to be tough if commuters are forced to rely on driving to the station and fighting for parking,” said Lynn MacLaren MLC, Greens WA transport spokesperson. 

“Fast, frequent light rail links are alternatives to driving to the station. The Government should invest in them now.

“The Minister has to get real about light rail to solve more transport problems.

“Passengers will suffer the daily cram until late next year, perhaps longer, because it’s doubtful the increase will even match demand for space on trains.

“Every transport planner knows that carriages take time for manufacture and delivery. The Barnett Government has been napping and should have ordered additional carriages more than a year ago. Demand is more than double their estimate.

“By this time next year, we’ll need even more to keep up with the increased passenger load. WA people love their trains.

“The lines to Joondalup and Mandurah are long, and passengers have a reasonable expectation that they should be able to sit down and enjoy their daily commutes.

“One of the key recommendations from our submission on Public Transport for Perth 2031 is to not only speed up the purchase and delivery of rail rolling stock to cope with short term requirements, but also to investigate local fabrication capacities.

“There’s a consistently growing need for train capacity in Perth. Funding for public transport must be increased regularly to meet current demand and anticipate the needs of our growing population. Funding shouldn’t be treated as an occasional opportunity to spruce the government’s re-election chances,” she concluded.