Perth’s public transport network has primarily consisted of buses and trains since the closure of Perth’ tram services in 1958. Almost 57 years on, there is now talk of reintroducing trams or ‘light rail’ back into Perth’s public transport system.
Light rail vehicles are a convenient and quiet way to transport commuters around a city. The proposed light rail vehicles for the Perth MAX project can carry up to 300 people each. This is significantly more than the average bus service. In addition, the proposed light rail vehicles will be significantly more modern than the average bus with full air conditioning and CCTV cameras.
The proposed route for Perth’s light rail service has been designed to connect educational, retail and leisure activities north of the river. The route extends 22km from Mirrabooka to the Perth CBD then splits into two branches. One going to the QEII Medical centre and the other going to the Causeway. The light rail vehicles will operate simular to a bus with passengers hailing and pushing the stop button to get on and off.
It is expected that in the future the light rail network will be expanded to service Perth’s western southern suburbs. Although nothing has been confirmed, the future light rail network could connect the Causeway to Curtin University and the new Perth Stadium, and the QEIIMC to the University of Western Australia and the Glendalough Station.
A comprehensive and integrated light rail service will bring numerous economic, environmental and social benefits to Perth. For example, the Perth MAX service will offer commuters an alternative transport option to the private motor vehicle and the current TransPerth buses and trains. Many sustainability experts predict that the introduction of a light rail service will reduce the current traffic congestion and in turn reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
The total cost for the MAX light rail project is expected to be around $11.8 million. The projects funding will come from the State Government and the private sector. The light rail project is currently on hold indefinitely. Although there are unconfirmed reports that the construction of MAX may be commencing mid-2017, with the project expected to be completed by late 2022.
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