Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Liberal News

MAX to transform Perth’s public transport

Liberal Statement

A Liberal Government, if re-elected, will maintain its nation-leading infrastructure program by building the Metro Area Express (MAX), a new light rail system connecting Mirrabooka with the CBD and across to Nedlands and Victoria Park, with commuters able to use the new rail by 2018.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell today announced MAX as a key part of a Liberal Government’s plan to build Perth’s future public transport system.

“A Liberal Government is committed to future proofing Perth’s transport system by taking it into a new era with an innovative light rail system,” Mr Buswell said.

“The $1.8billion MAX light rail system will connect our inner northern suburbs to the city and beyond, reducing congestion and changing the face of Perth’s public transport system forever.

“Yesterday, we announced our airport rail link giving the people of Forrestfield and High Wycombe a fast rail line into the city and today we are building on our strong public transport record by committing to deliver MAX.”

The MAX network will be about 22km long and connect the CBD to North Perth, Mount Lawley, Dianella, Morley, Mirrabooka, Nedlands and Victoria Park.

MAX will start at the Polytechnic West (Balga Campus) and run along Alexander Drive and Fitzgerald Street into the city before branching west along Thomas Street to Queen Elizabeth 2 Medical Centre and east along Hay Street to the Causeway. It is estimated, by 2020, that up to 25,000 people a day will travel on the high frequency state-of-the art service in the Northern corridor alone.

Mr Buswell said there are 400 light rail systems globally, with a further 60 under construction and plans being developed for another 200. Melbourne has the biggest light rail network in the world; Sydney and Adelaide have light rail services and a new light rail system is currently under construction on the Gold Coast.

“Light rail has been assessed as the most suitable option in these areas as it can move many more people in one lane than any number of buses and cars,” Mr Buswell said.

“Heavy rail would need to be built in a tunnel for much of the route and the land available on the proposed route would not be sufficient to accommodate heavy rail.

“During peak times, MAX will provide services every five minutes, carry three times as many people as a bus and be powered by electricity.

“The Liberal-led Government provided $11.8million to the planning and design phase of the rail which will help reduce congestion into the city from our inner north and manage population growth as our city expands.”

A re-elected Liberal Government will aim to start construction in 2016, with the line scheduled to be operational by the end of 2018.

Mr Buswell acknowledged the Federal Government’s $4million contribution to date.

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