Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Metro Trains iT Matters

Trains sit idle as passengers feel the squeeze

Labor Lisa Baker 15 January

As Western Australians face the daily squeeze on Perth’s overcrowded trains, the Barnett Government has allowed two rail cars to sit empty during peak commuter times, Maylands MLA Lisa Baker and Mt Lawley Labor candidate Bob Kucera said today.

Ms Baker said one of the unused trains has been sitting idle in a shed awaiting repairs for over twelve months since an incident in October 2011 and there is no fixed date on when it will return to service.

“With passengers being packed onto trains like sardines every day, the Barnett Government should ensure every single available rail car is online,” Ms Baker said.

“It is outrageous that a two car set has been allowed to be out of service for so long. The Barnett Government must explain why it has allowed this to occur.”

Mr Kucera said the Barnett Government had failed to order enough trains to keep up with demand on Perth’s public transport network.

The lack of spare trains means that when a train breaks down or needs maintenance, the already overcrowded system is put under greater stress.

“Patronage on Perth’s rail network increased by 7 per cent during the 2011/12 financial year,” Mr Kucera said.

“The Barnett Government rejected the Public Transport Authority's (PTA) expert advice that it order more carriages to cope with the demand in 2008, 2009, and 2010.”

Ms Baker said that in August 2012, WA Labor announced that, if elected, it would immediately order 10 new three-car trains to provide WA public transport users with an extra 30 rail carriages.

“The Barnett Government has since ordered 5 new trains that will be delivered in late 2016,” she said.

“These are still not enough to meet the rapidly growing demand.”

Ms Baker and Mr Kucera said that WA Labor, if elected, would build MetroNet to expand our public transport system and connect our suburbs. Metronet will mean more trains on our system.

“These latest revelations about rail cars being left idle, reinforce WA Labor’s view that WA needs a long-term contract to ensure new rail carriages are delivered on an annual basis to meet population growth,” Mr Kucera said.

“The Barnett Government has dropped the ball on ensuring Perth’s public transport system copes with passenger demand. WA Labor will not make the same mistake.

“With the increasing traffic problems along Walcott Street and Alexander Drive, the State Government needs to be looking towards moving as many people as possible on public transport, yet all we see is the short-sighted slashing of bus lines and a complete lack of investment in rail.”

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