light rail

Councils look to light rail to connect south-west Perth

Councils in south-west Perth are pushing for a new rapid transit link between Murdoch and Fremantle.

The South West Group, made up of six councils from the region, have released a new report highlighting the need for a dedicated transport link to stimulate urban growth and improve transport connections.

“A high quality public transport link will act as a catalyst for residential and commercial development in appropriate areas by providing certainty and an impetus for investment,” the report states.

The report proposes an on-street transport mode, either a trackless tram or light rail line, connecting Fremantle train station to Murdoch train station, via Murdoch University.

The transport solution would likely share lanes with traffic in the Fremantle city centre but would be segregated from traffic for the rest of the journey. A variety of median-running transit, separated corridor, and kerbside running transit would be utilised along the route.

The report identifies fifteen stops between Fremantle and the Bull Creek district centre, east of Murdoch station. With the potential to vary the number depending on residential development desired patronage.

If implemented, the report notes that benefits would flow to commuters in the form of reduced travel time and increased reliability of services, and benefits to residents would include increased property values, urban renewal, accelerated residential infill and further private investment.

The education, health, and services hub of Murdoch would also be better connected to the surrounding region, with the heavy rail service currently providing only north-south connects.

The report calls upon the state government to support the project in future stages of Metronet and in coming state budgets.

Current planning documents from the Western Australia Public Transport Authority identify the corridor between Murdoch and Fremantle as a major east-west transport corridor, however the route is currently served only by buses which have a slow average travel time and low occupancy. Buses are also negatively affected by a lack of priority at intersections and traffic congestion.

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