THE Western Australia Government last week announced a new exit strategy to help get buses out of the city faster, ease congestion on arterial road corridors approaching the CBD and provide extra public transport services for major corridors in the northern suburbs.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said a $32.1 million bus-only bridge would be built from the James Street bus bridge behind Perth Arena over the Graham Farmer Freeway to Charles Street. The bridge is expected to provide travel time savings of up to six minutes across 12 bus routes per week day to about 16,000 bus passengers.
The new 110-metre bridge will connect the Charles and Newcastle streets intersection to the existing James Street bus bridge over the Graham Farmer Freeway, enabling buses from Perth's northern and north-western suburbs to bypass four sets of traffic signals in Northbridge.
It will improve congestion through Fitzgerald Street, south of Vincent Street, which is a primary northern entry to the Perth CBD and Northbridge areas.
Mr Nalder also announced that the Government would introduce more high-frequency bus services on major corridors such as Alexander Drive.
These would be similar to Route 950, the highest frequency bus route in Perth where more than 17,000 people travel a day on the service which runs every three to four minutes from Morley and every one to two minutes from the city to The University of Western Australia.
The time saved by buses no longer being stuck in traffic means eight buses can be allocated to other routes on the Transperth system during the peak period, increasing the overall capacity of the network. These buses will be reallocated to high-frequency bus services.
Construction on the bridge is due to start in early 2016, with completed expected by early 2017. Main Roads will deliver the project on behalf of the Public Transport Authority.