End of line for city bus station.

Another chapter of Perth's public transport history is about to end, with the Wellington Street bus station just days away from demolition.

The first bus services will be relocated to the Esplanade Busport tomorrow, with the last bus leaving the 40-year-old terminus late next Saturday.

The station will be demolished and replaced by the new underground Perth Busport.

_The Weekend West _ has learnt that the busport will rely on a "dynamic bus allocation" system to handle about 50 per cent more buses.

The system is similar to airport gates. It monitors buses as they approach the station and allocates them a stopping stand.

This information is communicated to patrons in a waiting lounge.

The technology has been a success in the Christchurch Bus Exchange and the Kamppi Terminal in Helsinki, Finland.

The Wellington Street bus station, or the Perth Central bus station, as it was first known, was opened by premier John Tonkin on March 2, 1973.

It was built to provide a terminus for bus routes to Perth's northern suburbs and to eliminate the need for bus stops on inner-city streets.

Bus Preservation Society of WA spokesman Nicholas Pusenjak said a significant feature of the station was the level crossing over the Fremantle railway tracks, as a bus-only extension to Fitzgerald Street.

"This enabled buses from the northern suburbs to access the bus station without having to travel via Sutherland and Wellington streets," Mr Pusenjak said.

"This was a boon for time-keeping and reduced journey times for passengers significantly as Sutherland Street and the West Perth subway were major traffic bottlenecks before the Mitchell Freeway was extended."

Next Saturday the society intends to re-trace some of the routes with original buses.

From tomorrow, bus routes 30, 31, 34, 213, 220, 881 and 940 will stop at the Esplanade Busport instead of going to Wellington Street.

From next Sunday, remaining services operating from the Wellington Street bus station will move to a temporary station on the Roe Street side of the Perth City Link site.

The West Australian

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