Public transport booming: study
Public transport booming: study

Public transport patronage in Perth is going from strength to strength, according to research showing it grew at double the rate of the population over the past 10 years.

Researchers said the study was aimed at debunking myths about a crisis in public transport.

A University of WA research team analysed public transport use since 2004 and found it was booming.

According to the researchers, Perth's population increased 32 per cent during the period but train and bus patronage surged 61 per cent.

Per capita, they found the number of people who used trains rose 26 per cent between 2004-05 and 2011-12 - an Australian city growth rate second only to Melbourne.

UWA School of Earth and Environment's Valeria Paul said despite criticism of Perth's public transport network, in global terms it rated relatively well.

"We are trying to respond to the general community and media discussion that is saying Perth's public transport system is in crisis," Assistant Professor Paul said.

"There's no indication to support the assertion that commuters are jumping off trains in record numbers." But researchers noted that all but one of Perth's train lines - Joondalup - had a fall in patronage between 2012 and last year.

However, the overwhelming trend identified for the decade was one of higher demand for and use of public transport, especially train services.

After opening in December 2007, the Mandurah train line has overtaken the Joondalup line to become the most popular stretch of Perth's train network.

People used the Perth-Mandurah train almost six million more times last year than in 2008.

Fremantle line use was relatively unchanged, while the Midland line recorded a fall in the most recent year.

The Armadale line had "significantly fewer" passengers at the start of this year compared with previous years.

The West Australian

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