By Jonathon Davidson
The Shire of Murray has injected $60,000 into a nine month trial of a shuttle bus service to compensate for a lack of Transperth services in outlying communities.
The trial, which begins on October 12th, follows uniform requests for public transport from residents in towns like Coolup and North Dandalup.
Deborah Wilkes, Shire of Murray Executive Manager of Community Development, says these smaller communities completely miss out on public transport services altogether, with no Transperth utilities servicing the area outside of Pinjarra.
“The provision of transport really is … something [Transperth] should do, but they do things based on need, and at the moment they’re not seeing the need,” Deborah Wilkes says.
A majority of residents in border suburbs are single car families dependent on personal vehicles.
“If the bread winning parent needs to take that vehicle to work, it leaves the rest of the family with no transport options … and that’s where you get the problems.”
However, the shuttle bus service is ‘only one pick-up and one drop-off,’ meaning that many residents will still gravitate towards taxis and Uber for more complex travel plans.
The shuttle bus route includes a number of notable locations such as computer training and employment assistance body Murray House, Furnissdale Spud Shed, Dwellingup Visitor Centre, Coolup General Store and a number of hotels.
Ami Davis, Murray House Resource Centre Manager, says the shuttle bus is likely to enhance opportunities for residents in areas without public transport, who are struggling to find employment.
“You’ve got isolated communities like Dwellingup, a lot of people who … haven’t got the ability to come down,”Ami says.
“So a bus service will enable them to come in and upskill for better employment.”
Teenagers and suspended elderly drivers were identified as the two biggest stakeholder groups.