Plans for Perth’s Light Rail
Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia, has been developing a proposal for an integrated light rail network across metropolitan Perth since 2007. The details of this plan and the rationale for it can be seen in the report available here: An Integrated Light Rail Plan for Perth' by Senator Scott Ludlam.
While Senator Ludlam has developed a potential route for a light rail network in Perth, it is by no means pre-determined. This route is the amalgamation of a number of studies done by experts in the field.
Other studies undertaken in recent years examining the feasibility and potential routes for light rail in Perth’s metropolitan area are available below. While these plans are varied, they do share common themes and together make a very strong case as to why we should be investing in light rail in Perth.
- 'Network City Activity Centres' by Professor Carey Curtis and Dr Jan Scheurer
- 'Knowledge Arch' by Professor Peter Newman
- ‘Stirling City Centre Alliance Transport Plan’
- ‘Perth Light Rail Study’ by WA Department for Planning and Infrastructure (2007)
At long last, the State Government has announced light rail for Perth; MAX - the Metro Area Express - named after Portland Oregon's transformative light rail network. Here's hoping the resemblance to one of America's most sustainable cities is more than superficial; Portland's first light rail line was initially funded with the funds saved when an unwanted freeway was cancelled, their railcars are produced locally, are bike friendly and the system has been a catalyst for multi-million dollar urban renewal.
While the announcement of lighht rail for Perth is a welcome announcement, there is still no substantial funding commitment and the construction start date is set for 2016. The Greens think this can be improved upon and will campaign for an earlier start date so our traffic woes north of the city can be reduced sooner. Then we will be looking to expand the network to other parts of the metropolitan area.