Re­vamped city bus ser­vice just days away

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Ali­cia Per­era

Pub­lic trans­port op­tions in Kar­ratha are set to im­prove dra­mat­i­cally when a long-awaited modern bus ser­vice fi­nally takes to the road.

From Jan­uary 1, a fleet of seven modern green and sil­ver, low-floor and air-con­di­tioned buses will be op­er­at­ing un­der the brand name of Tran­sKar­ratha.

The buses will use the same SmartRider tech­nol­ogy as bus and train ser­vices in the metropoli­tan area.

Ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity and school bus routes will be renum­bered for the new ser­vice and more are ex­pected to be added.

Pub­lic Trans­port Author­ity spokesman David Hynes said once op­er­a­tional, Tran­sKar­ratha would com­plete the PTA’s decade­long roll-out of com­pre­hen­sive bus ser­vices to WA re­gional cen­tres.

“This project will bring the brand­ing and tick­et­ing sys­tems on­board Kar­ratha’s pub­lic trans­port into line with that of­fered in Perth and other large re­gional cen­tres, in­clud­ing Port Hed­land, Ger­ald­ton, Al­bany, Bus­sel­ton, and Bun­bury,” he said.

“The seven fully ac­ces­si­ble Tran­sKar­ratha-branded buses, which are also fit­ted with SmartRider tick­et­ing ma­chines and CCTV, are al­ready in Kar­ratha ahead of the Jan­uary 1 launch.”

Mr Hynes said the PTA had gained “ex­cel­lent” res­i­dent feed­back at a Kar­ratha com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion held in Oc­to­ber de­signed to help it tai­lor the ser­vice lo­cally.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the “sig­nif­i­cantly en­hanced” pub­lic trans­port sys­tem would address long-term com­mu­nity con­cern about the City’s lack of ac­ces­si­bil­ity for peo­ple with­out a car.

“The ex­ist­ing bus ser­vice of­fered by the City and Rio Tinto has served a valu­able pur­pose in pro­vid­ing trans­port op­tions for res­i­dents across our towns but we know the com­mu­nity has been ea­ger to see this ser­vice im­proved,” he said. “We have been work­ing hard to make this hap­pen and over the past 12 months have been work­ing closely with the Pub­lic Trans­port Author­ity to mod­ernise the City’s pub­lic trans­port ser­vice.”

The City of Kar­ratha is up­grad­ing its 90 bus stops in stages for the new ser­vice.

Its ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice will also act as the lo­cal SmartRider re­tail sales out­let.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Tran­sKar­ratha routes, fares and timeta­bles, go to the PTA Tran­sRe­gional web­site at pta.wa.gov.au/our-ser­vices/tran­sre­gional.

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