Four West Australians will win a year of free bus, train and ship rides as part of a new competition intended to help flagging public transport support.
Anybody that uses public transport in the month of October is qualified to win one of the four “Golden SmartRiders” on offer.
To go into the running travellers must check-on to their trip using a SmartRider and complete an online entry form.
Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti declared the competition toward the beginning of today while uncovering public transport support had evened out at around 80 to 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
Routes servicing universities – which have now been cut off from international students for almost 18 months and moved many classes online – have been especially hard hit, with travel numbers down somewhere in the range of 40 and 50 percent.
Engine vehicle traffic on Perth’s significant street network has additionally expanded by around two percent, which Ms Saffioti said took steps to disintegrate gains in travel times from a swag of significant road upgrades finished in the beyond two years.
“If we hadn’t done those (freeway) widenings and the Smart Freeway technology I think we would be seeing massive delays,” she said.
“Some of the benefits and some of the improvements that we’ve gained, we don’t want to lose those.
“That’s why it’s important to stabilise those movements and get more people back on to public transport.”
In front of the election, the McGowan Government reported plans to cap all public transport fares at two-zones, a change scheduled to happen from January 1 one year from now.
The move will bring about savings worth possibly a huge number of dollars annually for commuters in external metropolitan regions, for example, Mandurah, Yanchep and Rockingham who remain to save somewhere in the range of $3 and $5 on one-way fares each day.
Thursday’s Budget uncovered a major collection of government infrastructure projects would be deferred for no less than a year as part of attempts to “smooth the pipeline” of capital works and try not to vie for tradies in an overheated market.
That included pushing back the Thornlie-Cockburn and Yanchep rail lines by a year – and Ms Saffioti would not rule out further postpones today.
“Look, it is a challenging environment but we’re very much working to the targets we’ve now set, the new targets,” Ms Saffioti said.
“Anyone who has been trying to get any work done knows that there are significant skills issues.”