Perth Public Transport Second Most Expensive in Australia

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person holding smartrider by riley inglis

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Perth’s struggling university students may think it is rent, phone bills, textbooks and the occasional splurge on a box of Krispy Kremes eating a whole in their pocket.

But new research, showing the city’s bus and train fares are the second most expensive in Australia, says public transport accounts for the heftiest percentage of their weekly budget.

The Australian Automobile Association’s Transport Affordability Index, March 2017, reports the average Perth household spends $55.30 per week on public transport.

This is second only to Sydney where the average weekly household spend on public transport is $59.04.

The Western Australian Government is pushing a new  the public transport agenda. This proposes a new train line to Forrestfield to open in 2020.

The [email protected] million program, outlining long term plans for public transport from Perth to the Peel Region, as the State’s population heads towards the 3.5 million mark.

The aim is to create cheaper and easier ways for Perthians to get around our ever-growing city.

However, is public transport the answer, and is it really as cheap as its made out to be?

ECU Public Relations student Georgia Walker said she wouldn’t bother having a car if public transport was more accessible and reliable.

“But if the cost of public transport versus a car are reasonably similar, I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for the convenience of a car,” she said.

The same Australian Automobile Association report shows Perth is also one of the most expensive cities when it comes to fuel prices, with the average household spending $65.82 per week on fuel.

Budgeting, assignment deadlines and making sure you have enough packets of Two Minute Noodles on hand are some of the key concerns of local university students.

But with the added stress of scrounging up enough coins to pay for a bus or train, and then making sure you get to class on time, it’s no wonder the new Quarter Life Crisis is a reality these days.

A Sydney Morning Herald article published in September 2015 showed all of Australia’s cities as being in the world’s top 10 cheapest cities for public transport with the exception of Perth.

It seems ex-Perth students now studying in Melbourne agree, with many saying they believe the fares they pay on public transport are more reasonable in Victoria.

Ex-Perth student Bryan Tampublon, who is now studying at Melbourne’s Monash University, says the city has a cap on fares so you pay a consistent amount of money every day which is really helpful for budgeting.

“I’m studying at two separate Monash campuses and I live on the other side of Melbourne,” he said.

Melbourne’s tram system helps keep costs down for city commuters with a fare free zone between Docklands and Spring Street.

“The trams come pretty regularly, at least every five minutes,” says former Perth resident and now University of Melbourne student, Emily Sief.

“You can usually just jump on and off – its super convenient.”

While Perth offers a free CAT shuttle bus that circles around Perth Central Business District, it only comes every 15 minutes and stops operating at 7pm, delivering a far less frequent and convenient service.

ECU WAAPA student, Shae Larsen, said “In Melbourne you don’t need a car, but the Perth our system just isn’t adequate enough to replace other modes of transport.”

Is Perth’s public transport system lacking?

If Perth expanded its public transport system with faster, more frequent routes, perhaps the average weekly expenditure of $55.30 wouldn’t be a concern.

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Perth Public Transport Second Most Expensive in Australia