Hundreds of residents angry about bus route 354 being removed


Linda Taffiner is one of many residents angry at the changes to Route 354. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Linda Taffiner is one of many residents angry at the changes to Route 354. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

AT least 200 residents have expressed anger towards a suburban bus route being removed on October 9.

Residents signed a petition to stop the removal of bus route 354 which runs from Perth via Charles Street, Flinders Street, around the Nollamara Shops and then to Mirrabooka Bus Station.

However, Public Transport Authority (PTA) spokesman David Hynes said Transperth does not change or remove existing bus routes without good reason.

“Route 354 (Perth to Mirrabooka via Nollamara) is not well patronised in Nollamara, and the number of passengers using this service in this area does not justify its high inter-peak frequency,” he said.

“For this reason, from October 9 Route 354 will be replaced by the new Route 970 SuperBus (Perth to Mirrabooka via Flinders Street), and Route 384, which will open up a new direct connection for Wanneroo Road residents wishing to access the Mirrabooka Town Centre.”

Mr Hynes said Transperth conducted community consultation sessions before making the changes, which were supported by the majority of the community.

“Since the changes were finalised, only one person has contacted Transperth about the removal of Route 354,” he said.

Nollamara resident Linda Taffinder (64), who spoke on behalf of other residents, said residents were frustrated with the lack of consultation.

“I would like for that bus to remain in service because we have not been able to figure out the new route,” she said.

Ms Taffinder said the removal of the route would bring inconvenience to the community.

“I have several elderly friends that capture the bus off Flinders Street that goes to Nollamara Shopping Centre and also the GP surgery there…they just cannot get there any other way,” she said.

“We know that an awful lot of people catch the bus in the morning and afternoon but they also catch the bus to the Catholic school or Nollamara Primary School.

“When you hear the politician say ‘it is just a short walk for them’, they are not 80 years old and in summer trying carry their shopping…it really makes me angry on my friends’ behalf because it is a very nice little shopping centre at Nollamara.”

East Metropolitan MLC and Labor candidate for Morley Amber-Jade Sanderson, who launched the petition, said route 354 was the only bus that fully serviced the entire Nollamara area.

“This will be of serious disadvantage to the community, particularly those within it who solely depend on public transport to get to work, the shops and around their local area,” she said.

Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman said in Parliament, the removal would worsen the traffic congestion on Flinders Street and there was enough capacity for both the 354 and 970 to operate in Nollamara.

Mr Hynes said the 960 route would not travel through Nollamara and Transperth would look into providing additional services.

“As well as freeing up resources to provide services where they are needed most, these changes will mean Nollamara passengers travelling on Saturdays actually have an improvement in service frequency, while Sunday frequency remains unchanged,” he said.