Initial findings by Curtin University researchers suggest businesses would benefit from increased patronage brought by the buses, particularly on weekends and late at night.
Lead researcher Shahed Khan said commuter surveys showed it was at these times, rather than the traditional peak hours, when an east-west service was needed.
‘Initially we were considering a service that runs 7.30am to 6pm but people have told us weekends and after hours are the major problem times,’ he said.
Dr Khan said a six-day service could help bring more people to the main precincts of Mt Lawley and Leederville and patronise restaurants, small retail outlets and bars.
The initial findings are expected to be presented next month to the City of Vincent.
Dr Khan said the community bus research was based on a similar concept working in Japan.
‘Every local government area in Tokyo has decentralised local bus services, which provide short routes with frequent stops,’ he said.
‘They do not replace the trains or main buses, but plug the gaps.’
Dr Khan said the preliminary research suggested that kind of service could work in Perth with routes running for about 8km, similar to those in some parts of Tokyo and Japan.
But he said the success of a service would depend on community, business and local government support.
‘Vincent is a very positive area ” it includes young people, people who are willing to leave their cars,’ he said.
‘But decisions about the route, bus stops, number of buses and cost are decisions which have to come from the locals, businesses and councils, so they have ownership of it.’