Opinion: Adverse reaction to Transperth the only route

I WAS unaware of the recent unpopular Transperth changes to bus route 15 in Mt Hawthorn until too late to voice an opinion.

Is that the same fate as most residents in the area?

I was able to gain access to a ministerial reply on the changes by Transport Minister Dean Nalder and some interesting facts were revealed to the background for these changes.

In total, Transperth gathered 244 responses to the changes. Of that total, 121 were neutral or negative and 123 were positive.

In addition, there was no effort to remove respondents from the survey who never use the bus or live in the area. This must adversely bias the results.

This questionable result from a token sample is now touted by Transperth as majority public approval for its changes.

The new service greatly disadvantages people living in the east and west areas of Mt Hawthorn who now have a greater distance to walk to bus stops.

In addition, some bus shelters, and few remain, are now abandoned and replaced with coloured sticks in the ground in place of shelters for bus patrons from the sun and rain.

Ratepayer funds from Vincent council paid for these abandoned shelters and now will have to fund their demolition.

There is a new route 14 in Mt Hawthorn on a six-month trial to service The Mezz shopping centre. The route is doomed to fail as the buses are almost empty and a total waste of money from the start.

The new route 15 still goes past The Mezz, so why a route 14?

The new route 15 now sees buses thundering up and down previously quiet, smaller suburban streets and the larger streets more suited to bus traffic are no longer used.

I rang Transperth to question this new route and was contacted later by a senior official. It was like talking to a brick wall with an automatic message response machine inserted.

I argued, without success, that moving route 15 a block or two east and west would benefit many bus patrons and make experimental route 14 redundant. In addition, aged, infirm and disabled patrons would get a more reasonable and accessible bus service.

This was rejected out of hand.

All I can do now is appeal to the readers to bombard the local MP, Transperth and the Transport Minister with adverse opinions on route 15. An adverse public reaction is the only way to budge those inhabiting the decision-making sections of Transperth and in Parliament.

KEN CHAPMAN, Mt Hawthorn.