Hills parents of Kalamunda SHS students frustrated by PTA’s refusal for direct buses to school

Students getting off a bus near the corner of Scott Street and Helena Valley Road in Helena Valley. Picture: David Baylis d479974
Students getting off a bus near the corner of Scott Street and Helena Valley Road in Helena Valley. Picture: David Baylis d479974

PARENTS are frustrated the Public Transport Authority (PTA) is continuing to refuse a long-standing request for a direct bus service to ferry nearly 100 students to Kalamunda Senior High School.

Darlington mother-of-two Melissa Oliver said the PTA was disregarding the changing needs of the area.

“The PTA have allowed a situation where students are having to catch a multitude of buses to Midland Station and then on to the high school,” she said.

“Some students are travelling almost three hours a day from Glen Forrest, leaving home at 7am and arriving home at 4.30pm for a school that is just 25 minutes away.

“Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and local member for Kalamunda Matthew Hughes were contacted by concerned parents nearly a year ago, but both are blaming the PTA for the delay in their response and the lack of action.”

Mrs Oliver said the PTA had refused to put on a direct service based on its policy for students to use the existing network.

“Students can catch a direct bus from every other catchment area of Kalamunda SHS and other areas not in the catchment like Helena Valley, Forrestfield and Gosnells,” she said.

“We wouldn’t be complaining if the general network was equitable, efficient and timely, and gave parents more confidence to put their kids on the bus.

“What we are asking for is a modified bus route at school times using existing bus stops through Glen Forrest and Darlington that extends directly to and from the high school via Helena Valley and Gooseberry Hill.

“This would remove unnecessary travel to Midland Station, increase student safety and cut travel time in half.”

Mrs Oliver said Transperth had put on a new service to allow Helena Valley students better access to Kalamunda schools however it was plagued by overcrowding.

“Students from our area want to use this new route to reduce travel time and are walking 700m down Scott Street to Helena Valley Road to utilise the new 307 route,” she said.

“The numbers of students using this route is increasing daily to the point it is unsafe with large groups of children crossing roads, no hardstand or shelter at the bus stop and a us that is over crowded.”

PTA and Ms Saffioti were contacted for comment.

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