Optus Stadium events prompt extra bus services via Melville

Sofie Springer (Alfred Cove) and Ben Carroll (Como). The popularity of the 658 and 659 bus routes to Perth Stadium has prompted the PTA to increase the service. A Clancy's Fish Pub spokesman says those using buses often stop in for a meal before or after events.
Sofie Springer (Alfred Cove) and Ben Carroll (Como). The popularity of the 658 and 659 bus routes to Perth Stadium has prompted the PTA to increase the service. A Clancy's Fish Pub spokesman says those using buses often stop in for a meal before or after events.

THE popularity of two bus services delivering passengers to Optus Stadium via Melville has prompted additional services.

The $1.6 billion stadium, which was opened to the public in January, regularly attracts crowds upwards of 50,000 people.

The PTA established its network to move 83 per cent of patrons to and from the Burswood venue, connecting event-goers to the CBD and wider metropolitan area.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the 658 route (Hamilton Hill via Kardinya Park, express between Canning Bridge and Stadium Bus Station) and 659 (Fremantle via Canning Highway) had been a huge hit with Eagles and Dockers fans.

“The level of patronage has been such that we have allocated an extra 40 buses to these routes since the start of the football season,” he said.

“About 6000 people are using routes 658 and 659 along Canning Highway following an Eagles or Dockers game.”

Mr Hynes said between 83 and 91.5 per cent of stadium visitors used public transport to get to events.

“When the pedestrian bridge is complete it is hoped that some of the foot traffic congestion issues around the bus station will be eased,” he said, noting 15,000 people are expected to use the crossing to East Perth to access shuttle buses or CBD parking bays.

“It is important to note passengers – including football fans – are still bedding down their travel plans as they choose which mode of transport and boarding point is best for them, both coming and going.

“We are doing our best to respond to these weekly changes in passenger movements and will continue to refine our services over time.”

The strategically-placed bus stops have also proven a boost for businesses, according to Clancy’s Fish Pub spokesman Tom Fisher.

Mr Fisher said event days, particularly when Fremantle and West Coast were playing, meant a big spike in visitors.

“The Western Derby was one of our biggest days in years,” he said.

Mr Fisher put the extra patronage down to 658 and 659 bus users visiting for a pre-game snack and drink, and those stopping by post-match.

“It has that Melbourne vibe of getting on the tram,” he said.

“It’s so quick and easy.

“I’m a bit of a Perth whinger but I’m very impressed with the stadium and public transport.”

Tradewinds Hotel general manager Stephen Wicks said the 659 stop out the front of his venue was popular.

But he was unsure whether that meant more people were coming through the doors because it was traditionally busy on event days.

He said he had noticed some of his hotel guests were in town for stadium events.

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