Town of Victoria Park, City of Canning among Perth councils interested in Perth Trackless Tram project

The Perth Trackless Tram project is being spearheaded by the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute.
The Perth Trackless Tram project is being spearheaded by the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute.

IT is the radical concept that could change the face of transport in Perth.

The Perth Trackless Tram project is being worked on by Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute Professor Peter Newman with several local governments, including the Town of Victoria Park.

The tram would run from the City of Canning through Curtin University, the Town of Victoria Park, the City of Perth and the City of Vincent before stopping in the City of Stirling.

Dr Newman said he believed trackless trams had “enormous potential” as they provided links through corridors not serviced by trains.

“The cost would be $5 million to $10 million per kilometre, which compares to $45 million to $50 million per kilometre for light rail,” he said.

“The advantage over a bus is that you have many doors so people can get on and off quickly.

“The trams could have two to five carriages and be modular so you can add or subtract carriages; you could fit 100 people on each carriage.”

Dr Newman said discussions with Town of Victoria Park administration staff had gone well but he was yet to speak with the councillors.

“I know previously there was debate about whether Albany Highway or Shepperton Road would be better when the light rail proposal was discussed,” he said.

“People thought that Shepperton Road would be better because there would be less disruption for businesses but as this is a people-orientated system, I think Albany Highway would be better.

“I know the City of South Perth is looking at links between its proposed train station and the ferry.

“I’m not sure about the City of Belmont; they’ve talked about light rail in the past.”

Town of Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta said discussions about trackless trams were in the early stages and the council was of the understanding that no decision had been made on any particular transport option or proposed time frames.

City of Canning would welcome opportunities to see the manufacturing of trackless trams in its industrial estates like Canning Vale or Welshpool.

Trackless trams can share the road space of a normal traffic lane, however it is preferable that trackless trams would have their own lanes, according to the City of Canning’s Mayor Paul Ng.

“City of Canning residents highlighted their need to have integrated, accessible and safe transport alternatives and this is an important component of the City’s Strategic Community Plan,” he said.

“Public transport users want a fast and reliable service that is safe, comfortable and convenient, and the trackless tram system ticks all these boxes.

“As we are committed to creating a welcoming and thriving City where innovation and creativity are everyday practice, we would embrace an opportunity for the trackless trams to be manufactured in one of the City’s industrial areas.”

Dr Newman said he had not spoken with Transport Minister Rita Saffioti but Metronet project director Anthony Kannis had attended meetings and told him there was no money available from the State Government.

“I’ve been talking about light rail for 20 years but I think this is the year of the trackless tram and I want to put it on the agenda for the next Federal Election,” he said.

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