Bus 97 extension under threat


The future of the 97 bus extension is under scrutiny,
The future of the 97 bus extension is under scrutiny,

SUBIACO Mayor Heather Henderson has written to the State Government in a bid to save a local bus service from being scrapped.

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) plans to stop running the 97 bus extension between Subiaco Station and Leederville Station from August 13, although trips between UWA and Subiaco will continue.

Route 97 has been co-funded by the City of Subiaco and the PTA since 2001, with Subiaco pouring in about $115,000 a year.

However, the City decided to halt that contribution earlier this year because the route crosses three local government areas and only Subiaco helping to fund it.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the extension was untenable without the council’s financial input.

“Without external funding, patronage on the 97 does not justify the extension to Leederville Station so… Route 97 services will no longer run north of Subiaco Station,” he said.

“This section of the journey had an average of 4.4 passenger boardings per trip.”

In a bid to save the extension, Ms Henderson wrote to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

She said the route would help people get to the new children’s hospital and other medical and educational facilities. She said the extension was critical to achieving outcomes in the City’s Transport, Access and Parking Strategy, and to meeting demands of a growing population and future inner-city college.

“I therefore call on you to intervene in this matter and seek to maintain the continued running of the route to Leederville Station at peak times,” she wrote to the Minister.

“I would also request that you consider the City’s previous requests to you and the PTA to extend the route to Leederville at all times, to re-introduce services on weekends, and extend services later into the evenings.”

West Leederville resident Emma Low, a doctor, said she was keen for the service to stay.

“When PMH moves to Perth Children’s Hospital, I was planning on taking the 97 bus from Cambridge Street through Subiaco and on to the QEII hospital complex, a single bus journey,” she said.

“If this service is cut, it will significantly reduce the convenience of a commute by public transport for myself and others in Leederville and West Leederville.”

Husband Ronny said the alternative would be to walk 1.4km to Subiaco to catch the 97 or to walk to West Leederville Station, catch a train to Subiaco and then catch the 97 to QEII.