Seniors urged to find alternative transport during closures

Elizabeth Stafford is concerned about the upcoming closures on the rail system, |saying replacement buses she had caught were crowded and didn’t run often enough.
Elizabeth Stafford is concerned about the upcoming closures on the rail system, |saying replacement buses she had caught were crowded and didn’t run often enough.

‘We have scheduled the first shutdown during the school holidays and although this avoids impacting school travel, we know it is a time when a lot of our passengers are older people taking their grandchildren out for the day,’ Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said.

However, Claremont senior and train user Elizabeth Stafford (74) said while she had thought ahead and cancelled her volunteer work on the days affected by the closure, and another from July 31 to August 4, she was wary of replacement buses on the Fremantle line after her previous experiences of the services.

‘They didn’t have enough and they were crowded,’ Mrs Stafford.

‘It took an hour to get home.’

Mr Hynes said the buses were probably for an unplanned shutdown when there was limited time to establish a service, but there would be 70 buses carrying between 60 and 90 passengers for the upcoming line closures.

‘Because buses are subject to the same traffic conditions as cars on the road, it is possible there will be some delays caused by congestion and we are strongly encouraging people to plan ahead, allowing extra time for their journey and, where possible, consider using other means of transport such as car-pooling or riding a bike,’ he said.

The July 12-17 stoppage will also mean Midland and Armadale-Thornlie line trains will terminate at McIver station on weekdays and Claisebrook station on weekends, while Joondalup and Mandurah trains will stop at the Leederville and Esplanade stations respectively.

During the July 31-August 4 shutdown, the Fremantle line will be closed and Joondalup and Mandurah line passengers will have to disembark at the Leederville and Esplanade stations, but Midland, Thornlie and Armadale services will be unaffected.