Frustrated on behalf of his children by the lack of public transport options in Bullsbrook, resident Damien Seery has created a petition to garner support for an increase in bus services to the area. He has received tremendous public backing, with nearly 500 signatures and is due to have the petition tabled in parliament this month.
Public transport options in Bullsbrook have remained largely the same for decades and only run between Midland and Bullsbrook. This is despite the fact that the rise of retail, entertainment, educational and medical facilities available in Ellenbrook means more and more people are accessing services there, if they can’t be found locally.
sbrook Newsagency to Ellenbrook Central shopping centre takes 18 minutes via car, but with the current arrangements would take nearly 80 minutes via public transport. It involves catching a bus from Bullsbrook to Midland, a train to Bassendean; another bus to Ellenbrook, with approximately half a kilometre of walking along the way. And even if you do choose to tackle this route you have to hope you can fit your journey around the three early morning, one mid-morning and one afternoon bus departures.
It’s an issue that has been raised by various community groups in the past but with no success. This is in part because – as a general trend – despite increased capacity, higher frequency services and coverage of new residential areas, fewer people are using buses now than in the past (according to the 2017 Planning and Management of Bus Services report).
It now costs $1.18 per passenger kilometre compared with $0.92 in 2006-07, and that cost along the 311 Bullsbrook to Midland route is $11.04 per passenger kilometre. But as is often the case in these situations you find yourself in a catch-22: more people will be likely to catch buses and therefore bring the cost down if they were more frequent and were actually going where people needed them to go. With the City of Swan’s local planning area forecasting Bullsbrook’s population to grow to almost 40,000 by 2040, and with the Metronet rail system coming to Ellenbrook by 2024 it would certainly be wise to have this route in place – especially considering Ellenbrook train station will only have capacity for 500 parking bays, so the more people accessing this service by bus the better.
Damien is clear and optimistic in his goals. “I would love to get a bus every half an hour from Bullsbrook to Ellenbrook, all day, every day like everywhere else,” he said.
“Having received this many votes in such a relatively small community, obviously there is a need for this service.”
Member for East Metropolitan Region and Shadow Minister for Community Services; Early Childhood Education; Youth; Seniors and Ageing Donna Faragher said, “The strong response to Damien’s petition so far demonstrates the local community’s clear desire for greater access to public transport and additional bus services for Bullsbrook residents.
“The petition will bring their request directly to Parliament and the Government.
“I will be very happy to table it in the Legislative Council when it is ready to be presented.”
The petition can be signed at IGA Bullsbrook, Bullsbrook Newsagency, Bullsbrook Chemist, Chequer’s Sports Bar and Auto Spark in Bullsbrook, and Candy Alley at Ellenbrook Central. You can keep up to date with the movement via their Facebook page @BullsbrookBusProject.