Changes to Optus Stadium transport services aimed at making travel easier for passengers will be in place from the start of this year’s AFL season.
From March 24, Transperth’s highly successful suburban event bus network will be expanded to service Kalamunda, Forrestfield and Belmont with a new Route 655 due to begin operations.
Changes will also be taking place in the central business district, with the Route 661 CBD shuttle (via St Georges and Adelaide terraces) moving back to the Perth Stadium Bus Station following feedback from patrons.
Prior to the opening of the Matagarup Bridge, Route 661 passengers were dropped off at the stadium. After the bridge opened, they were moved to their originally planned drop-off point at the Nelson Avenue bus stands in East Perth.
However, feedback and patronage data has shown that passengers overwhelmingly preferred to alight at the stadium.
Moving the 661 back to Optus Stadium will free up the eight-stand Nelson Avenue site for taxis, while other on-demand transport services can use the zone for drop-offs. This facility is in addition to the dedicated taxi rank adjacent to Victoria Park Drive next to the stadium.
On-demand passengers will be able to access the stadium via a short walk across the Matagarup Bridge and avoid big queues and congestion that drop-offs may create on the peninsula.
Kalamunda and Forrestfield passengers will soon have access to Route 655, a high-frequency shuttle service which will run to Perth Stadium Bus Station every five to 10 minutes for up to two hours before and one hour after an event. This route will service the eastern foothills suburbs of Kalamunda, Forrestfield, Belmont and Rivervale.
Use of public transport has skyrocketed since AFL fixtures were moved from Domain Stadium (Subiaco Oval) – Transperth now carries 182 per cent more passengers on match day, with its share of the crowd increasing from 39 per cent.
As noted by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Optus Stadium attendees have voted with their feet when it comes to public transport, with demand for buses in particular exceeding the initial predictions.
“AFL fans are the biggest public transport users, with an average of 79 per cent of attendees taking Transperth buses and trains to the game.
“We know that public transport is an incredibly convenient and affordable travel option for most stadium event attendees – nine in 10 passengers surveyed say they’re happy with their services – and the changes to the CBD bus shuttle and the new Kalamunda service 655 will build on that success.
“From the outset, the stadium was designed with public transport in mind. However, this long-term planning took place years before the meteoric rise of on-demand transport services.
“There is no denying that some patrons prefer the convenience of taxis and other on-demand transport options, which is why we decided to deliver these providers a convenient solution to pick-up and drop-off passengers in East Perth.”