Strong bounce back in public transport patronage

  • Transperth monthly patronage reaches highest level in three years
  • 11.1 million passengers used public transport in February
  • Passengers continue to save thousands of dollars thanks to two-zone cap
  • Bounce back bolstered by new Airport Line passengers

Patronage on the Transperth system during February was the highest monthly total for three years.

Buoyed by the opening late last year of the Airport Line, total boardings on Transperth’s buses, trains and ferries last month reached 11.1 million.

Though February is a short month, this was the best patronage number since the 12.2 million was recorded in February 2020, just before COVID-19 slashed public transport use around the globe.

The introduction of the two-zone fare cap on 1 January last year has also underpinned the patronage rise, with longer journeys – especially between Perth and Mandurah – enjoying better-than-average increases.

Transperth’s patronage was well on track for an annual increase in early 2020, before the impact of the pandemic. Patronage bottomed out at 1.9 million in April 2020 before confidence in the State Government’s strong anti-COVID measures kicked in.

Based on daily SmartRider tags, Transperth’s system-wide patronage has been running at 90-95 per cent of pre-COVID levels for most of this year, firming to the high 90s over the past few weeks.

The bounce back has also been aided by the recently opened Airport Line, with February total boardings on the line reaching 352,674 – the best per-day result since it opened for business on October 10 last year.

As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“This is a great result and highlights how important the public transport network is for our community.

“COVID had a significant and detrimental impact on patronage levels, but the bounce back highlights why significant investment through our METRONET program, and giving people greater access to public transport, is so important.

“With a significant number of new METRONET projects in the pipeline like the Yanchep Rail Extension and Morley-Ellenbrook Line, I have no doubt we will continue to see patronage numbers go from strength to strength.”

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