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Australia : WA s first light rail network gets the green light.

Premier Colin Barnett and Transport Minister Troy Buswell today launched the centrepiece of the State Government s commitment to public transport - a new light rail system to be called Metro Area Express or MAX.

Mr Barnett and Mr Buswell unveiled details of the proposed route, which would link Mirrabooka with the CBD via Alexander Drive and Fitzgerald Street. The announcement was made at Polytechnic West (Balga Campus), the starting point of the new network.

MAX will power Perth commuters into the future, helping to reduce congestion into the city from our inner north and manage population growth as the city expands to as many as 2.7 million people by 2031, the Premier said.

The launch of this project is a major milestone for Perth and will be an important part of this city s transformation during a period of strong economic and population growth.

Mr Buswell said the Government aimed to start construction in 2016, after the planning and design process was completed.

The first phase of the system, which also extends east-west through the CBD to the QEII Medical Centre and the Causeway, is scheduled to be operational by 2018.

The State Government has committed $11.8million to the planning phase of the project, which will include extensive community consultation and feasibility, engineering and design studies.

This funding will be channelled into public transport corridors that are unable to meet current and future demand, Mr Buswell said.

Light rail has been assessed as the most suitable option in these areas. It can move many more people in one lane than any number of buses and cars.

Mr Buswell acknowledged the Federal Government s $4million contribution to date, and added that future funding options would be assessed, with the potential for further Federal and State Government funding and private investment.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 3, 2012
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