Thursday, April 24, 2008

Perth City Transport

While in Perth (Western Australia) I hopped on the excellent free CAT (Central Area Transit), bus servcie. I Perth is on the other side of the content to where I live, my sense of direction was reversed and I caught the bus on the wrong side of the road. Instead of going to Perth CBD I ended up at the City Farm Perth. This is a green oasis in some rehabilitated industrial land. A few years ago I visited the similar Camley Street Natural Park, on the banks of a canal in central London.

The CAT services are free and frequent, but not without problems. The stops have countdown timers which are supposed to show when the next bus is due, but these seemed to have nothing to do with the time of the actual arrival of the bus (displaying ten minutes when the next bus arrived at the stop). There is supposed to be a Perth CAT real time update, showing the bus locations, but it takes a long time to load and the does not seem to actually show any bus locations (correct or not).

Also while in Perth I tried the Mandurah Railway Line , which goes under the city center and then across the Swan River, to Mandurah. The service is very fast, overtaking cars on the 100 kph freeway, which it runs part of the way down the middle of. Also there are good views of the Swan River and city. But despite the line only opening last December, the new underground city station already looks dirty and the audio information kiosk was broken.

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