From 6 November Transperth will be implementing service changes on buses across the middle northern suburbs (Wanneroo Rd, Alexander Dr, Stirling , Warwick , Whitfords , Mirrabooka , Morley , Ballajura and Alexander Heights). The network will be made simpler, with some new routes and trips added, increasing frequencies, and after-hour routes cut back or removed, replaced with more services on regular routes (The Transperth page for these changes is here, and a map is here). This second part of the analysis on northern suburbs bus improvements covers changes on Alexander Dr, Alexander Heights, Ballajura, Mirrabooka and Morley service changes.
The service changes to Alexander Dr buses aim to provide frequencies south of Yirrigan Dr up to every three minutes during peak hour on the 886, 887, 888 and 889, every 15 minutes until 8:30pm and on Saturdays using the 887, 888 and 889, as well as services up to midnight and every half hour on Sundays up to Beach Rd with the 887 and 889. This is in addition to the 10 minute frequency on weekdays off-peak already achieved.
To achieve this the 885 will have some minor time changes with an extra trip, 886 will have some small timing changes with a few extra peak trips, the 887 and 889 will have some minor timetabling adjustments and additional peak, night and Sunday trips, to operate every hour until midnight and on Sundays, slightly earlier and later too and route 888 will have some minor timing changes with extra early morning and weekend trips, and Saturday service every half an hour.
The frequency and service span increases are obviously a very big plus to current passengers and to increase patronage, adding Alexander Dr along with Wanneroo Rd into the group of corridors with buses every 10 minutes on weekdays and 15 min on Saturdays, or TUAG standard. The time changes will hopefully correct the current situation where an extra ten minutes of travel time is just lumped in at each end rather than evenly spread out (Perth to Mt Lawley ECU takes only 9 minutes but Mt Lawley to Perth is 19 minutes, and Beach Rd to the terminus takes 20 minutes, but from the terminus to Beach Rd takes 10 minutes (midday), although timetables aren’t available yet.
The 344 from Morley to Warwick via Alexander Heights and Ballajura will have extra services for services every 10-20 minutes in the peak, half hourly during off-peak (up from hourly) and hourly on weekends, with some short services now travelling the whole route, and buses from Warwick running earlier and later. The 345 from Morley to Bennett Springs will become a fully accessible route. A higher frequency and more full length services for the 344 are certainly a plus, making the route simpler and more convenient, and accessible buses are better obviously for disabled passengers but are also preferred by most able-bodied customers.
I have previously said that this will be a two-part series, however I have found that I will need three parts for this analysis, and the next part will analyse Mirrabooka’s changes.