Seminar: Perth Public Transport Patronage: Mid-Term Trends and Current Situation

Seminar: Perth Public Transport Patronage: Mid-Term Trends and Current Situation

You are invited to attend a seminar by Ass. Prof Valerià Paül on Wednesday 23 July 2014 at 4pm.

In the past months there have been several claims about the declining figures in the public transport patronage. This seminar envisages analysing public transport trends over the last decade using Perth Transport Authority (PTA) datasets. Through this analysis, the aim is to determine the validity of the assertion that train patronage is declining. The results were published in the first “PATREC Perspective” in June 2014.

Firstly, the success story of bus, train and ferry patronage in metropolitan Perth is considered. The figures are compared to other Australian metropolitan regions and, in addition, are shown in the most dis-aggregated scale available (per individual train line). In addition, a correlation is made between population change and patronage expansion, showing that in the metropolitan region of Perth train patronage has been dependant on population growth.

Secondly, a particular analysis is devoted to the drop in train patronage in 2013, in general and on specific train lines. This drop was mainly caused by the shutdowns of parts of the network for a few days due to the sinking of the Fremantle line at Perth Central Station in both mid-July and early August 2013. Our main conclusion in this analysis is that passengers seem to have returned to the train after the disruption, contrary to several alarmist views that were raised in the public arena.

Some research orientations are offered at the end of the seminar as a way of engaging in further discussion. One of the suggestions is that the 2014 datasets need to be monitored carefully, so we may better understand whether the levels of the railway system patronage decrease, remain stable or if they accordingly perform to the previous years’ figures from 2008 to 2012.

Bio of speaker

Valerià Paül is currently a Research Development Officer at the Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC) and Assistant Professor at The University of Western Australia.

Graduated in Geography (University of Barcelona, 2001), with Honours, University of Barcelona Special Award for Bachelor Studies (2002) and 1st National End of University Studies Award (2002), conferred by the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Did his PhD (2006), University of Barcelona Special Award for Doctoral Studies (2007). Doctoral thesis title: The Planning of Metropolitan Agricultural Spaces. Strategies, Management and Land-Use Conflicts in the Barcelona Region. He has benefited from research periods at six universities: Zululand (South Africa) in 2002; Western Australia (Australia) in 2003; Toulouse-2 (France) in 2005; Girona (Spain) in 2009; and Curtin (Australia) in 2010; Toulouse-2 (France) in 2012.