There’s something missing from Perth’s public transport plan for 2031. It’s subtle, it’s almost intangible and we could easily get by without it. We would create a transit system that effectively and even efficiently moves a predicted population of 3.5 million people around a new city. We probably wouldn’t even notice its absence.
But we would miss an opportunity.
Public transport for Perth in 2031: mapping out the future for Perth’s Public Transport Network outlines an ambitious project. It shows WA’s commitment to public transport and, in a way, it demonstrates a forward thinking approach to urban design and the premise that everyone in a city should have access to it.
But we could do more.
What if, instead of asking, “How do we move 3.5 million people around a city?” we wondered, “What does public transport mean to what Perth could be in 2031?”
It would require some conversations and some processes that are perhaps different to the way we usually do things here. It might feel like it slows things down, at least in the beginning. We’d have to be open to not quite knowing what the end result would look like. And it would involve a lot of listening.
But a bit of innovation in the way we approach this project, has the potential to generate a shared vision for a transit system that engages the people of Perth. With more people talking, with more minds at work, what we create will be unique to Perth. It will meet our needs in the future. And it will create the city we want to live in.
I’m a civil engineer by trade. I understand and respect the need to be prudent. I am in awe of the detail that is present already in this plan.
There’s a chance for Western Australia’s engineers to show what we’re capable of. That what we build and design goes even further than a technical piece of brilliance. It’s an opportunity to look to the future.
The transport plan is available in draft for consultation on the Department for Transport website here.