Airport taxi rip off

Now I don’t normally use my posts to whinge about thing because there are plenty of other blogs around for people who wish to read complaints.  Maybe it’s the jet-lag, or maybe there is some substance to my feeling of being ripped of that are of general interest?  Arriving at Perth airport at 5:00am yesterday morning the only option I had to get to Fremantle was a taxi.  Now this did not come as a surprise, but that did not make it any easier to stomach.  To put it into perspective the taxi cost me more than I paid to get to Glasgow airport on my departure from England.  That trip consisted of a train ride from the small market town of Malton to York, a 4-hour express train from York to Glasgow and a airport shuttle from the central train station to the airport, a distance of almost 500km!  It also cost me more than a 3-hour flight from Manchester to Malta!  If we are serious about attracting people to Fremantle there has to be affordable public transport too and from the airport.  The State Government’s Public Transport for Perth 2031 discussion document nominates bus rapid transport to Perth airport by 2020 and rail by 2031.

I put it that there should be public transport options to Perth Airport from major metropolitan centres, including Fremantle as a matter of urgency, an 8 year lead time is totally inadequate.  I am now considering conspiracy theories about the lobbying power of the taxi industry.  Come on Troy if its all too expensive at least arrange Transperth bus stops at the airport terminals.

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7 Responses to Airport taxi rip off

  1. Anon. says:

    And if we’re serious about not using up all the oil, we need to not fly so much!!

  2. Yes Jon, I’ll join your grizzle about this too.

    Buswell recently announced around $1 billion for the so-called Gateway project around Perth Airport (i.e. more freeways). But for that money you could probably build a railway to the airport: branch off the the Midland line, picking up the domestic and international terminals.

    Then go further; extend it to an interchange with the Armadale line, follow the freight line corridor past Thornlie and Canning Vale Markets (as per the Liberals’ proposed inferior route to the city for the Mandurah line) and finish at Cockburn station. Then you’d really plug the airport into the public transport network.

    But oh no, always money for freeways but serious public transport infrastructure is pushed to the never never.

    There is actually a very very indirect Transperth bus from the City to the Airport. It’s truly absurd that such an important generator of voyages does not have dedicated public transport connections. Don’t workers at the airport as well as travellers have as much right to take affordable public transport? Imagine if there were no bus routes to Murdoch University!

    And it needs to be a regular part of the public transport network (like Heathrow or Adelaide), not one of these special buses that costs $15 (like Melbourne). As with the coffee and sausage rolls, everything at the airport is three times the cost it should be…just because you’re a captive market and they can get away with it.

    • jonstrachan says:

      Thank’s for your comments Sam. The airport shuttle does not start until 6:30am, I arrived at 5:00am and got through at 5:15am, the fast track passport system works well. No way I could wait over an hour for the first bus, which as you say are still very expensive. On the road issue, there is a famous motorway bridge in Glasgow that was never finished and just hangs there in the sky. They got the message about wasting money on motorways that end up like giant carparks.

  3. Diana Ryan says:

    Hi Jon, Sam

    My understanding is that bus access to Perth Airport was reduced when internal roads, which come under the control of the airport, were constructed in such a way that made bus manoeuvrability more difficult. Bus drivers are constantly expected to just cope, generally, including with the changing landscape, as well as the full rota of what does use our roads… people, parking, bikes, or signs for commercial precincts suddenly affecting visibility, etc.

    Taxis and cars are the preferred option to the airport for many, as it is direct service, door to door, and is more suitable for language carriage and the hours at which planes are leaving. FIFOs, for example, are tending to prefer to arrive on minesites the day they are to start work, so will need to be leaving their homes from 2am onwards, for example.

    Perth Aiport, in an attempt to stop the road leading to it being lined constantly with cars waiting to pick up people, but not have to pay exorbitant fees (I have heard the revenue from carparking at the airport is somewhere between 20 and 30 million annually), created a large carpark, where entry is a gold coin donation – which will go to charity.

    As at last week, this option is being ignored by commuters, and the City of Belmont has been forced to start fining people.

    A heavy rail connection to Perth Airport is preferable to a light rail, as it could then handle freight as well (50% of Heathrow’s income, for example, comes from uses of the land around the airport, for example), and stemming off the Midland line is still a quick transfer from the CBD.

    The Gateway project, as I understand it, seeks to address many of these issues, if not in a linear fashion. As at Feb 2011, 12 million people were processed at Perth Airports, and were coming from all points of Perth. As you say, Jon, Freo, as with many other council areas would prefer direct access to the airport, but at the end of the day that would have to be handled in a co-ordinated way.

    The planning will include making allowances for a rail corridor to go to the airport (possibly under it) and it reserves will be put in place to carry any heavy rail line through to Kalamunda.

    Bus trails that emulate Sam’s suggestions somewhat have been trailed but were not successful.

    Interesting blog, Jon.

    Diana Ryan
    Contributor, Knowledge Arc Light Rail project

  4. Pingback: Welcome To Fremantle, If You Can Afford To Get Here! | Jon Strachan

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