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CAT Bus review 2020/21 and findings

Updated: May 8, 2021

Dear Ratepayers and Residents,

The current CAT bus service operates under agreement with the Perth Transport Authority (PTA) any changes to service will require its agreement. The current agreement expires in September 2022 and continuation of the service beyond that date will require a new agreement.

At this evenings Strategic Planning and Transport Committee (STP)

there was a unanimous vote to conduct a review as presented in the Officer’s recommendation.

I view the cost of the CAT bus service in a wider financial and budgetary landscape of the past decade of council financial decisions.

Point 2.4 on page 31 states the opportunity cost of the CAT when weighed against other budget demands ….Well when you compare the CAT bus service to the opportunity cost of the poor returns we will get under the new lease of the Fremantle Markets, the outsourcing of our Visitors Centre to Sirona and the write down of thousands of dollars of debt. The cost of the CAT bus service is chicken feed (currently our share of the cost is $670,000pa).

I have had ratepayers and residents call me to support the full restoration of the CAT bus service all for good reasons, children being able to use the service to get to school, residents going to Fremantle to do their business, local tourists getting to accommodation in South Fremantle and surrounds, getting to South Beach and so on…… not one ratepayer nor resident has rung me to cut the service.

On principle I support community services, once they are lost they are gone….. the community often is the poorer for it.

As to the budget challenges of the City right now….well that is a calamity of a decade of poor financial decisions that have come to roost. Even COVID cannot take the brunt of why the finances are challenged. I supported the recommendation because it was a reasonable decision and the CAT bus service will be revisited at a later date.

Please let me know your thoughts and feedback on the issue.

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