WA transport minister Rita Saffioti says she’s “actively working” with Fremantle MP Simone McGurk to come up with a solution to Freo’s CAT bus dilemma.
With Fremantle councillor Bryn Jones clarifying that after a three-month extension voted in on Wednesday night there’d be no more council lifelines under the existing funding arrangement, the CATs will stop on October 1 and the council is hoping the state government can help fill any public transport void.
Ms Saffioti said the McGowan government was commited to public transport, but said it shouldn’t be shouldering any blame for the situation.
“While we have only recently become aware of this issue, I want to make clear that we as a state government have not withdrawn funding,” Ms Saffioti said.
“I’ll work to do what I can to maintain this service for residents and visitors to Fremantle alike.
“Minister McGurk and I are actively working together towards a solution to ensure the public transport needs of people who live in South Fremantle continue to be met.”
Ms McGurk also pointed to the council’s decision to stop funding the 20-year service.
“In light of the council’s decision to defund the CAT service, I have been working closely with Minister Saffioti on solutions to ensure South Fremantle residents and tourists will have access to quality public transport going forward.
“Public transport benefits all of us, and while I don’t use the CAT bus (I live near the hospital), I know the community values the benefits it brings.
“Most critically, it takes cars off the roads and helps with congestion, making it much nicer for those of us who prefer to walk”.