Cockburn Shuttle Bus 2012-2020

Jillian Woolmer
City of Cockburn

Way back in 2012, the City of Cockburn trialled a shuttle bus for staff to get from the train station to the Council Administration as a trial for six weeks. The shuttle bus system was still operating when I commenced at the City in 2016 and the photo below was taken back then. Staff just meet at the City of Cockburn Senior Centre (adjacent to the Administration Building on Coleville Crescent Spearwood) and they are driven to Cockburn Central Train Station to catch the train or walk home home. The staff are also picked up in the morning from the Cockburn Central Train Station. While there is no official bus stop, staff just need to be at the stipulated location at the stipulated pick up times. Occassionally Seniors, volunteers or university students on placement at the City also use the service.

We have had various staff drive the shuttle bus and pick up other staff over the past eight years. The system works similar to carpooling, with staff getting in contact with the staff member who regularly drives the shuttle bus if they want a lift that day. The main driver works in the Administration Office and has regular office hours Monday to Friday so is able to drive the bus to and from his home.

In 2017 some office workers moved to the Operation Centre, so the shuttle bus also stops at the Operation Centre to pick up any office staff that work similar hours and need a lift. City of Cockburn offices are difficult to get to from Cockburn Train Station, so it is useful having the shuttle bus. The closest Transperth bus stop to the Operations Centre in the Bibra Lake Industrial Area is 1.5km away. The roads nearby are not bike or walk friendly. Plans are underway to improve the bike network connections so more people are able to walk and ride in the area. The shuttle bus fills this gap in the transport system.

The number of users fluctuates as people casually use the shuttle bus when their car is being serviced or repaired, in addition to a regular few passengers and some new employees. The times are limited as you need to be there to be picked up and there is only one ride in the morning and one ride in the afternoon. Staff that are unable to drive for what ever reason are able to take advantage of this option. Several staff rely on pubic transport as they do not have a car and the shuttle bus is the most convenient way to get to work.

The bus is actually the bus used by the Senior Centre and repurposed before and after work as the shuttle bus. Not only does it save vehicle km travelled by staff carpooling together, it saves the Senior Centre volunteers or staff driving to the Operations Centre with the bus and another car, to park the bus at night and saves them both driving back to pick up the bus in the morning.

The Senior Centre bus generally picks up Seniors from around the City and takes them to the Senior Centre plus takes Seniors to various events as a group. They only need the bus during working hours.

After working hours, the Senior Centre bus transforms into the shuttle bus every night and morning and is taken home by the staff member and returned in the morning, ready for use by the Seniors Centre again. This arrangement is beneficial to all staff, to the organisation and to the volunteers and staff that don't need to spend extra time driving and being stuck in traffic. Staff that use the shuttle bus also have the pleasure of getting to know each other more over the years of riding on the shuttle bus.

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James (Your Move)

Well hello again Jillian! Thanks for this big update on the shuttle bus. Great to hear that it has been growing since the trial way back in 2012. It really sounds like such a win:win situation, especially as the offices are (amazingly) not supported by public transport. I was wondering how to score this one and, lo and behold, we have a YM activity that EXACTLY matches what has been done! So you have earned 80 points plus 10 for your full rundown of the history. See you soon no doubt!

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Thanks James - the shuttle bus has been around quietly for so long. Bus services are available near the Administration Building, but the shuttle bus alleviates any waiting and is direct from door to door, rather than a winding bus route through the suburbs. Industrial areas are often poorly serviced with public transport, walking or cycling facilities.

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