Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Premier Mark McGowan and Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti rode the first train, joined by more than 40 lucky lottery winners.
The $1.86 billion project - first committed by WA Labor as part of METRONET in 2012 - was jointly funded $490 million by the Commonwealth and $1.37 billion by the State Government.
The new Airport Line adds 8.5km to Perth’s rail network, and travels underneath the Swan River and Perth Airport, reaching around 27 metres below ground at its deepest point.
It is the first new train line to be introduced into the network since the opening of the Mandurah Line in 2007, built and opened by the former State Labor Government.
There are expected to be about 20,000 daily trips along the new line in its first year, with trains stopping at all stations between High Wycombe and Claremont.
Trains on the Airport Line will operate every 12 minutes in peak, every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night.
It is the only train service in the country that will transport commuters to and from the airport, at the regular passenger fare, which is capped at $5 (or as low as $4 on a SmartRider) as part of the McGowan Government’s policy committed at the last election.
The first weekday service will leave Perth Station at 5.12am Monday 10 October, arriving at Airport Central at 5.30am. Trains will run until about midnight, and later on Friday and Saturday nights.
The new line will be supported by an enhanced bus network, connecting surrounding suburbs to the three new stations.
This will add an extra 26 new buses and 1.7 million annual bus service kilometres to the public transport network.
Parking for commuters will be available at High Wycombe Station (1,200 bays) and Redcliffe Station (500 bays) for $2 a day.
There will also be plenty of secure bike shelters and drop-off bays at both stations.
The opening of the Airport Line has so far created 153 full-time equivalent jobs within Transperth train operations, including new positions for 27 customer service staff, 65 transit officers and 48 railcar drivers.
During its construction phase the project created 2,000 jobs, with works largely continuing throughout the global pandemic, even in the midst of worldwide labour and supply shortages.
To view the Airport Line timetable, visit the Transperth website.
Comments attributed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
“I am pleased to be in Perth today, to officially open the new state-of-the-art METRONET Airport Line.
“As a former Infrastructure Minister, I know how important affordable and accessible public transport is, and the Airport Line will open up new transport opportunities for residents and tourists.
“The METRONET program of works is creating thousands of local jobs, and when complete will be a game-changer for Perth commuters.
“We are partnering with the McGowan Government to deliver billions of dollars of upgrades to road and rail projects around Western Australia.”
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
“This is a momentous day for Western Australia - the first time a new train line has opened in Perth in almost 15 years.
“Thank you to everyone involved in this mammoth feat of engineering - the thousands of workers, hundreds of subcontractors, lead contractors Webuild Group and NRW, our transport agencies and all of our project partners.
“The METRONET Airport Line is a game-changer for the eastern suburbs and foothills.
“We are delivering on our METRONET vision to connect suburbs, create jobs, reduce congestion, and create liveable communities connected by world-class public transport.
“METRONET projects are setting up WA’s transport network for the long-term future.”
Comments attributed to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:
“I am thrilled this major infrastructure achievement has been made for Perth, which will help locals and visitors get where they need to be quickly, smoothly and safely.
“Construction created thousands of jobs as well as business opportunities, but that’s just the start of the benefits this project will unlock for Perth.
“This airport line will better connect communities to employment and encourage long-term opportunities for new businesses to grow, which will have a boon on the local jobs market and economy for years to come.
“The Australian Government has committed $3.7 billion to a number of METRONET projects to ensure an integrated transport network that supports Perth’s growth and amenity - and as we can see here today, that’s exactly what we are delivering.”
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“This has been one of the biggest and most complex public transport infrastructure projects our State has ever undertaken, and I am incredibly proud to see the new line begin operations.
“Not only will this line increase public transport options for people living in Perth’s eastern suburbs and foothills area, but it will also create additional capacity on the Midland and Fremantle lines.
“The Airport Line will also support domestic and international tourism by providing travellers with another option to travel to and from the airport at a very affordable price.
“Right across Perth, we are delivering projects just like the Airport Line, which will fundamentally change public transport in our city, and the way thousands of people are able to get around.”