Perth’s Optus Stadium: a model of public transport integration
Perth’s newest stadium, Optus Stadium, was completed in late 2017, and opened in January 2018. Like its resident AFL team, the West Coast Eagles, it has had a successful year. Here Mark Beasley, the Director Real Time & ITS Operations, Network Operations Directorate, for Main Roads Western Australia, tells us about the venue’s aims and capabilities.
Perth’s Optus Stadium is a 60,000-seat, multi-purpose venue capable of hosting a diverse range of events.
Of the many innovations for this venue, one of the most significant has been to achieve a predominantly public transport mindset. Expectations were that events at the venue would attract up to 60,000 people at once. All of this in a place that housed an acknowledged private vehicle orientated culture.
Without the focus on getting the mix right with public transport, moving 50,000 people to and from the venue by car would result in 20,000 cars arriving, requiring:
- 50 hectares of ground level parking, costing $150 million
- 12.5 hectares of additional land use for a multi-storey car park, costing up to $650 million
Overcoming location challenges
The number of complimentary public transport ticket users confirms that the strategic target of 80 per cent has been regularly met or exceeded. Among the unique issues that had to be overcome were that:
- the stadium is situated on a peninsula, bordered by a freeway and major highway;
- attendant challenges of enabling buses, taxis and accredited vehicles to get to and from the site
Extensive traffic and pedestrian modelling was commissioned to ensure that optimum strategies would be available for the various types of event to be hosted at the stadium.
Underpinning the strategic Traffic Access Plan is the Operational Event Plan (OEP). This was developed by the Transport Portfolio partners, in close collaboration with all of the relevant government and non-government entities. The OEP is the transport, traffic, cycling and pedestrian management solution to suit any type of event, which has been universally adopted to achieve consolidated stadium traffic and pedestrian management.
Comprehensive stakeholder management was undertaken with a myriad of parties who could be affected by events at the stadium. This included local authorities, other sporting venues, schools and hotels.
Since its opening in January 2018, the Optus Stadium has successfully hosted of a wide range of events. These were closely monitored and managed through the Real Time Operations Team at the Traffic Operations Centre, the Stadium Incident Room, and by the numerous on-ground responders who collectively keep patrons safe and traffic moving.
The Stadium project has far reaching benefits to the Perth community through new revenue opportunities from the provision of food and beverages within the Stadium, attracting international sporting and entertainment events to Perth, and where possible increasing business opportunities in the neighbouring suburbs.