Government backs down, Perth keeps late night trains

Issue 

Thousands of people threatening to hold a late night pyjama party at Perth train station have forced a backdown from the state government.

State transport minister Dean Nalder issued a media statement on March 3 promising that late night trains on Friday and Saturday evenings would remain.

Previously the Public Transport Authority had announced that the 1am and 2:15am train services would be cancelled.

"I initially supported the PTA’s decision based on the information they provided me," Nalder said.

"However, I spent last Friday night speaking to a number of businesses in both the central business district and Northbridge, before taking the Mandurah line train at 1.15am.

"It has become clear to me that these trains are far more utilised than I first thought and I have decided to overturn the decision to cancel the services."

The government's decision comes in the context of two Facebook events that attracted over 13000 and 2800 people respectively had begun organising for a late night pyjama party to protest the closures.

Entertainment including DJs had been organised for what promised to be a lively event.

"This is another example of protesting and people power resulting in a victory," said Socialist Alliance member and Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright.

"In this case just the threat of mobilising caused a government backflip."

Perth activist Luke Skinner has begun advocating for a campaign for more late night guards at poorly staffed stations.

Wainwright also pointed out that this is a small but important indicator of the level of popular support for public transport. "Those of us campaigning for more public transport and against the Perth Freight Link will take heart from this decision."

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