Navigation Through the Nations: Perth, Western Australia

A bus from the 1950s in a museum

Preserved AEC Regal VI in Metropolitan Transport Trust livery. Image by Mailer_diablo, licensed CC BY-SA 3.0

By Grace

I have lived in a variety of places in my life including a medium sized college city called Madison Wisconsin, a little town called Wausau, The fairly large city of Denver Colorado and finally Perth Western Australia. I have to say that of all of the places I have lived, Perth has the most accessible public transportation system of them all. There are numerous ways to plan your journey, and help along the way once you are en route. There is support for everyone in Perth whether you love technology or have no use for computers and smartphones. I will be sharing the many accessible ways I know of for planning your journey, as well as some things that can help you while you are traveling to your destination.

TransPerth provides bus, train, and ferry services in Perth and its surrounding suburbs. The TransPerth website is fairly easy to use and includes information on service disruptions, planned maintenance, pricing, and more. I have used the journey planner previously and it works well. TransPerth also has an iPhone app, however, I have not found it to be very accessible with Voiceover. Having said that, I am content with TransPerth’s other information services, and third party apps which I use to navigate our public transport system.

An important number to remember when accessing information from TransPerth is 136213. This number has several uses and is my first port of call before heading out. The most obvious use for 136213 is to speak with an operator who can provide you the best route to where you need to go, tell you bus departure times, and bus stop numbers. If you use a bus stop often it is a good idea to get it’s number as you will need it to access 136213 in other forms.

The second way to use 136213 is via text message on your mobile phone. You can text it a bus stop number, or the first three letters of your train line, then the first three letters of the station you wish to depart from, and you will receive the next seven departures from that location in reply. You can also set up friendly names for bus stops you use often by texting the bus stop number, then your friendly name. If I wanted to create a friendly name for the bus stop I use when leaving home to go into Perth, I could text 17721 HOME to 136213. I could then text the word home each time I wanted to know my bus departure times.

The final way to access 136213 is via the web. If you enter into the browser on your phone, note taker, or computer you will find an incredibly accessible easy to use website. Simply choose your mode of transport, enter the bus stop number, or select your train or ferry station using the radio buttons and you will be provided with departure times. The best part of this website is that after you choose your stop once, you can bookmark it in your browser and access up-to-date departure times whenever you like. You can even have multiple bookmarks for each stop you use frequently and give them different names.

There are two helpful apps for the more technically savvy among us. The first is an iPhone app called Should iRun Perth. This app will tell you the next departure time of busses, ferries and trains near you. I like this app because it lists the bus stop numbers so I do not have to call TransPerth to ask them for this information. If you tap on the bus number and time, you will find yourself in a very easy to read list of all of the stops on that particular bus route which is great if you are curious about how you will get to where you are going. The second app I use while on public transport is called Moovit.

Simply enter in your starting and ending point, choose when you would like to leave, or when you need to get to your destination, and Moovit will tell you when to leave your house, and when your bus or train stop is coming up using audible announcements. I love being able to relax on my ride with my music on without worrying that I will miss my stop.

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