Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health


Thursday 18th September 2008

Transperth Drivers Say ‘Get Off the Bus’ for

National Walk to Work Day, Friday 3 October



Transperth bus drivers will be encouraging passengers to end their bus journey one stop earlier or consider walking to their train in support of National Walk to Work Day on Friday October 3.


Transperth Executive Director Mark Burgess said walking to and from public transport was a great way to include walking in your day and support the Walk to Work Day campaign.


“Our public transport system carries about 200,000 people each day,” he said.


“If passengers hopped off the bus just one stop earlier, or walked to the train station rather than drive to a park and ride, that would equate to a lot of legs pounding the pavement on National Walk to Work Day.


“Just by leaving the car at home and walking to public transport, members of the public can participate in this national campaign while helping to reduce traffic congestion as well as air and noise pollution.


“You can plan your trip online by visiting the Transperth Journey Planner at, where you will find a number of alternatives for your trip including walking or even a combination of walking with bus, train or ferry.”

Harold Scruby, CEO of the Pedestrian Council who is running the walk event nationally, says walking is such a simple activity yet the majority of Australians don’t do enough of it. 


‘By 2025, a total of 4.6 million Australians are projected to be obese.1   Daily walking can help combat the fact that currently over half of the Australian population is overweight or obese,” says Harold.


National Walk to Work Day is held annually to remind all Australians that regular physical activity such as walking is a great way to not only avoid obesity but also a range of illnesses including high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.


The facts speak for themselves.  Access Economics estimates that productivity losses due to obesity are at $3.6 billion and a further $2 billion in health costs, while the combined financial costs of the obesity related ‘big three’ is $19.5 billion dollars per annum. (Diabetes $3 billion; cardio vascular disease $13.1 billion; and cancers $3.4 billion).  Meanwhile, 23.8% of Type 2 diabetes and 21.3% of Cardio Vascular Disease is caused by obesity. Obesity and being overweight are also important causes of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon (11%), breast cancer in post-menopausal women (9%), uterus (39%), kidney (25%), oesophagus (37%) and gall bladder (24%)


Walking along with other therapies can also be used to overcome mild to moderate depression which accounts for three to four days off work per month for each person experiencing depression – the equivalent of more than six million working days per year in Australia2. Undiagnosed depression costs $4.3 billion dollars in lost productivity annually3.


Harold says: “WTWD is truly an event for everyone.  We believe the benefits of encouraging people to get fit and healthy by walking more, far outweighs the costs.”


He reminds all West Australians that every step counts towards better health and cleaner air.   Organisations and individuals can register for Walk to Work Day at .   There is no cost to register or participate.


For more information or to set up a photo shot of a Transperth driver politely asking passengers to ‘get off the bus’, in preparation for Walk to Work Day, please contact:


Karen Kerlin                                                              Rachael Cochrane

PR Coordinator                                                         Corporate Communications

Walk to Work Day                                                     Public Transperth Authority

Phone 0414 443 964                                                  Phone 9326 2000

1 Diabetes Australia/Access Economics Report 2008

2 Andrews G, Hall W, Teesson M, and Henderson S. (1999). The Mental Health of Australians. Mental Health Branch, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.

3 Hilton, M. (2004). Assessing the financial return on investment of good management strategies and the WORC Project. The University of Queensland.