A record intake of 29 Transperth transit officers have graduated from their 12-week training course, bringing the number of officers on the network to more than 300 for the first time.

There are now 304 transit officers, plus other senior security staff.

The role is highly competitive, with about 550 people applying for the most recent intake, which allows the Public Transport Authority to only select the best.

It takes about six months from the initial application, through a series of tests and classroom, field and on-the-job training, before they are fully qualified. Their training includes legal education, defensive tactics training, rail track safe-working and customer service skills.

The new employees include former police officers, military, security, university educated professionals, qualified tradespeople and hospitality personnel.

Many train stations are manned after business hours, and all trains operating after 7pm have two security officers on board to provide visible security and render assistance if needed.

This is reflected in Transperth’s Passenger Satisfaction Monitor (PSM), an annual survey of more than 4000 regular passengers, which shows high perceptions of safety and security on the public transport network.

The 2017 PSM recorded very high satisfaction with safety and security with an average of almost 90 per cent of passengers feeling safe on Transperth trains, 91 per cent on buses and 97 per cent on the ferry. Perception of safety at stops and stations was also high.

Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said while ensuring the network is safe and comfortable for everyone is an incredibly important part of the role, around 95 per cent of the day-to-day work of transit officers is customer service.

“Transit officers are instrumental in protecting Transperth passengers while they travel, but the majority of their role involves answering questions, assisting people with purchasing tickets, and generally helping people use Transperth services all throughout the metropolitan area,” Ms Saffioti said.

“As the McGowan Government continues our METRONET plan to expand Perth’s rail network, we look forward to welcoming more recruits.

“I look forward to seeing these new staff out on the network, helping to keep our system safe and making passengers’ journeys easier and more enjoyable.”

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