There are always new infrastructure projects going on in this city. But I hadn't heard of the Metropolitan Area Express until now. This is a light rail project that has just received the go ahead.

The first stage will start at Polytechnic West (Balga Campus) and extend east-west through the city to the QEII Medical Centre, in Nedlands, and the Causeway.

One of the main reasons for such a project is to relieve traffic congestion, and reduce carbon emissions. That's an illustration of just how crowded these areas have become.

I'm sure this light rail network will be very popular with commuters, and get a lot of cars off the road. It will also transform the appearance and character of the suburbs that it runs through.

While Perth did have a tram line a long time ago, for most of its history it's been dominated by the car and the train. It's hard to characterize the difference that such a project brings. But it seems to make a city much more "European" somehow. Anyone who has been to Melbourne will know what I mean.

When I first went there back in 1990, I was quite stunned by the complexity and efficiency of the light rail network, not to mention the visual spectacle of it. Having grown up in spread out, tram free Perth, it really made me feel like I was in a completely different country.

So now Perth itself will have its own such network. Amazing how things have changed ...