The Public Transport Authority’s graffiti clean-up bill has been halved because of a program which sees local and international artists transform graffiti hotspots into urban art masterpieces.
The urban art program was formed in 2008 in an effort to reduce graffiti on metro train lines.
At the time, the PTA was spending $2.7 million a year to remove graffiti and window scratching.
But PTA spokesman David Hynes said the incidence of vandalism had been reduced.
“The PTA spends a significant amount cleaning up after vandals who deface public transport assets, which are provided for the benefit of the whole community,” he said.
“We find there is generally less graffiti vandalism on and around these pieces of art, due to the inherent respect in the community for the quality of the pieces of art.”
Urban artists from Argentina and New York have been involved in the program, as well as well-known Perth artist Stormie Mills and young people from the Banksia Grove Juvenile Detention Centre, with large-scale murals and smaller art pieces created around Perth train stations.
Popular Australian street art blog “Streets of Perth” was created by local couple Duncan Atack and Nikki Dale to document the transformation of desolate public spaces into vibrant artworks.
Ms Dale said the blog had 120,000 followers, which proved people had a genuine interest in public art.
“There are many dull buildings and locations around town that have suddenly come alive as a result of street art,” she said.
“One of the most interesting things we’ve seen evolve over time with Perth street art is that it is no longer [just] accessible on the streets, you’ll also find murals popping up in local cafes, restaurants, pubs, hotels and office blocks as well as in private homes.”
Streets of Perth has captured street art spanning more than 35 different suburbs across the Perth Metropolitan region and Southern WA.