TTF Media Release

6 November 2021


Contracting for the operation of public transport is a growing business, driven by the significant benefits private sector operation delivers to customers, governments, taxpayers and employees. However, there is room for improvement to current models, according to new research released today by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF).

Private operators now deliver 60 per cent of public transport trips in Australia’s big cities with increasing technological innovation. Operation by the private sector is also now the model of choice for virtually all new greenfield infrastructure. The State of Play research report is a timely contribution to transport industry stakeholders.

The report State of Play: an Update on Public Transport Contracting in Australia was produced by L.E.K. Consulting for TTF and explores contracting models across all public transport modes including metro, heavy and light rail, as well as bus, ferry and new mobility.

It focuses on franchise contracts for the operation of public transport services, Public Private Partnerships, and the impact of new realities such as COVID-19, new mobility and decarbonisation.

TTF CEO, Margy Osmond, said “Over the last 30 years public transport ‘franchise’ contracts have evolved in Australia, becomingly increasingly fine-tuned by experienced commercial operators and savvy transport authorities.”

“The transport contracting market is now at a tipping point and the time is right for the next evolution, to prepare for and seize the opportunities of new technology and trends around multimodal transport, new mobility, and the decarbonisation imperative,” continued Osmond.

“With the use of franchise contracts and Public Private Partnerships continuing to grow, TTF and L.E.K. Consulting are pleased to offer our insights to the industry to help shape the next chapter of public transport in Australia,” said Osmond.

L.E.K. Consulting Senior Partner, Simon Barrett, said “The ongoing service improvements and competition between operators afforded by franchising contracts is driving the growth of this model while enhancing service quality, bringing greater innovation, improving operating efficiency and generating more diverse career opportunities for staff. We commend this report to government and industry stakeholders alike.”

The report follows extensive interviews with CEOs and executives of Australia’s leading transport operators and transport authorities.

Contact: TTF Manager Transport, Cities and Stakeholders Scott Walker 0401884462