The creation of a new single transport operator for Newcastle will re-energise the city and encourage people to come back to public transport, according to the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
Following the NSW Government’s announcement of its decision to seek a single private operator to be known as Transport for Newcastle for light rail, buses and ferries, TTF CEO Margy Osmond said it was a bold and exciting reform that would apply world’s best practice to the management of Newcastle’s public transport network.
“The Newcastle CBD is booming but the number of people using public transport in the city is declining – that’s a problem that needs to be addressed to ensure that Newcastle doesn’t grind to a halt,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“This is a bold reform by the NSW Government and the Transport Minister should be applauded for his decision to take action to reverse the slide in public transport patronage in Newcastle.
“Multimodal contracting is the future of public transport in smart, growing medium sized cities. An integrated, multi-modal view of the network improves customer service by focusing on the door-to-door customer experience.
“The overseas experience in French cities such as Bordeaux has been that network renewal and better integration drives patronage – up 10 per cent year on year for five years after the introduction of light rail.
“The private sector has a proven track record of managing public transport right across Australia.
“Whether it’s trains, buses, ferries, or light rail, a private operator will deliver quality services for commuters at better value for the hard earned dollars of taxpayers.
“Placing Newcastle’s buses, ferries and future light rail service under the management of one private operator is a common sense decision to improve integration and will, frankly, put more bottoms on seats.
“Taxpayers across the state are paying good money for low-patronaged buses and ferries in Newcastle – it’s about time they saw better value for money with an operator motivated to increase the numbers of people using these services.”