The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, has endorsed Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) report, Improving Public Transport – Customer Focused Franchising.
TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said the release of the report today represented a critical opportunity to begin the process of reforming public transport services in Australia by embracing public transport franchising.
“The Tourism and Transport Forum has long argued that the most beneficial, important and overdue transport reform is the franchising, through a competitive tender process, of public transport services,” Ms Osmond said.
“IA’s report makes it abundantly clear that our public transport networks are facing a range of challenges which, if left unaddressed, will see a reduction in service quality and an increase in costs.
“The experience both here in Australia and across the world is that franchised public transport services have an indisputable track record of delivering improved services for customers and providing substantial savings for government that can be delivered back into delivering new services and infrastructure.
“Only last week the NSW Government acknowledged the enormous financial and service benefits to both commuters and government that comes from competitive contracting of bus routes to experienced private operators with its move to franchise the Inner West STA region, which is entirely consistent with recommendations made in IA’s report.
“IA estimates that $15.5 billion in savings could be banked by State and Territory Governments if customer-focused franchising was adopted. These are savings that IA has recommended be hypothecated and reinvested back into public transport networks, delivering better outcomes for commuters and governments across Australia.
“These savings will not just allow for increased and improved services, but create jobs and fund major congestion busting infrastructure projects across the nation.
“TTF encourages all governments across Australia to actively consider and implement IA’s recommendations, and embrace competitive franchising options for all new and existing public transport services.”