TTF welcomes great bus innovation for Inner West commuters

Additional weekly services and 21st century ‘on-demand’ mini bus services will see radically improved and increased transport services following today’s decision by the NSW Government to award Transit Systems the contract to run the buses in the inner West of Sydney, the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) said today.

TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond congratulated the NSW Government and Transport Minister Andrew Constance on recognising the enormous financial and service benefits to both commuters and government that comes from competitive contracting of bus routes to an experienced private operator.

“The management of bus networks is an area of transport policy in which the private sector has proven time and time again it can deliver quality services at best value for taxpayers’ money,” Ms Osmond said.

“In Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin – where there are already bus networks that are completely managed by private operators, not government – their experience is that franchising has delivered significantly better results across their networks.

“The addition of an estimated 270 extra weekly services within the next six months across three highly-patronised Inner West routes is a fantastic result for local commuters, who will benefit significantly from more regular and more efficient local transport services.

“On top of this, the introduction of on-demand mini buses around Canada Bay, Concord and Strathfield is a welcome leap into 21st century transportation, and is a great sign of things to come across Sydney’s wider transport network.”

Ms Osmond said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia has been advocating strongly for a move towards franchising the State Transit Authority. The TTF report, ‘On the Buses: The Benefits of Private Sector Involvement in the Delivery of Bus Services’, found there is the potential for up to half a billion dollars in savings over five years if Sydney Buses was run by a private operator.

“The report, prepared in conjunction with leading international consulting firm L.E.K., clearly showed that franchising is a great model for governments to embrace for their bus networks,” Ms Osmond said.

“It improves the customer experience through private sector innovation and investment, increases operational efficiency and saves taxpayers significant money that can then be reinvested back into improved public transport services.”