Department of State GrowthTransport

Bus Services Review and Procurement

(formerly Project 2018)

Public Transport Bus Services Procurement

As outlined in the Bus Services Re-Contracting Process Guidelines, the Treasurer has approved a procurement process under Treasurers Instruction 105 for implementing the Governments’ election commitment to provide a further 5 + 5 year contract for incumbent operators, providing key performance conditions are met and there is an ongoing need for a particular service in a particular area.

Under this process, after services (routes and timetables) are identified for recontracting, operators are then ‘best matched’ to the routes using the guidelines. These decisions are then published on the Register of Decisions webpage once a week (Tuesdays) and there is a 30 day appeal period from this date for any operator to appeal this ‘matching’ decision.

Service Eligibility Guidelines

General access services

Student only services

Devonport and Burnie urban bus review

Operator Matching Process

View register of decisions
Changes to School Bus Routes and Timetables for 2020

New contract information


Existing ten year contracts for public transport bus services (including student only bus services) expired progressively throughout 2018 and 2019.

Under section 49(2)(a) of the Passenger Transport Services Act 2011 contracts can run for a maximum of ten years which placed a legislative impediment to these contracts simply being renewed or extended.  To ease transition issues for passengers and operators, where contracts were identified as being needed, short term contracts were offered to the beginning of 2020 when new 5 year + 5 year contracts will commence.

A detailed review of all current services and service optimisation has been underway to ensure that the most efficient and cost effective network of services is procured and opportunities for efficiencies identified.

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The Bus Services Review (formerly 'Project 2018') will ensure the changes Tasmania has been experiencing over the last decade are captured and lays a strong foundation for growth in the decade to come. It will deliver the Government's policy objective to provide a further 5 year + 5 year contract for incumbent operators, providing key performance conditions are met and there is an ongoing need for a particular service in a particular area. It will also provide a consistent measure of performance across all bus contracts, greater incentives for operators to perform and importantly, better long-term service delivery for Tasmanian bus passengers.

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The Secretary of the Department of State Growth is responsible for contracting the purchase of public transport bus services for Tasmania. This covers all publicly available student only bus services and general passenger services (e.g. Metro Tasmania, Redline, Tassie Link, Mersey Link, O'Driscolls etc.) but excludes dedicated tourist and private bus services as these are not contracted by the Government.

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There are currently 158 individual bus operators (as of October 2016) who collectively hold 468 contracts for public transport bus services in the State.

To avoid disruption to school bus services during a school year, operators who had contracts ending during the 2018 school year have now been offered short term contracts. These contracts enable services to run uninterrupted to the end of the school year. It is expected the majority of new bus services, and any changes, will commence in early 2019.

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The current annual expenditure on contracted bus services is approximately $86.4 million per annum with 42 per cent of these costs being for the metropolitan bus services (Hobart, Launceston and Burnie and Devonport), 43 per cent being for dedicated student services and 15 per cent  for general access services outside the main metropolitan networks (see detailed breakdown below)

Metro's contract is included in these amounts and accounts for most of the 42 per cent of metropolitan bus services.

Contract Type


Service Contracts

2016 Payment Data

Long Distance General Access




Long Distance Student Only




Rural Fare Paying




Rural School Bus




Special Needs












Urban Fringe General Access




Urban Fringe Student Only




Metropolitan General Access







* Please note that the data listed under Service Contracts has been provided at a point in time, and includes both additions and removals of contracts where required.