Bus services review project
The Bus Services Review project was a major four year project undertaken by the department. It formally ended on 30 June 2020.
Its key outcomes included:
The project also delivered the Government’s election commitment to provide a further 5 + 5 year contract for existing bus operators provided they meet key performance conditions and there is an ongoing need for the service.
This commitment was delivered under an approved alternative procurement process using a set of guidelines to match operators to services. These guidelines are outlined in the Bus Services Re-Contracting Process Guidelines.
The catalyst for the bus services review was that all long term contracts for public transport bus services (including student only bus services) expired throughout 2018 and early 2019.
Under section 49(2)(a) of the Passenger Transport Services Act 2011 contracts can run for a maximum of ten years which means legally the contracts couldn’t be renewed or extended.
The re-contracting of services provided an opportunity to review the school and general access bus network state-wide, to achieve the right balance of smart route design and faster travel time while ensuring the services remain accessible and meet a broad range of transport needs.
To simplify transition issues to new services for passengers and operators, short term contracts were offered to operators in many circumstances to allow changes to services to be rolled out on a single date and on a regional basis.