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As a result the bus services review team has  reviewed bus services and contracts state-wide using a set of guidelines to match operators to services. These guidelines are outlined in the Bus Services Re-Contracting Process Guidelines.

1Why are bus services being reviewed?

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 means legally the contracts can’t be renewed or extended.

The Bus Services Review team have reviewed school and general access bus services 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.

The review provided a consistent measure of performance across all bus contracts, greater incentives for operators to perform and, better long-term service delivery for Tasmanian bus passengers.

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.

2Services & cost

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

When the bus services review commenced (late 2016) there were 158 individual bus operators who together held 468 contracts for public transport bus services in the State.

The annual expenditure on contracted bus services was 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

Operators

Service Contracts

2016 Payment Data

Long Distance General Access

4

11*

$4,254,896

Long Distance Student Only

4

4*

$555,775

Rural Fare Paying

12

13*

$1,174,447

Rural School Bus

116

269*

$19,290,336

Special Needs

7

16*

$1,265,486

Town

15

19*

$832,848

Urban

8

19*

$1,624,825

Urban Fringe General Access

9

17*

$9,178,431

Urban Fringe Student Only

41

106*

$12,007,933

Metropolitan General Access

2

2*

$36,166,253

  

476*

$86,351,229