General access services
The Department of State Growth has now contracted general access bus operator services on Long Term (5 + 5 year) contracts that run until the end of 2029. A total of 17 services were contracted with 9 operators.
The 2019-2020 Budget provides $63.2 million for bus services which are available to the general public (known as General Access bus services).
A key objective of the bus network review was ensuring that this funding achieves the right balance of smart route design by reducing travel times whilst making sure the services remain accessible and meet a broad range of transport needs. Central to the review process were the objectives that the new public transport network provides better access to employment, education and services and improve the overall social connectivity of Tasmanians within the funding available from the government.
The new network that has been developed has been based on the following:
The improved network aims to provide better services by:
Where possible the network aims to connect different services, so that passengers can travel beyond their nearest major centre to other destinations. Better integration of services will make it easier for passengers to transfer between services and finish their trip in a reasonable time.
The new public transport network aims to link smaller areas to their nearest major centre. These centres include Burnie, Devonport, Launceston, Hobart, Glenorchy, Rosny Park and Kingston. At these centres, some passengers might have to change to another service if they want to travel beyond their nearest centre, especially outside of travel peak times.
The Government has contracted Area Connect to provide trial services to remoter communities with relatively small populations that can’t justify having a daily bus service because very few adults use the service.
The towns serviced have a population less than 500 (except Queenstown) which generally means they cannot sustain daily commuter bus services and are more suited to smaller vehicle transport options that can be operated with more flexibility to match the needs of those in the community.
Throughout 2019 and 2020 the government has had the opportunity to trial different tailored services and scenarios in the below listed areas to assess and better understand what transport solutions to meet the needs of towns not connected to the public transport system might look like. The towns that have been serviced by these Area Connect trial services include:
In February 2020, the trial services to Ellendale, Busy Park & Glenora, Bothwell, Ouse/Hamilton, Colebrook and Maydena were converted to fare paying services and extended for a further 12 months.
More information on these services is available on the Area Connect website at www.areaconnect.org.au/current-timetables/
As part of rolling out new bus networks we have improved timetables so services are grouped by area, rather than by operator. This allows passengers to see all services available in their area and is part of the plan to make simpler and more convenient for passengers travelling on bus services around the state.
The government is also looking at a number of common ticketing solutions that will allow passengers to use the same method of payment regardless of which bus operator they are travelling with.
The rollout of the new bus networks is being staged.
The new network in the southern region commenced on 20 January 2019.
The new network in the north of the state commenced on 19 January 2020.
For information on when the North West bus network will commence, visit the Latest information on the North and North West bus networks page.
The Department has developed General Access Service Standards which describe the various levels of service that might be delivered to a community based on need and demand
These standards contain services tables which are based on a hierarchy, ranging from a high frequency link (such as Glenorchy to Hobart along Main Road) to a daily service (usually occurring in regional and rural areas, either operating every day or a couple of times a week).
The levels used for the bus services review are as follows:
Please feel free to contact us by phone or email using out contact details here
The Department developed a model called the State-Wide Iterative Service Standards (SWISS) to help inform possible network changes. This model allocates bus services to areas based on the community’s needs and the needs of community’s with similar transport demands. SWISS assesses these needs by using socio-economic data such as population, likelihood of travel, low income residents, car ownership and the number of points of interest in the area.
In most cases, areas with higher numbers of people will receive more bus services than areas with lower populations.
Services also need to attract enough passengers to ensure they will continue to be provided into the future. An important part of assessing whether an area is over or under serviced is looking at how many people use the service now. We know that more people use buses at peak weekday morning and afternoon travel times and there are fewer passengers at other times including evenings and weekends. The aim of the bus services review will be to provide a suitable level of service in areas where there are enough passengers, or where increases are likely to occur.