THE competitive tender for the operation of Region 6 bus services in Sydney's Inner West has closed, with the NSW Government to now evaluate proposals before the successful operator is selected in the first quarter of 2018.
The tender opened in July when Transport for NSW invited bus operators to compete to run Region 6 bus services. The successful operator will have to compete and re-apply for contracts every five-to-10 years and will only have their contracts renewed if they meet high performance standards for safety, reliability, customer satisfaction, and cleanliness.
"We are very impressed by the strength and quality of the bidders, and will now start to evaluate their bids before creating a short list," a spokesperson for TfNSW said, adding that a common feature of all the bidders was their innovative approach to improving customer experience.
The government will continue to own all Region 6 buses and assets, including depots, and regulate safety standards. All fares, timetables, routes, and bus stop locations will also continue to be regulated by the government.
All award staff will be offered employment with the new employer, doing the same job at the same level, with an 18-month employment guarantee. All their accrued leave entitlements, such as annual leave, sick leave and long service leave, will also transfer and they will keep their superannuation arrangements.
The new operator is due to be in place by July 2018, with service improvements implemented following consultation with the community and staff and their union representatives to ensure new services meet customer and community needs.