TRANSIT Systems has won the competitive tender to operate bus services in Sydney's Inner West and will introduce its first round of improvements by the end of the year, with extra services on four of the region's busiest routes, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance announced last week.
"This is a great day for people who travel by bus in Sydney's Inner West – they have a new operator committed to boosting services and using new technology to make catching a bus easier," Mr Constance said.
"From day one of the contract, customers will be able to order a bus like they order an Uber, with on demand mini-bus services around Canada Bay, Concord and Strathfield.
"Within six months the new operator will introduce around 270 extra weekly services across three popular routes, between Kingsgrove and the city, Burwood and the city and Chiswick and the city.
"More services on key routes will be progressively introduced over the first four years, with an extra 4.8 million of bus service kilometres - that's a 21 per cent increase across the Inner West by the end of 2021.
"This means services will be high frequency and turn up and go, with customers eventually able to tear up their timetables, knowing a bus will arrive at their stop regularly.
"The operator will also kick off a trial of four electric buses in 2019, exploring sustainable transport solutions for the Inner West," Mr Constance said.
Transit Systems already operates bus routes around Parramatta, Fairfield and Liverpool, and has delivered the best on time running result in the city for the past two years, according to the Minister. The company also operates buses in three other Australian states and territories, as well as in London and Singapore.
Transit Systems will begin running Inner West bus services on 1 July 2018. The new contract is for eight years, with a review after five years to ensure reliability and customer service commitments are being met.
"Transit Systems is contractually committed to deliver reliable bus services and make catching a bus a better experience in the Inner West and we'll be holding them to it," Mr Constance said.
All Award staff will be offered jobs with Transit Systems with an 18-month employment guarantee. Timetables, routes, fares, concessions and bus stops will continue to be regulated by the government, and all existing buses and other assets such as depots will remain government controlled.