They say you should never waste a crisis and, that is exactly what Transport for NSW is ensuring with its major announcement today

Transport for NSW  has not let the Covid 19 crisis stop it from continuing its quest to privatise Sydney Bus operations, with the Government department announcing that it is inviting transport operators to register interest in taking over more of its Sydney bus regions, as it has already done with Transit Systems and its Region 6 operations  in the inner west and southern suburbs.

The new tenders will see  Sydney Buses operations on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the North Shore, and Northern Western and  Eastern Suburbs, put out for tender to private operators.

“We are looking for world-class operators with significant experience delivering transport services,” said a Transport for NSW spokesperson.

“Operators interested in delivering these vital services for customers can register on the Government’s eTenders website to receive background information that will help them prepare for when the tender process kicks off,” the spokesperson told Truck and Bus News

“Already, private operators run services for the NSW Government in 11 or our 14 bus regions in the Sydney Metropolitan area. Franchising the three remaining bus regions currently operated by State Transit will mean better services and better value for money for taxpayers,” they added.

Transport for NSW says  tender process will ‘seek to deliver service improvements such as higher frequency and more convenient services for customers throughout the day and into the evening, as well as improved real time information to allow customers to better plan their journeys and connect with other transport modes.

It adds that the process will also be an opportunity to identify innovative approaches and establish relationships to drive continuous service improvements over the years to come.

While still to be finalised, it is proposed that the first region to go to tender will be the lower north shore and Northern Beaches Region 8 operations based around the North Sydney, Willoughby, Brookvale and Mona Vale depots in the middle of June, followed by the North Western Region 7 based around the Ryde depot in August and the Eastern Suburbs Region 9 based around the Port Botany, Randwick and Waverley depots in November.

As part of this process, the Government will retain control of all assets including buses and depots, and continue to be responsible for setting fares and regulating routes.

In addition to the remaining State Transit regions, all bus contracts in the Sydney Metropolitan area with the exception of already contracted Region 6 will be put out to tender over the next few years with the process to investigate new and innovative ways to deliver services for customers.