Optimisation of replacement buses during network disruptions

The purpose of this project is to develop a proof-of-concept tool for predicting replacement bus needs during unexpected network disruptions.

It will aid in making informed decisions and improving customer satisfaction while managing replacement service expenses.

The research will be delivered by the Data Science Institute at the University of Technology Sydney.


In instances of unplanned disruptions/incidents on the NSW Public Transport network, the Transport Management Centre (TMC) coordinates emergency bussing. Replacement bussing requests are provided with short notice, typically less than 72 hours. It is essential that there are robust processes to support evidence-based decision making that drives the required number of buses during a disruption event, particularly with smart card technology (Opal) providing an increasingly rich source of data.

Without such processes to support evidence-based decision making, there is potential to create greater strain on the scarce bus and bus driver resources available. It also has potential to negatively impact customer outcomes as more TMC resource time is needed to source the extra number of buses that results in increased lost customer minutes.



The objectives of this project are to:

  • Create a robust process for forecasting replacement bus needs during unplanned disruptions. This process will be designed to support evidence-based decision making by providing reliable and actionable insights for bus requirements. By using this information, decision makers will be able to make informed choices about the number of buses required based on the demand and optimisation of the use of resources during disruptions.
  • Optimise the customer experience during disruptions. This will be achieved by providing a reliable and efficient replacement bus service that minimizes disruptions and inconvenience for customers. By doing this, the project aims to minimise the negative impact of disruptions on customers and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.



Further updates will be provided as this project progresses.

This research is being delivered in partnership with iMOVE CRC and supported by the Cooperative Research Centres program, an Australian Government initiative.