Bus Industry Taskforce
Transport for NSW will action the Report’s key recommendations into the reliability, quality and effectiveness of bus services across NSW.
The Taskforce’s key recommendations
- a refocus on delivering bus services to the community
- long-term increased funding to improve bus services to underserved communities
- greater collaboration between Transport for NSW, the bus industry and the community
- re-organising of Transport for NSW to create strategic accountability for bus services
- improving contracting for rural and regional bus services
- supporting driver recruitment and retention
- creation of a driver facilities fund
- a refocus on providing replacement and emergency busing
- and a range of other measures to enhance service delivery.
Areas of future focus for review
- Safety: following the June long weekend fatal Hunter Valley bus crash, an increased focus on issues relating to seatbelts, other safety features, and implementation of safety management systems
- Asset management: Bus fleet and depot plans; fleet replacement strategies, and fleet maintenance procedures; Zero emission fleet and depot strategy; monitoring of fleet performance and reliability
- Procurement: review of current bus procurement strategies
- Industrial relations: current industrial arrangements and employment conditions, and improving retention rates
- Rural and regional: passenger forums in regional areas, engaging directly with rural and regional bus operators and their workforces
- Local government's role: improving customer facilities - how Transport works with councils to help them improve the location and installation of bus stops.
A next Report on the Taskforce’s recommendations for action is due on 10 October 2023, with the Final Report due on 1 May 2024.
Bus services connect people to jobs, education, family and essential services and play a crucial role in supporting the broader transport network.
The Taskforce will bring together bus operators, industry experts, the workforce, and community representatives to determine how to deliver more efficient and reliable services.
The Taskforce will investigate key factors relevant to bus operators’ performance and make recommendations to the Minister on options to address these performance issues.
Areas of focus include
- the service delivery and asset management models, including the contract and performance management framework, transparency in activities and the related capabilities required.
- service planning, including equity of services across the community, and related community engagement.
- infrastructure and technology that supports the effective delivery of bus services, including the transition to clean energy.
arrangements relating to the employment of drivers, mechanics, and other key personnel other steps to improve performance including legislative amendments, regulatory changes, contractual or other related actions.
the adequacy of retrofitting seat belts on school buses in regional NSW over the past 10 years.
consideration of expanding seat belts on buses to other areas of the State, and enforcement of seatbelt laws.
whether any changes should be recommended to the Australian Design Rules for buses and coaches.
bus and coach operator safety management systems, including driver training and fatigue management.
whether any gaps or duplication in risk management of bus safety exist between the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Transport for NSW and bus operators.
Bus Passenger Forums
The NSW Government has launched Bus Passenger Forums across the state to speak with the community face to face on what they want to get from their bus services.
The forums provide a much-needed opportunity for the public to have their say.
Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Dr Marjorie O’Neill, will chair the forums over the coming months, with the first forum taking place in June in the Northern Beaches.
Members of the public and representatives from community groups, local businesses and non-government organisations are invited to have their say.
How will my feedback be used?
Your feedback will help the Taskforce develop its recommendations to Government on how we can improve the reliability and quality of bus services across NSW.
All feedback will be summarised in a consultation outcomes report, which will be published at the end of the consultation period.
We will keep the community informed throughout the process.
Taskforce Terms of Reference
The Bus Industry Taskforce and Terms of Reference were announced by the NSW Government in May 2023.
In June 2023, the Minister for Transport expanded the Terms of Reference to include an examination of certain safety and regulatory arrangements of bus operations in NSW.