New Bus Operator to Electrify Fleet
Bus customers on Sydney’s Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches will soon benefit from a new fleet of electric buses and permanent On-Demand services, after the NSW Government appointed Keolis Downer as the new operator of local bus services.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said Keolis Downer will deliver more than 1.2 million services a year for customers, while also saving taxpayers more than $100 million over the eight-year contract.
“We are lucky to have some of the best transport operators in the world running buses in Sydney, and customers on the Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches will soon benefit from the expertise and efficiency Keolis Downer brings to the table,” Mr Constance said.
“Keolis Downer will be ordering electric buses to replace their older diesel buses as they are retired from the fleet, with more than 100 new zero-emission buses to be introduced to the area over the next eight years.
“As part of the new deal, the trial On-Demand service between Palm Beach and North Narrabeen will be made permanent. Around 540 customers use this service each day to connect to major public transport hubs and routes like the B-Line.”
Keolis Downer will start running services for customers around the end of October, with all State Transit drivers and maintenance staff offered a two-year job guarantee.
Keolis Downer will be responsible for delivering around 24,000 services each week, including the 24-hour B-Line and all day express services between Dee Why and Chatswood via Frenchs Forest, which were introduced as part of 2,000 additional weekly services last year.
“Keolis Downer will also trial new innovative technology to deliver a better customer experience, including a system which provides drivers with feedback in real-time, to help them manage regular frequency of bus services,” Mr Constance said.
Transport for NSW will work closely with Keolis Downer on any improvements that can be made to the network in the coming years, with the Government continuing to regulate all routes, timetables and fares, as well as retain ownership and control of the existing depots and buses.