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STA Privatisation / Franchising

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Frosty » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:04 pm

At least it isn't Transdev thank goodness. Transit Systems do have the experience but they did have a bit of an industrial dispute with the TWU in Region 3 over pay I assume that's been sorted.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:06 pm

From observations in region 3 they are going quite well with very good reliabilty and better vehicle presentation than most of the other contractors.Region 6 is a different kettle of fish,but the company certaintly has the experience to improve things in region 6.
From what I can figure most of Transit Systems senior people in Australia are Australians and not imported.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:08 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:...Ms Jodi McKay: I am pleased to announce that the Minister has privatised the buses and that Transit Systems will deliver the services.
The incumbent transport minister has his faults, but his opposite number has shown herself up as a petulant child. :roll:
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:13 pm

burrumbus wrote:From what I can figure most of Transit Systems senior people in Australia are Australians and not imported.

Len Kidd's recent arrival may have something to do with this.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:19 pm

Yes ,I found it interesting that Len jumped ship from Transdev.Transit Systems are certaintly a superior company than Transdev in many ways.The quality of operation is much higher.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Frosty » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:32 pm

It wouldn't have felt right had Transdev won Region 6 considering it would've operated 4 metropolitan Regions & 2 regions that surrounded Region 6 plus operating the LR & Ferries.
It wouldn't have been that good to have the UK management in Australia then they would of started to engage in the same practice in London where the bus would just terminating early without any notice and force everyone out at the next stop.
Last edited by Frosty on Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:37 pm

Agreed Frosty.You need a range of different operators to keep everyone relatively honest and on the ball.The biggest problem with the contracts is the very low profit margins which really don't produce the quality of service which will attract the punters out of their cars,
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:46 pm

I wonder if the word transit in their title, their excellent rate of TNSW livery in their region three fleet and their being a relative newcomer, and therefore a perceived fresh perspective on the Sydney scene, helped them get "rewarded" ( :twisted: ) the job of running region six?
Also did their baptism of fire in their first foray into the peculiarities of the Sydney market win them props from transport officials?
Just theories.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:58 pm

burrumbus wrote:From observations in region 3 they are going quite well with very good reliabilty and better vehicle presentation than most of the other contractors.
Was in region 3 today and while I agree TS' fleet is presented better than most, it does suffer from the legacy of inheriting vehicles from multiple operators (Hopkinsons, Oliveri, State Transit and Westbus) that have had repairs completed but without the old liveries restored given that at some stage they will become due for repainting in TfNSW livery.

burrumbus wrote:From what I can figure most of Transit Systems senior people in Australia are Australians and not imported.
As it is Brisbane based, not surprising. Its 3 founders operated Peninsula Bus Lines on the Central Coast in the 1980s (sold to Busways), Bayside Buslines in Brisbane (today Transdev Brisbane) and interstate operator Sunliner Express that went bust in the early 1990s. http://www.transitsystems.com.au/all-la ... -red-buses

Frosty wrote:It wouldn't have felt right had Transdev won Region 6 considering it would've operated 4 metropolitan Regions & 2 regions that surrounded Region 6 plus operating the LR & Ferries.
Unless the government has imposed a quota on the number of regions or percentage of the total one company can operate, wouldn't have been a factor.

Frosty wrote:It wouldn't have been that good to have the UK management in Australia then they would of started to engage in the same practice in London where the bus would just terminating early without any notice and force everyone out at the next stop.
Inconvenient as it is for those being offloaded, if managed properly it can be for the greater good by helping to manage services frequencies. But this requires the following bus to be not far away and aware of the situation so it doesn't sail past, not to mention dumping people in very hot / cold weather. And other things such as making sure passengers don't get charged twice when tapping off then on again.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:16 pm

Agreed with your first comment Linto.But the problem across most of Sydney's bus networks is the hotch potch of different liveries and AOA's in the various contractors fleets.The TFNSW livery programme appears to be in state of limbo and the various fleet liveries in each operation are all still there.There is no incentive to standardize onto the TFNSW livery,nor repaint into an operator livery.The Metrobus livery has been prostituted and isn't consistently applied across those Metrobus routes.In short branding and marketing the bus services in Sydney is just appaling.
The second comment is absolutely accurate.I think one of the features of Transit Systems is its timetabling and rostering which is superior and done in house.Neil Smith,one of the 3 directors is an expert in this area.I think the government were certaintly looking for an operator to increase the capacity of the region 6 system,using much the same resources.I think Transit Systems can deliver that with their skills in this area.
Your third comment.I think there is an unofficial quota there at 2 contract areas maximum for the privates.
And agreed with your last comment.That requires good use of inhouse radio systems to manage that.Something that most operators aren't great at.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:18 pm

Linto63 wrote:
burrumbus wrote:From what I can figure most of Transit Systems senior people in Australia are Australians and not imported.
As it is Brisbane based, not surprising. Its 3 founders operated Peninsula Bus Lines on the Central Coast in the 1980s (sold to Busways), Bayside Buslines in Brisbane (today Transdev Brisbane) and interstate operator Sunliner Express


Wow that is interesting. How did this Brisbane based start up from relatively small operators manage to get into running major suburban contacts both here and overseas? Is TS overseas owned?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:35 pm

No all Australian owned swift.
Neil Smith had Peninsula Bus Lines,Umina.Graham Leishman owned Davis Coach Services,Ourimbah.Lance Francis owned Brisbane Water Coaches,Gosford all from the late 70's.They bought Bayside in Brisbane in 1985 and commenced Sunliner about 1985.They overextended themselves and sold the Central Coast business as Peninsula Bus Lines to Busways and Bayside to Geoff Todd.Sunliner was sold around 1993.The head office is in Cleveland in Brisbane.
A few years later(1995),in partnership with Sampsons Coaches they tendered for and won a service contract in Perth and named it Swan Transit.This was in the first series of tendering the Perth bus system.They then won tenders in Adelaide under Torrens Transit.They have just kept expanding since.Their record under these management contract systems has been very good.Like I said above their superior difference is in creating well patterned routes/timetables /rosters/shifts that are more efficient than the competion and better fleet presentation.Thats what they most likely will do with region 6 to vastly improve STA's very ordinary and inefficient systems to lift fleet'driver utilisation and system capacity.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:52 pm

Sounds the stuff of dreams. I hate indifference and inefficiency.
I remember Peninsula had a well presented fleet. At least Busways has kept that aspect up since takeover and it's good to see TSA has benefited from this culture started so long ago. Region six is in capable hands. I knew TSA were the guys for the job!!
Exciting times ahead indeed.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:09 pm

Now will the government give them good paths through the inner west traffic?! That's a challenge.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:28 am

Swift wrote:Sounds the stuff of dreams. I hate indifference and inefficiency.
I remember Peninsula had a well presented fleet. At least Busways has kept that aspect up since takeover and it's good to see TSA has benefited from this culture started so long ago. Region six is in capable hands. I knew TSA were the guys for the job!!
Exciting times ahead indeed.

I agree swift.STA is full of inefficiency .Transit Systems should operate it well,like region 3,after a real shaky start.But as I said above the low margins in the contracts haven't produced the quality of service to get the punters out of their cars.Combined with the amazingly beuaracatic system by TFNSW-and entrenched attitudes towards operating practices by TFNSW and most of the contractors have meant its basically more of the same.Several contract regions have gone backwards in patronage.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:29 am

tonyp wrote:Now will the government give them good paths through the inner west traffic?! That's a challenge.

Lets hope so Tony.But don't hold your breath.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Tonymercury » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:29 am

tonyp wrote:Now will the government give them good paths through the inner west traffic?! That's a challenge.


What, and break years of tradition? - besides, others might ask for it!
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby grog » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:44 am

Funnily enough I would say that there is a moment of opportunity - politics could dictate that this contract has to succeed at improving service, so if Transit Systems come up with a list of priority measures and changes that they require to run a reliable and frequent bus service, political pressure from the government could be such that TfNSW and RMS are forced to accept them.

Not holding my breath, but the potential is there. As always, everything is politics.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:26 am

burrumbus wrote:I think there is an unofficial quota there at 2 contract areas maximum for the privates.
Transdev operate 3 (regions 11-13) though, 2 of which were a direct award, i.e. no tender process was conducted. You would think the fiasco that has occurred in Melbourne over maintenance failings on their watch would have cost them points.

tonyp wrote:Now will the government give them good paths through the inner west traffic?! That's a challenge.
Not likely, aside from perhaps traffic light priority measures, can't see a whole swathe of bus lanes being introduced. Even though region 6 is in largely Labor / Green electorates, voters from swinging seats drive through and there are far more drivers than users of public transport.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Stu » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:35 am

grog wrote:Funnily enough I would say that there is a moment of opportunity - politics could dictate that this contract has to succeed at improving service, so if Transit Systems come up with a list of priority measures and changes that they require to run a reliable and frequent bus service, political pressure from the government could be such that TfNSW and RMS are forced to accept them.

Not holding my breath, but the potential is there. As always, everything is politics.


In the past STA have created measures in trying to increase the reliability of route 418 around the Mascot area by means of re-routing. Trying to have such changes approved by TfNSW has proven to be very difficult, there must be such resistance to change, for wha reason? Maybe TfNSW were holding back on approving any changes due the franchising situation from announcement to handover. When the new operator seeks changes to route 418 the guvmint could grant permission, this would look good for the govt as they can then say that the franchising model is working well with the new operator as route service reliability has increased compared to being operated by STA. Who knows if this will actually happen, it's just a theory, this will be a wait and see approach.

12 months ago STA had to incur more operating costs in an attempt at trying to increase the reliability of route 418. This meant less relief at Sydenham Station and more dead running between T-Depot and Burwood in both directions. This means that services can commence on time from Burwood, departure from terminus is the absolute most important kpi for on time running. Prior to these changes services were arriving to the relief point extremely late, this would affect customers/passengers, 2 x shifts and the following service would be delayed. Services would have to terminate short or commence short which would obviously disadvantage some customers along the route.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby jibb » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:49 pm

Torrens Transit in Adelaide(owned by Transit Systems) has placed an ad in today's Adelaide Advertiser-"Bus Driver Opportunities in Sydney", on behalf of Transit Systems(NSW)-location in the Western Suburbs.
People in Adelaide who are interested can apply by phoning Torrens Transit. The positions are full-time, relocation costs available subject to terms and conditions.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Special_K » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:34 pm

Given the recent departure of a number of high profile STA staff, it would be interesting to see if some of them appear at Transit Systems. With Route M41 services running up to 40 minutes late today owing to delays at Campsie, Burwood, Concord and Rhodes we'll see just what magic Transit Systems will work to improve this route's reliability.

Similarly, the plethora of Region 6 routes that grind their way over poorly constructed round a bouts, speed humps, slow points, lumps of concrete,tragic light phasing and other badly designed local government traffic schemes, will certainly be a challenge for Len Kidd and his team. Not to mention the increasing number of dirt truck and dog combinations fowling bus routes as they queue illegally at the numerous development and motorway sites in the region.

Extended running times and additional layover coming very soon!
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Frosty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:11 pm

The only idea I can think of helping the 418. Is instead of making a detour via Botany St in Randwick go direct along Avoca St & not make a detour via Mascot station. Can buses use Baronga Ave in Queens Park ?

Maybe Transit Systems might have more exclusive rosters particularly for the troublesome 370. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make an attempt to change it or changes are done once the LR is done.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Stu » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:52 pm

Frosty wrote:The only idea I can think of helping the 418. Is instead of making a detour via Botany St in Randwick go direct along Avoca St & not make a detour via Mascot station. Can buses use Baronga Ave in Queens Park ?


School services use the bus bay on Baronga Ave outside Moriah College facing North, off-peak and weekends cars are parked in the bus bay at other times most probably because the bus bay is on the property of the college. This colleges is heavily fortified, frequently patrolled by armed guards and I would guess that the college would object to having the 418 re-routed due to security issues. Google Maps does not allow street view of Baronga Ave. Security personell check each school bus inside & out and pay close attention to slow moving traffic along Baronga Ave during school time.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby ryanair01 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:37 am

Nice to see an Australian owned business as the rumoured victor.

Transit have been successfully operating this type of contract for over twenty years. Bayside in Brisbane, Sunliner and Peninsular were all well run operations before the owners later founded Transit too.

Big plus is they bring experience of running buses in very congested urban environments like London and Singapore.
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