The contracting of urban bus services - recent Australian developments

Wallis, Ian P. and Bray, David J. (2014) The contracting of urban bus services - recent Australian developments. Research in Transportation Economics, 48 48-61. doi:10.1016/j.retrec.2014.09.031

Author Wallis, Ian P.
Bray, David J.
Title The contracting of urban bus services - recent Australian developments
Journal name Research in Transportation Economics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0739-8859
Publication date 2014-12
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.retrec.2014.09.031
Open Access Status
Volume 48
Start page 48
End page 61
Total pages 14
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Since 2011, very significant developments have occurred in the procurement and contracting of bus services in major Australian cities. After many years of ‘grandfathering’ (continuing rollover of negotiated contracts with long-established private operators), competitive tendering has been progressively implemented for bus services in Sydney and Melbourne, and is also planned for Brisbane. All bus services in Adelaide and some services in Perth, which were previously competitively tendered, have also been retendered.

The paper addresses the context for these changes, the events that have occurred and their outcomes. The empirical evidence assessed shows that procurement through competitive tendering has reduced the costs of service provision, very substantially so where the services were previously provided by government monopoly operators, and rather less so, but still significantly, where contracts were previously negotiated with incumbent private operators. In both cases, improvements in service quality and delivery have also been achieved, resulting in increased patronage. Our assessment reinforces the need for robust operator procurement processes, and for mechanisms and incentives for operators to develop their services to better match market needs.

The learnings from the recent experience are very relevant to further developments in procurement/contracting policy for urban bus services, in Australia and also internationally.
Keyword Australia
Competitive tendering
Negotiated contracts
Public transport
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 14 October 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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