Keolis Downer begins operation of Newcastle Transport in Australia

18 July 2017  •  Author(s): Eurotransport

Keolis Downer has started operating Newcastle Transport, the new integrated transport provider for Newcastle, Australia and is responsible for running buses, ferries and, from 2019, light rail. 

Newcastle Transport

The contract was signed in December 2016 for a 10-year operational period which commenced on 1 July. Newcastle Transport is the first multimodal transport system to be operated by a private operator in Australia.

To better meet the local community’s needs and integrate seamlessly with the light rail when services start in 2019, the bus and ferry network will be improved. To inform the new network design to be rolled out in early 2018, the local community will have the opportunity to share their views on the future of public transport in the Newcastle region.

“Our focus will be on building trust with the community and encouraging them to provide feedback on how the transport system can be improved,” said Chief Executive Officer of Keolis Downer Hunter, Campbell Mason.

Furthermore, while there will be no major changes to timetables in 2017, the network has been given a refresh with the launch of the new Newcastle Transport brand that is now visible on buses and ferries, as well as staff uniforms.

“Keolis Downer is proud to operate the Newcastle Transport network and will continue to collaborate with the local public transport authority, Transport for New South Wales, to meet expectations,” added Keolis Downer Chairman Leila Frances. “This new service presents a great opportunity to deliver the services customers want.”

Keolis is present in Australia through a joint venture with Downer, a leading provider of engineering, transport and infrastructure services in Australia and New Zealand. The group has 4,000 employees in the country and operates and maintains the largest tram network in the world in Melbourne (Yarra Trams), the Gold Coast light rail and over 1,000 buses in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

Keolis Downer provides over 250 million passenger trips per year.

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