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Busways retains rapidly expanding Western Sydney contract

Busways found out this week it will retain the Region 1 Sydney bus contract, covering Western Sydney for the next seven years

Australian bus operator Busways will continue to operate bus services in Western Sydney after retaining the region’s bus operations following a competitive open tender process.

Busways was awarded the new Greater Sydney Bus Contract 1 by the NSW government earlier this week in a deal commencing in December 2023 for the next seven years.

It will see Busways transporting eight million passengers on nearly 1.1 million bus trips a year, operating more than 350 buses at the Penrith, Blacktown and Mulgrave bus depots as well as continued delivery of the award-winning Cooee Busways On Demand service.

Busways managing director Byron Rowe says the decision recognises Busways’ proven performance delivering high standards of customer experience, safety and service innovation.

“We appreciate the NSW government backing an Australian operator and are thrilled that 80 years after we first started running passenger transport services in Blacktown in 1942, we can continue to serve customers in our Western Sydney heartland,” Rowe says.

Since October 2013, Busways has been operating all bus services in Region 1 after taking over from a consortium including Busways, Hawkesbury Valley Buses and Westbus that ran the region from 2005.

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“In the past 10 years we’ve invested heavily in the Western Sydney network, with a substantial capital works program including two brand new, state-of-the-art smart depots at Penrith and Mulgrave, installation of electrical charging infrastructure to support the roll-out of zero emissions buses (ZEB), fleet improvements and 12 zero-emissions buses into service in Penrith, among many other improvements,” Rowe says.

“Partnering with Transport for NSW, we’ve also improved customer experience by introducing nearly 40 timetable improvements since 2013 and establishing Sydney’s popular On Demand service in The Ponds in 2019.

“Under Busways management, overall customer satisfaction with the bus network has increased by 20 per cent over 10 years to 94 per cent in 2022 and patronage grew by 36 per cent, outpacing population growth.”

For the next seven years Rowe says Busways will continue to focus on delivering world-class bus passenger services to the Western Sydney community.

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