New contracts to improve Melbournes buses

By: Chris Smith

The bus industry and the Brumby Government has moved into a new phase of cooperation with the signing of 29

The bus industry and the Brumby Government has moved into a new phase of cooperation with the signing of 29 new metropolitan bus contracts.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says the new contracts were developed through intensive consultation with the Bus Association of Victoria and represents a major step forward in the relationship between the Government and bus operators.

"This signing reaffirms the important role that buses will continue to play in shaping the future of public transport in Melbourne," Kosky says.

The new contracts reflect a shared vision between the Brumby Government and bus operators for more responsive, sustainable and accessible bus services in Melbourne.

"They will ensure that the Government’s expansion of weekend and late night bus services, the rollout of the Orbital SmartBus services and the introduction of new bus routes in growth communities are achieved," Kosky says.

"The Brumby Government is continuing to improve bus routes and services in metropolitan Melbourne and the opportunity now exists to further improve Melbourne’s bus network through arrangements with bus operators that are more transparent and performance focussed."

All of Melbourne’s private route bus operators have signed the new contracts, which came into effect on July 1, 2008 and secure the running of local bus services for up to 10 years.

Bus Association Victoria executive director John Stanley says the new contracts recognise the increasing role of the bus network in meeting Melbourne’s transport needs.

"Bus patronage growth is very strong and buses are becoming a bigger and increasingly important part of Melbourne’s public transport network. They can provide both strong cross-town networks to complement train and tram lines and local travel opportunities for people to leave their car at home," he says.

The Victorian Government’s $10.5 billion Meeting Our Transport Challenges action plan commits $1.4 billion in new or improved bus services over 10 years.

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