BIC calls for changes to PBS for bus and coach industry

By: Chris Smith

The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) is calling on the National Transport Commission (NTC) to provide a separate Performance Based Standard

The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) is calling on the National Transport Commission (NTC) to provide a separate Performance Based Standard (PBS) directly relating to buses and coaches in its response to the PBS discussion paper.

BIC states there are clear advantages for the PBS Scheme to look at passenger transport vehicles, (buses and coaches) in a different manner than freight vehicles and argues that the PBS standards as they are currently assessed, limit the uptake of the scheme because it is predominantly a pass/fail process based on freight vehicles and therefore is seeking greater flexibility in assessing PBS passenger vehicles.

This means, in essence, a review of the purpose of PBS by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Australian Transport Council (ATC).

"The aim of this is to recognise that PBS offers more than productivity gains for the freight sector," BIC states in the letter to the NTC.

"PBS could provide real community and social benefits through innovative, high capacity passenger vehicles to address the challenges of urban congestion and reduced car usage, reduced road damage, peak oil, better utilization of existing road space, climate change, and increased public transport demand.

"Up until now the uptake of PBS by the coach sector has been stifled because the parameters set are based on the freight industry and not the passenger sector," BIC states.

BIC is also calling for discretionary powers provided to the PBS Review Panel.

The BIC would like to see these powers fully explained and expanded to include the review of the overall performance/benefits that passenger transport PBS vehicles provide beyond just the standards themselves.

As part of the redefining of PBS, BIC points to the cost of developing a PBS approval as an expensive exercise for bus manufacturers and operators.

BIC is calling for a clear agreement by all jurisdictions about access to the road network if a PBS blueprint is assessed and approved.

It is also asking for road network access to be agreed upon nationally and PBS approvals accepted nationally through all levels of government, with no exceptions, in order for the scheme to be successful.

BIC also believes that vehicle manufacturers should be able to self assess vehicles and provide the evidence to the relevant authority, in this case the PBS Review panel, in the same manner they do to meet ADR compliance with the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport , Regional Development and Local Government.

To read the full submission click here.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook