Veolia's Sydney jackpot

Veolia Transport’s Sydney operation has hit the bus jackpot with 60 new buses, 90 new drivers, and plans for a brand new depot

Veolia's Sydney jackpot
Veolia’s Sydney jackpot

By David Goeldner | February 23, 2011

A direct Metrobus service from Sutherland shire to Parramatta starting on March 14 will see Veolia Transport acquire 30 buses and recruit 40 new drivers for the 35 km cross-Sydney route.

This comes in the wake of Veolia’s recent expansion of its Liverpool to Burwood Metrobus service in December, and the Metro 91 service which started earlier this month with a direct link from Hurstville to Parramatta, doubling the frequency.

Veolia Transport Managing Director Morris Caputi says the Sutherland to Parramatta service will run every 10 minutes during the peak, 15 off peak and 20 minutes on weekends.

"With these three Metrobus services we were allocated an additional 60 buses which required an extra 90 bus drivers," Caputi says.

"As a result we had to open up a temporary depot at Leightonfield close to Villawood to accommodate the new buses."

The temporary depot opened on February 7.

"We are in the process of building a brand new depot in South Granville which will accommodate 110 buses," Caputi says.

"At this stage we are getting development approval from Parramatta Council and once we get approval we will start building, and should be operational by the end of the year."

Caputi says the temporary depot will close when the new facility opens, and was put in place to get Veolia ‘over the line’ for the next nine months.

He says the 60 new buses did not come as a complete surprise, provided as part of the NSW Government’s 2010 ‘Growth Bus’ incentive scheme.

The element of surprise for Veolia came through the Keneally Government’s push for a higher than expected level of service frequency.

"On three of the runs that we operate the government wanted to increase the frequency on those runs to provide more capacity on those particular services," Caputi says.

And the news doesn’t stop there, with Caputi saying Veolia is preparing for its much anticipated global merger with TransDev in March which will see changes in Australia with Sydney operator Shorelink coming under Veolia Transport’s banner.

"Worldwide we will be the largest public transport operator in the world."

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