Big task on small depots

Metro Tasmania is looking at decentralising its bus bases around greater Hobart to reduce dead running, considering a smaller depots option

Big task on small depots
Big task on small depots

By David Goeldner | April 29, 2011

Metro Tasmania has called for tenders from transport planning consultants to look into decentralising its depot facilities around the greater Hobart region.

Currently, the bus-based Government-backed operator has one large depot on Main Road Springfield parking 108 of its 151 greater Hobart fleet.

"We have one large depot and a series of satellite yards, and we want to engage an expert to review that to make sure we’ve got the best set up," Metro Tasmania CEO Heather Haselgrove says.

"On the mainland some operators have set up smaller depots and there must be some operating efficiencies so we’ve said let’s explore it."

Haselgrove will be asking the successful contactor to look at smaller depot options, where they should be located and what facilities each depot should contain.

"Intuitively you would think the smaller depots should be on the peripheries of the greater Hobart area, because that’s where services start in the morning and finish at night," says Haselgrove.

"But the consultant may come up with something we hadn’t thought of."

It’s likely that Metro Tasmania’s Hobart operation will continue to base its administrative functions at the Main Road site.

"We are a company and we need to minimise our costs and we need to make sure we have the right configuration."

Part of the service delivery optimisation is to reduce dead running, a problem Metro Tasmania faces given the wide greater Hobart service area.

"We operate north to Brighton, south to Blackmans Bay and over to the eastern shore – it’s not just the CBD or even the Hobart City Council area, it’s the greater Hobart area made up of five councils," Haselgrove says.

The greater Hobart regional population is about 220,000, and all up Metro Tasmania’s Hobart services make 1,547 trips each school term week day.

The depot reconfiguration and rationalisation process is expected to be complex, with the successful contractor required to have experience in transport planning, economic and financial analysis, risk assessment, construction estimation, property acquisition and also be familiar with local government planning procedures.

"The tender has gone out and we expect a good level of interest," Haselgrove says.

Tenders close on May 31.

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