WA operator secures prisoner transfer deal

A Perth-based bus operator re-entered the prisoner transfer market this week through a subcontracting arrangement with service company Serco

WA operator secures prisoner transfer deal
WA operator secures prisoner transfer deal

By David Goeldner | August 3, 2011

After losing its prisoner transfer contract in mid-2010, Perth operator Adams Coachlines re-entered the inmate transport business this week, but through a new deal with services company Serco.

Adams Coachlines lost its right to transfer prisoners by coach in July last year when Western Australia’s Department of Corrective Services put the contract out to tender.

But the operator who won the tender and ran the service at a loss for 12 months has now bowed out, presenting Barnard with an opportunity to win back the prison business, but as a subcontractor for global detention centre giant Serco.

Serco recently won the court security and transport contract in Western Australia, and decided to subcontract the bus transfer service to Adams for the next five years with a continuing five year option from 2016.

Adams Coachlines Managing Director Adam Barnard says the Department of Corrective Services recommended his operation to Serco based on previous experience which provided a quality service.

Barnard says he would have continued in the prison transfer business after first losing the contract from July 2010.

"We only lost it due to price – Corrective Services were otherwise very happy with our product," he says.

Adams Coachlines has modified an existing vehicle in its fleet – a Scania L94 – used for the bulk of the prisoner transfer work which will run between Perth, Albany, and Kalgoorlie.

The Scania’s primary use will be to transfer prisoners from regional prisons to attend court hearings in Perth.

Barnard points out that each service carries bottled water and catering for the prisoners.

The Scania started the service in the first week of August, and could soon be joined by a modified BCI coach to share the inter-prison transfer work.

Barnard says he will soon be in negotiation with Serco to operate the BCI which was formerly operated by the Department of Corrective Services.

Now that Serco is running all prison transport by vans and buses throughout WA, it also means the service company also has control of the BCI, and may just need an experienced coach operator to run it.

"Serco is looking at the feasibility for us to take over the BCI to run inter-prison transport," Barnard says.

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