Govt sells buses

Govt sells buses
govt sells buses

The Northern Territory Government is selling public transport operation Darwin Bus Service in an effort to bring new competition to the market and provide efficient services.

The Darwin Bus Service will undergo a Transfer of Business to the private sector to boost business opportunities in the Darwin community, as announced this week.

The tender documents will be available from December 12, and the process is expected to take up to six months with the contractor selected by the end of June 2014.

Minister for Transport Peter Styles says government will continue as the regulator of the transport service to ensure all facilities, routes and fares are in line with community needs.

"This transfer will provide new competition in the market and allow Government to focus on delivering the most efficient services possible, without running the day to day business of a public transport operation," he says.

"Once new arrangements are in place, Government will continue to regulate the Darwin bus network to ensure current levels of service are maintained and improved and new routes implemented.

Styles says commuter safety is paramount, and Transit Safety Officers will continue to have a presence on buses and at the Darwin, Casuarina and Palmerston interchanges.

"School and hospital services will not be affected, and all services will continue to run in accordance with the Darwin bus timetable during the tender process," he says.

Under the transfer, jobs are secure, employee entitlements will be preserved and all permanent staff will be able to transfer to the new operator.

Services and routes will not be affected and DBS will continue to operate as normal while the tender process is being undertaken.

"We will continue to support our bus network with free wifi, reliable travel and safety officers," says Styles.

The Darwin Bus Service covers approximately 50 per cent of the region’s government route services, with the balance under contract by private operator Buslink.

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