Transdev eyes Wellington

By: Amie Hickland

Transdev Australia is hoping to expand its presence in New Zealand in 2016/17

Transdev Australia is hoping to expand its bus network into Wellington, New Zealand, following hearings held by the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) for feedback on the Draft Wellington Regional Public Transport Plan.

The company’s proposal focuses on increasing patronage, integrated fares and revenue sharing, implementing Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), improving bus fleet efficiency and operations and a possible partnership approach to rail service as Transdev also intends to place a tender to operate and maintain the regions rail services.

Transdev Australasia Director Corporate Affairs Mark Paterson says the first new bus contracts would start in 2017 under the company’s proposal.

"Transdev will wait until the model is decided upon and made public before deciding whether/how we will participate in the bus market process."

He says the company is always looking to expand its horizon where sensible commercial opportunities exist.

Transdev operates the commuter train network in Auckland and has done so since 2004.

"Wellington is an obvious place to look because it has a fabulous public transport culture and has a well-developed plan to grow public transport even further.

"We believe we can put a compelling case to the GWRC, the territorial authorities and the wider Wellington populace, based on our international experience, local New Zealand presence, a customer-centric philosophy and a proven commitment as a long term partner.

"We believe Wellington has a terrific public transport network and culture and we believe we can help Wellington take the next step to grow patronage, rollout the proposed BRT and enhance the rail network."

Paterson expects and Expression of Interest to be issued soon with a Request for Tender to follow to a short list of parties.

"If we are ultimately successful the contract for the operation and maintenance of the network would transfer in mid-2016," he says.

Transdev Australia Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Metcalfe says a great deal of work has been done by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the draft plan paints a very positive and upbeat picture for the future of the capital.

"Transdev is happy to share its thoughts based on our extensive international experience and expertise," he says.

"We welcome the opportunity to use our people, our systems, our experience and our expertise on all forms of public transport to help shape the future of Wellington’s public transport network."

Oral submissions have been heard and a final plan will go to council for adoption in late June.

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