By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Keolis Downer + TfNSW

BREAKING: French-Australian bus-operating joint venture Keolis Downer has secured a $900 million contract to operate and maintain Sydney Region 8 bus services in the Northern Beaches and the lower North Shore for eight years, from 31 October 2021, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) announced today.

Keolis Downer is delighted to partner with TfNSW to deliver positive public transport outcomes to the local communities in the Northern beaches and the lower North Shore, it states.

The ‘partnership’ with TfNSW aims to, "…deliver innovative transport solutions in Sydney’s Northern beaches as the future bus operator," outlines a media statement issued via Keolis Downer, recently.

Global law firm Ashurst has advised Keolis Downer on the tender.

According to the company, Keolis Downer will work closely with TfNSW to deliver a range of initiatives to further enhance the journey experience of customers, across all aspects of the service.

The contract will see the introduction of 125 electric buses over the next eight years, delivering more sustainable transport options for the local community from two newly electrified depots in Brookvale and Mona Vale, it confirms.

Keolis Downer will also introduce innovative headway technology to further increase the reliability and quality of service of the successful B-Line, it explains.

The popular ‘on-demand transport service known as Keoride will also become a permanent part of the network, it adds.




Keolis Downer is delighted to partner with TfNSW to deliver positive public transport outcomes to the local communities in the Northern beaches and the lower North Shore, it states.

Keolis Downer’s priority is to ensure a smooth transition of all the employees and maintain high standards of customer experience and operations, it says. Additionally, it is focused on introducing global innovations like headway services, new electric buses, and ‘wayfinding’ improvements that will deliver more connected and sustainable journeys, it says.

"We are very proud to partner with TfNSW to support the future growth and transformation of the Northern Beaches," said David Franks, Keolis Downer CEO.

"Drawing on our experience locally and globally, we will launch a range of new initiatives to enhance the customer experience building from the already excellent bus services in the area.


"We will introduce new service technology to enable staff to actively manage routes and monitor bus running times, improving the frequency of bus services.

"We are also very excited to continue to deliver the highly successful on-demand transport service, which we have been operating in the area since 2017.

"We look forward to further engaging with the community to deliver a safe, efficient and reliable transport system that supports the liveability and future prosperity of this vibrant, growing region," Franks said.



Keolis Downer is a leading operator of public transport services in Australia, it states.

With 4,900 employees and a presence in five states, Keolis Downer enables 250 million passenger journeys per year, it confirms.

The company operates and maintains the integrated network in Newcastle; the largest tram network in the world in Melbourne (Yarra Trams); the light-rail network on the Gold Coast (G:link); and 1000 buses in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland, it states.

It also operates and maintains the Adelaide Metro train services, it adds.

Established in 2009, Keolis Downer is a joint venture between Keolis, a leading public transport operator established in 15 countries, and Downer, the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand, it says.



Ashurst partner Alex Guy commented: "We are delighted to have assisted Keolis Downer in its successful proposal to NSW Government, which will see a range of exciting initiatives that will help TfNSW deliver an enhanced passenger experience on a value for money basis."

The Ashurst team was led by partner Alex Guy, who was assisted by partners Ratha Nabanidham, Anne Reffay, senior associates Eloise Moore and Manisha Pannu, consultant Kim Broadbent and lawyers Louis Rainguenet, Alex Martin and Zoe Hinchliffe.


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