Transport for NSW says the recent Region 10 intervention is already seeing passengers benefit from improved services in the region
The New South Wales government says its recent intervention of Region 10 is already paying dividends as passengers benefit from improved services.
Transport for NSW has been working with the new operator in Region 10 U-Go Mobility on a stabilisation plan after the department was forced to step in when the operator failed to deliver the expected level of service for the community.
While the government says there is still much more to be done before services in Region 10 return to normal, this has resulted in reduced unplanned service cancellations, reduced complaints and increased levels of community engagement, particularly with local school communities.
From August 17, Transit Systems temporarily took over the operation of 18 dedicated school bus services to improve their reliability.
There are dedicated Transport for NSW resources on the ground at U-Go Mobility depots to improve reliability, safety and action taken to improve service delivery, including prioritisation of key services.
Since the adjusted temporary timetable was put in place in Region 10 on July 31, unplanned service cancellations are down from an average of 400 per week-day to an average of 86 per weekday.
Bus marshals are deployed at key interchanges, including Hurstville, Bankstown, Sutherland and Miranda to assist passengers.
Transport for NSW is also working with U-Go Mobility to ensure robust recruitment plans are in place to manage driver shortages and a recruitment pipeline to assist in service delivery.
The operator has prioritised dedicated school services to reduce impacts on school students. Public service routes used by large numbers of local school students have also been identified and prioritised.
U-Go Mobility now has a dedicated school’s liaison officer working with local schools to provide regular communication, capture feedback and proactively manage school issues, including real-time contact regarding impacted school services.
Nightride services are being supported by other contracted operators’ buses when needed.
“We still aren’t satisfied with the level of service in Region 10, but we are seeing some significant improvements for passengers,” NSW transport minister Jo Haylen says.
“Thanks to Transport for NSW’s intervention in Region 10, we’re seeing fewer service cancellations and fewer complaints but bus services still haven’t returned to normal.”
“We now have a cure plan in place to bring back the level of bus services that the community expects and the government will continue to hold the operator to account until that happens.”
Transport for NSW is also working on providing additional support for elderly or vulnerable passengers, or those without access to travel apps. Hard copies of timetables have been issued to MP Electorate Offices to provide to constituents.
Transport Management Centre Commanders will also patrol back routes to provide greater visibility/presence and ensure passengers are not left waiting for long periods at bus stops due to cancellations.
Transport for NSW has worked with the operator to put a cure plan in place that will bring the region back to required performance later this year.