In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia all for private own­er­ship

A pol­icy of fran­chis­ing public trans­port sys­tems could have long-term pos­i­tives, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est public trans­port in­dus­try re­port

ABC (Australia) - - BUS BUSINESS -

Pri­vatis­ing Aus­tralia’s gov­ern­ment-operated bus and rail ser­vices could save tax­pay­ers up to $15.5 bil­lion by 2040, which could be rein­vested into new trans­port ser­vices, In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia says.

In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia’s Im­prov­ing Public Trans­port: Cus­tomer Fo­cused

Fran­chis­ing re­port rec­om­mends that state and ter­ri­tory gov­ern­ments pur­sue fran­chis­ing, where the op­er­a­tion of gov­ern­ment- owned bus and ra il ser­vices are sub­ject to a com­pet­i­tive tender process and the con­tract is awarded to the best op­er­a­tor.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence both here and abroad shows that public trans­port fran­chis­ing can de­liver bet­ter ser­vices for com­muters and signicant sav­ings for tax­pay­ers,” In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Philip Davies says.

“Re-in­vest­ing th­ese sav­ings back into our public trans­port net­works will help de­liver the in­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia needs to meet our fu­ture growth chal­lenges.”

“Fran­chised public trans­port is de­liv­ered in a tightly-reg­u­lated en­vi­ron­ment with clear per­for­mance tar­gets, and con­tracts are reg­u­larly re­viewed to en­sure com­pe­ti­tion de­liv­ers the best re­sult for the com­muters and tax­pay­ers.”

Gov­ern­ments would still own the in­fra­struc­ture and have re­spon­si­bil­ity for im­por­tant de­ci­sions such as net­work plan­ning, in­vest­ment in new in­fra­struc­ture, fare prices and timetabling.

They would also be able to hold private op­er­a­tors to ac­count via clear per­for­mance tar­gets and penal­ties for poor ser­vice.

“The bil­lions of tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars this could save should then be rein­vested back into the public trans­port sys­tem to de­liver new trains and buses, sta­tion up­grades or ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity on our net­works,” Davies says.

“Fran­chis­ing has been suc­cess­fully op­er­at­ing in Mel­bourne for al­most 20 years, pro­vid­ing re­li­able trans­port at gov­ern­men­treg­u­lated prices.

“While it has not been with­out its chal­lenges, fran­chis­ing Mel­bourne’s tram and heavy rail ser­vices has de­liv­ered bet­ter ser­vices for com­muters.”

Per­for­mance tar­gets for private op­er­a­tors have driven clear im­prove­ments in punc­tu­al­ity with, for ex­am­ple, on-time run­ning for Mel­bourne Metro im­prov­ing by 7.1 per­cent­age points since 2009.

“Cus­tomer-fo­cused fran­chis­ing would al­low state and ter­ri­tory gov­ern­ments to in­vest more money in de­liv­er­ing public trans­port and en­able all Aus­tralians to benet from world-class in­fra­struc­ture,” Davies says.

Public trans­port fran­chis­ing can de­liver bet­ter ser­vices for com­muters and sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings for tax­pay­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.