JAN­UARY IS­SUE 353

ABC (Australia) - - YEAR IN REVIEW -

NEW­CAS­TLE TEN­DER

A suc­cess­ful Ke­o­lis Downer bid to op­er­ate New­cas­tle Trans­port will de­liver ser­vice im­prove­ments for com­muters, which is why it was cho­sen over lower cost bids, the NSW Gov­ern­ment an­nounced. Downer also won a $1.7 bil­lion con­tract to sup­ply new pas­sen­ger trains for Syd­ney and main­tain them for 25 years. New­cas­tle Trans­port will start run­ning bus and ferry ser­vices in July 2017, and ser­vice changes will start in 2018 to min­imise dis­rup­tion. It will run the light rail when it opens in 2019. Trans­port work­ers will be pro­tected, with all State Tran­sit op­er­a­tional staff re­tain­ing their jobs un­der New­cas­tle Trans­port.

DRIVER SAFETY

Ev­ery pas­sen­ger bus in Vic­to­ria will be fit­ted with Per­spex se­cu­rity screens and loop bar­ri­ers to pro­tect driv­ers from the risk of vi­o­lent as­sault fol­low­ing an in­dus­try push. It is ex­pected the full roll­out of new se­cu­rity screens on about 2000 ex­ist­ing buses will cost an es­ti­mated $10 mil­lion, to be split evenly be­tween the state author­ity Pub­lic Trans­port Vic­to­ria and op­er­a­tors. All new buses that en­ter ser­vice will also have screens fit­ted.

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