ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

THREE MET­RO­POL­I­TAN Mel­bourne bus op­er­a­tors, mak­ing up around two thirds of the ser­vices to be re-con­tracted, signed new 10-year deals with Pub­lic Trans­port Vic­to­ria.

The new bus con­tracts be­gin 1 July, 2018, and will run for 10 years if the op­er­a­tors meet strict per­for­mance tar­gets, the State La­bor Gov­ern­ment states.

In a move claimed to ‘put pas­sen­gers first’ and ‘im­prove ser­vices’, Min­is­ter for Pub­lic Trans­port Jac­inta Al­lan MP an­nounced the La­bor Gov­ern­ment had signed new con­tracts with Ven­tura, CDC Vic­to­ria and Don­ric.

More than 117 mil­lion trips are taken on Mel­bourne’s ex­ten­sive bus net­work ev­ery year, with the in­dus­try sup­port­ing more than 4500 lo­cal jobs. The new con­tracts pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity to im­prove and ex­pand ser­vices where they are needed most, ac­cord­ing to the Gov­ern­ment.

The con­tracts also em­pha­sise on-time run­ning and cus­tomer ser­vice, to pro­vide pas­sen­gers with a more pro­fes­sional and re­li­able ser­vice, it’s stated.

The Corn­wall fam­ily (trad­ing as Ven­tura) has been op­er­at­ing bus ser­vices since 1924, grow­ing from a sin­gle route be­tween Box Hill and Mel­bourne CBD to be­come Vic­to­ria’s largest bus op­er­a­tor.

Don­ric, an­other lo­cal fam­ily op­er­ated busi­ness, has been de­liv­er­ing bus ser­vices in and around Sun­bury and Dig­gers Rest since the early 1980s.

CDC Vic­to­ria be­gan pro­vid­ing bus ser­vices in 2009 to pas­sen­gers in the in­ner-east and west­ern sub­urbs of Mel­bourne and the Greater Cities of Bal­larat and Gee­long.

Con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions with the re­main­ing met­ro­pol­i­tan bus op­er­a­tors are pro­gress­ing and are ex­pected to be fi­nalised be­fore the con­tracts ex­pire in June 2018, it’s stated.

Above: Nick Yap, CEO of CDC Vic­to­ria (Pic cour­tesy CDC Vic­to­ria).

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