Frameworks for our networks

Infrastructure & Transport

A review of public transport service contracts in Australia and New Zealand

The past two decades have seen major change in public transport in Australia and New Zealand. Rapid population growth and urbanisation have contributed to unprecedented demand for public transport. Structural reforms within government and the broader economy and accelerating technological change, have also had a significant impact on the public transport networks in Australia and New Zealand over this period. At the same time, both countries have moved progressively to a governance model for public transport where there is a clear separation between the authority that oversees the development and delivery of the relevant system, and the operator that manages the system and provides passenger services on a day-to-day basis.

Although many public transport systems remain government-owned and operated, this reform has facilitated the steady growth over the same period in private sector operation of all modes of public transport services in Australia and New Zealand, from train and light rail to bus and ferry services.

In this report, with collaboration with UITP Australia New Zealand, we aim to:

  • inform future policy development in the transport sector by providing governments and industry participants with a comprehensive review of the range of public transport service contract models currently in use in Australia and New Zealand; and
  • to provide a useful resource for those directly engaged in contract development and design.