Keolis Group has been awarded an eight-year contract for the operation of 406 buses across the Greater Sydney region, with plans to convert 125 vehicles to electric power.
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Keolis Downer – Keolis Group’s Australian subsidiary – has announced that, as of 31 October 2021, it has begun operating and maintaining 406 buses in the Greater Sydney region.
The eight-year contract, worth €580 million, was awarded on 28 May 2021 by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), the public transport authority for the state of New South Wales. It is the first time that the network is being run by a private operator.
This contract, which is the largest involving the introduction of alternative-energy buses in Australia, is part of the Australian government’s move to convert the region’s entire bus fleet to electric power by 2030.
To enhance the passenger experience and boost network use, Keolis Downer has pledged to increase the efficiency and reliability of the services and contribute to the network’s energy transition.
The subsidiary, which takes over nearly 900 new employees, will be responsible for:
- Introducing 125 electric buses to replace retiring vehicles, with supporting infrastructure technology at Brookvale and Mona Vale bus depots by 2030
- Operating the B-Line bus service, which includes 38 double-decker buses
- Offering turn-up-and-go B-Line bus services
- Providing more seats and comfortable travel for passengers between Mona Vale and the city centre – passengers can access real-time service information at the 11 bus stops
- Incorporating 12 Keoride on-demand vehicles, including four new accessible minibuses, which increase passenger capacity, including wheelchairs and prams. Operating since 2017, passengers can use an app-based service to book their ride at the time that suits them, for journeys between Narrabeen and Palm Beach on the Northern Beaches suburbs.
Keolis, which has been operating in Australia for over 10 years, is consolidating its expertise in the country, where the group operates trams, buses, suburban train networks, river shuttles, autonomous electric shuttles and real-time on-demand transport services in nine cities.
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