The End of the Small Family Operator

Earlier this week it was announced that Transit Systems had been successful in gaining the contracts to operate Regions 2 and 15 in South-West Sydney. This follows on from the December announcements that Transit Systems would gain Region 13 alongside its Region 3 and 6 operations, and that new entrant U-Go would be the new operator in Regions 5 and 10 from later this year.

These announcements mark the end of the era of small family owned operators in Sydney. Interline in Region 2, Punchbowl Bus Company in Region 5 and Busabout in Region 15 have all been unsuccessful in retaining their contracts, which will see them exit the Sydney bus market.

Transit Systems have been successful against small family incumbents in winning contracts across Sydney – Transport NSW Blog Collection

Small family operators have been disappearing since the start of this century, both through buyouts from larger multinational companies and through loss of contracts under the current Sydney bus service contracting system, currently referred to as the Greater Sydney Bus Contracts (GSBCs). This new contracting model introduced as a result of the Unsworth review in the early 2000s, made it hard for smaller operators to compete with the larger players.

This leaves Busways as the last incumbent historical operator remaining in Sydney. However, with their successes in gaining former State Transit operating territory as well as major contracts interstate, they cannot be classed as a small family owned operator these days.

As a result of these new contracts, Transit Systems will become the largest bus operator in Metropolitan Sydney. Transit Systems will have more than 1,200 buses in operation carrying more than 50 million passengers a year across a network stretching from Bondi Junction in the East, Wollongong in the south, Kingswood in the West and Macquarie Park in the North.

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