On 9 September 2015, the Acting Auditor-General of New South Wales, Tony Whitfield, released a report on Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts.
All scheduled bus services in the Sydney metropolitan area are provided under contracts with the public and private operators. The contracts allow Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to determine what bus services are provided and to whom. This audit assessed the effectiveness of TfNSW’s design and management of these contracts.
Bus services provided under the Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts have largely been effective and efficient. Operators are mostly meeting their key performance indicators. Customer satisfaction is better than under the previous contracts and improving, patronage is increasing, and the unit costs of providing services are now lower than under the previous contracts.
However, punctuality remains a problem. Private operators are mostly starting their trips on time, but rarely meeting their mid and end-of-trip targets. State Transit Authority’s (STA) punctuality is improving but is worse than private operators, and other areas of performance are generally below private operators.
The current situation is a substantial improvement over what we found in our 2010 audit on the previous contracts.