5. Service Delivery

This chapter outlines key findings, observations or recommendations about service delivery in the Transport Cluster agencies for the 2014-15 financial year.

Opal Card

The Opal card contract was awarded to the Pearl Consortium in May 2010. The contractor is responsible for the development, delivery, operation and maintenance of the electronic ticketing system known as Opal. The contract is for a period of 14 years, including a ten year operational term. The contract term ends on 30 September 2024.

TfNSW need independent assurance that the Opal system is operating effectively

The management of Opal data is outsourced to the private sector. TfNSW is responsible for the accuracy, completeness and security of Opal data including customer data security, daily transactions accuracy, customer balances, cash balances, financial data and reporting to providers.

TfNSW should obtain an independent operating controls assurance report on the Opal system. This report should include the service organisation's description of controls in place and the results of testing. The report will give TfNSW assurance that the system is operating effectively.

Electronic Ticketing System Data and Reporting

Sydney Trains and NSW Trains require more data on passenger revenue and trips

Sydney Trains and NSW Trains are not able to obtain required information on passenger revenue and trips to assist in operating an efficient and effective business. For instance, operators would like boarding and exiting data by station 24/7 so they can resource demand appropriately.

TfNSW, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains are continuing the development of an information sharing mechanism for passenger revenue and trips to assist in operating and efficient and effective business.

The current data collection of rail transactions is not designed to immediately segregate fare information between Sydney Trains, NSW Trains, Light Rail Services and the Airport Rail Link. These fares are initially reported in total by the Opal system. Segregated passenger information is extracted from the Opal system by TfNSW based on assumptions. This information is used to create significant financial transactions between the agencies.

A total of 15,000 Opal reader breakdowns occurred causing loss in revenue

The Opal reader roll out was completed on 20 November 2014. Opal reader breakdowns increased in 2014-15 across all transport modes. This led to a loss of revenue. Buses experienced the most breakdowns accounting for 53.3 per cent of all breakdowns in 2014-15.

TfNSW was unable to estimate the value of lost revenue from the Opal reader breakdowns, which depend on variables such as mode and fares.

There were 134,000 Opal cards with a negative balance at 30 June 2015

The Opal cards with number of negative balances increased to 134,000 at 30 June 2015 with a negative value of $427,000. The Opal website states that as long as a passenger has the minimum value on their card at the time they tap on, they will be able to tap off and the Opal card will go into a negative balance. The passenger will need to add value to their Opal card to tap on again.

Unregistered Opal cards with negative balances cannot be recovered unless the passenger adds value to top up the card. The negative value may not be recovered if customers purchase additional unregistered cards and discard their negative balance cards.

Over 74 million free trips valued at $189 million were provided by transport operators

The Opal fare structure offers customers unlimited free trips after the first eight paid journeys in a week. There is also a $15 cap ($2.50 cap on Sunday) on total daily travel fares.

Twenty five per cent of all Opal trips were free, including 47.1 per cent on ferries

The table below shows free trips taken by mode of transport in 2014-15 and 2013-14.

For more information on Opal Card please refer to https://www.opal.com.au/en/about-opal/using-myopalcard.

Over 1.2 million Opal cards were issued in 2014-15

In the year ending 30 June 2015, 721,000 adult Opal cards and 93,000 youth cards were issued. In November 2014, the gold card for seniors/pensioners was released and 333,000 cards were issued by 30 June 2015. In February 2015, the card for concession travellers was released and 80,000 cards were issued by 30 June 2015.

On-Time Running

One of the State Priorities is to ensure on-time running of public transport. The Government is planning to improve integration across public transport services, update timetables and provide clear information to get people to their destinations on time.

Rail

Sydney Trains' average punctuality is above target

Sydney Trains achieved an average punctuality performance of 93.9 per cent. This compares well to the target of 92.0 per cent, but is lower than its punctuality performance in 2013-14 of 94.1 per cent.

NSW Trains' services punctuality is below target

NSW Trains intercity services achieved an average punctuality performance of 87.4 per cent, lower than the 89.3 per cent achieved in 2013-14 and the target of 92.0 per cent. NSW Trains regional services achieved an average of 77.4 per cent on time running, which increased from 73.5 per cent in 2013-14, but was just below the target of 78.0 per cent.

Six of 15 suburban and intercity rail lines did not achieve the punctuality target of 92 per cent in 2014-15. Thirteen of 15 suburban and intercity rail line's peak punctuality performances fell in 2014-15. Decreased punctuality, especially during peak hours, is likely to result in overcrowding and a decline in customer satisfaction.

Only 29.9 per cent of afternoon peak intercity services operated on time

In 2014-15, there were many days when suburban and intercity services did not achieve the 92.0 per cent punctuality target. The graph below shows 70.1 per cent of afternoon peak intercity services did not operate on time.

Thirteen of 15 train lines' peak punctuality performance fell in 2014-15. This performance is contrary to the State Priorities which aims to deliver better services.

The graph below shows punctuality performance by rail line for the last two years for suburban and intercity services as a variation from the target of 92.0 per cent.

Sydney Trains attribute lower punctuality partly due to extreme weather conditions experienced across the Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra regions in April 2015. There were more than 45 incidences of trees or other debris falling on the rail corridor, power outages, 17 flooding incidents and track repairs, which affected 500 peak train services.

The Southern Highlands line had the largest fall in punctuality of 3.1 per cent in 2014-15. The Eastern Suburbs, Illawarra, Bankstown, Airport, East Hills, South, North shore, Northern via Macquarie, Northern via Strathfield, South Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and Newcastle and Central Coast lines' punctuality have all deteriorated since 2013-14. The Western line's performance improved from 90.5 per cent in 2013-14 to 91.4 per cent in-2014-15, but, it is still below the target of 92.0 per cent.

Regional passenger services have not achieved on-time running targets for 12 years

Intercity and regional services were transferred to NSW Trains on 1 July 2013. Both services punctuality improved in 2014-15. Regional services recorded a 3.9 per cent improvement compared to 2013-14.

Performance results and targets for rail services are shown in the table below.

Buses

STA is not meeting on-time running targets

STA has not met its on-time running target in any of its four metropolitan contract regions for the last three years. However, Regions 6, 7 and 8 recorded improvements in 2014-15. In 2014-15, Region 6 was only 0.3 per cent below the target and Region 7 was 1.9 per cent lower than the target.

The graph below shows STA's on-time running performance for its four metropolitan contract regions compared to the target of 95.0 per cent.

TfNSW is working with STA on projects to improve punctuality. A Strategic Governance Committee oversights the STA reform program to drive improvement.

In addition, an STA On Time Running Working Group has been established, comprising representatives from STA and TfNSW's contract management and planning areas, to identify the root causes and identify remediation action.

Private bus operators on-time running is above targets

All metropolitan regions managed by private bus operators achieved on-time running targets in 2014-15. Contract region five, servicing Lakemba, Mortdale, Punchbowl, and Roselands had the biggest improvement in 2014-15, achieving an average on-time running performance of 96.2 per cent, compared to 89.7 per cent in 2013-14. Contract region one, servicing Blacktown, Penrith, Richmond and Windsor achieved the best on-time running result with an average of 97.7 per cent, slightly down from 97.8 per cent in 2013-14.

The graph below shows on-time running performance by private bus operators for the last three years for their metropolitan contract regions as a variation from the target.

TfNSW publishes average on-time running performance for metropolitan bus contract regions. These are based on observational surveys from six to ten a.m. on selected weekdays. On-time running performance data is not published for outer metropolitan bus contracts.

In 2013-14, TfNSW advised that on-time running measurement was being transitioned to a Public Transport Information and Priority based System (PTIPS) to measure performance across all services and time periods. To ensure consistency in the publically reported measure for all operators, TfNSW plans to release outer metropolitan on-time running results in conjunction with the results for metropolitan contract areas in future. PTIPS metropolitan on-time running results are not currently published.

There are fourteen contract regions in the Sydney metropolitan area and ten regions in the outer metropolitan area. STA provides services in four metropolitan regions, operating as Sydney Buses, and one in outer metropolitan region operating as Newcastle Buses. All other regions are serviced by private operators.

Ferries

All ferries' on-time running is above target

On-time running performance for ferry services continues to be strong. All service areas have performed above the target of 98.5 per cent in the past three years.

The Manly service area achieved the best on-time running performance of 99.2 per cent in 2014-15, followed by the Inner Harbour service area's 99.1 per cent. Average on-time running performance for all service areas was 99.1 per cent in 2014-15, which is consistent with the past two years.

Public Transport Capacity

Rail

Rail crowding significantly below the global benchmark

Sydney Trains and NSW Trains passengers continue to experience significantly lower passenger density than the global benchmark of no more than four passengers per square metre. They achieved an average of one passenger in 2014-15 compared to 1.1 in 2013-14. This also compares well with Sydney Trains' internal target of 1.9 passengers per square metre.

Sydney Trains and NSW Trains benchmark passenger crowding against other global operators. The benchmark measures the number of passengers per square metre of standing space.

The average load during the morning peak has increased on nine (five in 2013-14) of twelve lines surveyed. The South and Western lines had the largest increase in average load from 121 per cent to 137 per cent. The Eastern Suburbs line experienced a decrease in average load from 71 per cent to 62 per cent.

In the afternoon peak survey period, the Northern line experienced the largest increase in average load from from 105 per cent to 133 per cent. The number of services decreased from four to three on the Northern via Strathfield line due to the cancellation of one service.

Buses

No target measures on crowding for buses

Information on bus crowding and target measures will assist TfNSW plan and execute its transport strategies and assess bus operators' performances. TfNSW has no crowding target measures for bus regions.

Crowding information is not published for buses in any region, despite bus contracts requiring this information to be reported to TfNSW. This contrasts with ferry and train services where load surveys are conducted bi-annually and results are published on the Bureau of Transport Statistics website.

Crowding information (bus full on route) is self-reported monthly by all bus operators. The data is generally obtained by operators from various sources including manual reports from bus drivers, customer complaints and physical sightings. There are no measures to assess the accuracy of this self-reporting data. TfNSW advises this will be possible once full Opal functionality is available to its Contract Management team.

Over 9.5 million scheduled bus trips are provided annually under the contracts, with STA accounting for around five million trips. Trips include express, limited stops, regular, school and free shuttle services.

Seven of the ten bus contract regions with private operators had full buses

TfNSW advises there were no capacity issues for regions one, two, five and 15. The heavily patronised T80 Parramatta to Liverpool T-way service continues to grow and operate at capacity in region three. Region four operates from Hills District to the City. Increases in passengers traveling from this area continue to result in more buses full on route. A service increase in regions ten, 12 and 13 contributed to a fall in buses full on route.

TfNSW is aware of instances where ferry services are at capacity and passengers on wharves have to wait for the following service. This is reported informally by Harbour City Ferries through customer complaints and manual surveys.

Patronage Growth

Total passenger journeys on all public transport modes continues to rise

The continuing growth in patronage increases pressure on public transport crowding, on-time running and capacity.

The table below shows the movement in patronage journeys over the last five years by mode.

Rail patronage for Sydney Trains suburban services and NSW Trains intercity services increased 3.5 per cent from 315 million in 2013-14 to 326 million in 2014-15. NSW Trains' Regional services patronage fell by 2.5 per cent compared to 2013-14. Patronage on regional services has been decreasing since 2011-12 when it peaked at 2.0 million passenger journeys. There were less than 1.8 million passenger journeys in 2014-15, the lowest patronage recorded in the last five years.

Light rail patronage increased from 3.9 million passengers in 2013-14 to 6.1 million in 2014-15. The increase was largely due to the opening of the Inner West Extension in March 2014.

Metropolitan bus patronage increased by 3.1 million passenger journeys from 209 million in 2013-14 to 212 million in 2014-15. Outer metropolitan bus patronage, however, decreased from 15.2 million in 2013-14 to 14.7 million in 2014-15.

Customer Satisfaction

Increased customer satisfaction for all modes of public transport

Between November 2012 and May 2015, overall customer satisfaction for public transport modes increased nine percentage points to 88 per cent for trains, nine percentage points to 88 per cent for buses and three percentage points to 97 per cent for ferries.

The highest dissatisfaction across all modes continues to be the availability of car parking facilities near train stations, with 30 per cent of respondents dissatisfied. This was closely followed by the availability of information about service delays on buses, with 26 per cent of respondents dissatisfied.

TfNSW includes a measure for the proportion of transport users partly satisfied to very satisfied with overall service. TfNSW has not set targets for the level of customer satisfaction it believes each mode of transport should achieve.

Set out below are the top three service attributes with the highest customer satisfaction and customer dissatisfaction from the May 2015 customer survey.

TfNSW is responsible for putting the customer at the centre of their decision making process to ensure their needs, preferences and opinions are reflected. TfNSW performs bi-annual customer satisfaction surveys across transport modes to identify which areas need improvement when making decisions.

Ferry customers continue to be the most satisfied

During 2014-15, ferry customers continued to be the most satisfied, while taxi customers were the least satisfied. All modes of transport have achieved higher customer satisfaction since May 2014.

The results of customer satisfaction surveys are shown below.

Complaints

Fewer complaints about Sydney Trains and NSW Trains in 2014-15

Complaints received about Sydney Trains and NSW Trains dropped 23.1 per cent to 31,805 during 2014-15. Sydney Trains customer satisfaction improved from 79 per cent to 88 per cent in two and a half years. The October 2013 timetable change in the Sydney Trains network contributed to the large number of complaints in 2013-14. Most complaints received by Sydney Trains in 2014-15 related to service issues, but that number fell by approximately 1,000 compared to 2013-14. Most complaints received by NSW Trains related to punctuality, staff, service and information issues.

Total complaints received during the year, and per 100,000 passengers are shown in the table below.

Complaints from ferry passengers in 2014-15 are consistent with 2013-14, and represent the lowest percentage of complaints for all modes compared to total passenger numbers.

While complaints relating to light rail increased 28.5 per cent to 640, this represents a fall in complaints per 100,000 passengers. More passengers are travelling on the light rail network since the Inner West Extension opened in March 2014.

Although relating to buses increased 6.7 per cent to 59,710, this represents a decrease in complaints per 100,000 passengers. The complaints and patronage for School Student Transport Scheme and Free Shuttle Boarding was not included in 2013-14.

Project Management

Five major transport projects original budgets were significantly revised

The 2014-15 capital budget for the Transport Cluster was $7.3 billion. The budget included $2.8 billion for major road projects and $2.4 billion for major rail projects.

Transport projects are subject to change as the NSW Government's priorities are reviewed and updated. Variations between original and latest revised budgets primarily relate to changes in project scopes.

Significant revisions to the original budgets for major transport projects are summarised below.

Wynyard Walk is forecast to be delivered six months late

All major transport projects with total costs exceeding $100 million were forecast to be delivered within the original completion date, except for the Wynyard Walk. The Walk is forecast to be delivered six months late due to delays in construction.

Original and latest revised project costs for a selection of the major transport projects are shown below.

The WestConnex motorway scheme was initially budgeted to cost $11.5 billion, although an increase to $15.4 billion was approved by the Government in May 2015. Expenditure in 2014-15 totalled $405 million. This project will be delivered in three stages as shown below.

Source: http://www.westconnex.com.au/explore_the_route/index.html (unaudited).

This project is expected to be completed on schedule in mid-2023.

Sydney Metro Northwest

Sydney Metro Northwest is Australia's largest public transport infrastructure project. It will be the first fully-automated metro rail system in Australia. The project includes construction of twin 15 km tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping. The Sydney Metro Northwest should be open to passengers by the end of 2019.

The project is expected to complete within the original budget of $8.3 billion. In 2014-15, only $754 million was spent from an allocation of $863 million, mainly due to contingency reserves not being used during the year.

CBD and South East Light Rail

Revised budget of $2.1 billion

TfNSW prepared a Contract Summary for the project and provided it to the Audit Office 48 days after the due date specified in the NSW Public Private Partnerships Guidelines. At the date of this report the Contract Summary has not been tabled in Parliament.

The CBD and South East Light Rail will run from Circular Quay through George Street to Central Station, the University of New South Wales via Anzac Parade, Alison Road and High Street. The project was initially expected to cost $1.6 billion with a scheduled completion date in 2019. The estimated cost has been revised to $2.1 billion due to a preferred bidder's proposal, which includes significant improvements. These include increased capacity to reduce crowding and cater for future demand, an earlier construction date along George St and reduced community impacts during construction.

Expenditure in 2014-15 totalled $174 million from an allocation of $265 million. Management advises a portion of the allocation had been used for costs incurred in the previous year. The underspend is due to the deferment of contingency costs, a reduction in the Early Work scope, increased productivity and delays in property acquisitions.

Fleet Ageing and Reliability

Rail

Increased monthly rail fleet incidents are affecting peak services

Increases in average monthly incidents impact on rail services running on-time. Average monthly rail fleet incidents affecting peak services increased from 34.9 in 2013-14 to 61.2 in 2014-15, an increase of 75.4 per cent. However, the average number of delays in peak periods caused by electric fleet failures fell by 28.8 per cent to 184.4 in the same period.

The table below analyses all reported rail fleet faults for each train type monitored on a 24 hour basis.

The reported number of average monthly faults in 2014 has been revised down from 202 to 191. Sydney Trains advises that after further investigation, some instances previously reported as the fault of the trains were actually faults in other areas, such as infrastructure.

The rate of rail fleet faults remained consistent between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Faults in the total electric fleet fell nine per cent mainly due to a decrease in V Sets faults. In 2014-15, the total number of train carriages increased by four carriages for the Waratah trains.

Buses

All bus operators had bus fleet average age under 12 years

The Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contract states that no operator must have a bus fleet that exceeds an average age of 12 years. Average ages of buses greater than 12 years increases the risk of bus fleet failures and accidents. TfNSW advised that all bus operators comply with their contract.

The total mechanical failures per 100,000 kilometres increased from 70.6 in 2012-13 to 80.5 in 2013-14. In 2014-15, the definition of mechanical failures changed with the introduction of the Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contract, and operators were only required to report 'major' and 'major ' grounded' defects, rather than total mechanical failures. There were nine reports of major defects, which include fuel leaks, engine oil leaks, braking systems not working to standard, seat belt retractor not working and brake lights not working. There are no reports of 'major ' grounded' defects.

Total bus numbers increased by 17 in 2014-15 to 3,884 and the average age of buses increased from 9.4 to 9.5 years.

Ferries

The number of breakdowns fell in 2014-15

The average age of vessels at 30 June 2015 was 25.5 years, with 78.6 per cent of vessels over 20 years old. However, the number of breakdowns fell by 12.0 per cent in 2014-15.

The table below shows engine hours, ferry breakdowns and mechanical failures per one thousand engine hours.

While engine hours remained relatively constant in 2014-15, break downs dropped 12 per cent to 285.

Safety Performance

Rail passenger injuries continued to increase

Rail passenger injuries increased 18.8 per cent to 1,282 in 2014-15.

Bus passenger injuries improved 16.3 per cent from 700 in 2013-14 to 586 in 2014-15.

Ferry passenger injuries were relatively stable compared to 2013-14, with six passenger injuries reported in 2014-15.

During the year, passenger injuries increased on rail transport, while buses and ferries recorded a decrease in passenger injuries. Passenger safety performance measures the number of passenger injuries and fatalities that occurred as a result of the service operations. Non-passenger related injuries and fatalities do occur, but these are primarily outside the operators' control.

The number of passenger injuries by mode of transport over the last five years is shown in the graph below.

Rail data includes on-train incidents involving passengers who may or may not have been injured. For example, a passenger caught-in-doors incident is considered significant, but may not have resulted in an injury. Rail's reporting regime for passenger on-train incidents does not differentiate incidents which caused an injury from those which did not.

While Sydney Trains' reported injuries fell in 2014-15, the overall increase in rail passenger injuries came mainly from NSW Trains. NSW Trains advises that data collection improved over the last year and the increase is indicative of better reporting rather than an increase in passenger injuries.

The Rail Safety National Law Act 2012 requires that rail transport operators submit occurrence notifications on rail safety incidents to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, which commenced operations on 20 January 2013.

Independent Transport Safety Regulator conducts compliance inspections and investigations in its role as the NSW office of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator. It has the capacity to provide independent safety advice to the NSW Government, and prepares an annual rail industry safety performance report, which is available on its website.

Its service measures over the last three years are summarised below.

Compliance activities completed increased by 26.2 per cent in 2014-15. This reflects a higher rate of inspections with a continued focus on risk-based regulation. Independent Transport Safety Regulator has a targeted inspection program with rail operators on rail safety issues and has consolidated its activities within a national operations work plan. In 2014-15, statutory notices issued fell by 28.6 per cent.

Office of Transport Safety Investigations investigates safety incidents involving bus, ferry and rail transport to identify reasons why incidents occurred and provides recommendations. A summary of its service measures is shown below.

Safety Bureau (ATSB). Notifiable incidents increased in 2014-15 due to external agencies recording more accidents and safety incidents. Office of Transport Safety Investigations investigates serious accidents and systemic safety issues. The investigative workload is dictated by the number, nature and complexity of occurrences and the resources available.

Road Safety Performance Outcomes

A downward trend in road fatalities continues

Road fatalities have continued to fall and consequently the fatality rate per head of population is now, for the first time, below the 2016 target in the former NSW 2021 Plan.

The Government's Road Safety Strategy 2012-21 includes a primary road safety target of reducing fatalities to 4.1 per 100,000 of population by 2016. For the year ended 30 June 2015, the rate was 4.2 fatalities per 100,000, slightly lower than the target for the first time.

TfNSW is the lead agency for road safety in New South Wales and works with other agencies including the NSW Police Force, Education Sector, Justice and RMS to improve road safety.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety within TfNSW reported 314 fatalities in 2014-15 (provisional figure at 1 July 2015), compared to 337 in 2013-14 (final figure).

Contributions from Centre for Road Safety and its delivery partners including RMS, Education Sector, Justice and NSW Police Force to improve road safety in 2014-15 included:

  • ongoing delivery of the NSW Road Safety Strategy 2012-2021 and sub-strategies and action plans including Aboriginal, speed cameras, motorcycles, pedestrians and cyclists
  • launching a major motorcycle risk management campaign 'Ride to Live' supporting the delivery of the NSW Motorcycle Safety Strategy
  • delivering safety upgrades under the State Government and the Australian Government Black Spot programs
  • flashing lights being installed at 1,133 school zones, covering 1,161 out of nearly 1,700 schools in the State at 30 June 2015
  • delivery of an Aboriginal Driver Licensing Access Program in 16 NSW communities
  • partnering with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service groups in regional and remote New South Wales to deliver 17 workshops, supplying 846 child safety restraints for vehicles.

Statistics on fatalities and injuries from road traffic crashes are shown in the table below.

Managing Road Congestion

RMS initiated measures to address road congestion in 2014-15

RMS has implemented measures to reduce congestion across the Sydney roads network. The initiatives aim to improve fuel consumption, reduce vehicle emissions, improve air quality and reduce motoring costs. Some major initiatives to manage congestion and improve travel times are listed below.

The Sydney roads network is an integral part of the city's transport network. It comprises the main connecting roads that transverse the city and link to interstate and national highways, tolled and un-tolled motorways and local roads. The NSW Government views easing congestion on the Sydney roads network as critical in supporting current and future economic growth in New South Wales.

Average Travel Speeds

Average travel speeds fell on the Sydney roads network

Average travel speeds on Sydney roads fell for the morning and afternoon peaks from 39.0 to 37.9 kilometres per hour and from 36.0 to 35.2 kilometres per hour, respectively.

Average travel times and speeds measure the performance of the roads network by estimating how long it takes (on average) for a vehicle to travel one kilometre on the network during the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) peak periods in peak direction.

The estimated time to travel one kilometre on Sydney roads increased for the morning and afternoon peaks from 93 to 95 seconds and from 100 to 103 seconds respectively.

RMS is responsible for improving efficiency, measured by travel speeds, on Sydney's major roads during peak times. The graph above indicates travel times and speeds continue to show broadly consistent downward trends for the afternoon peaks over the last four years. Projects, such as Westconnex and Northconnex, have commenced and should improve this trend in future years.

The number of registered vehicles continues to increase

RMS advises registered vehicles on the roads increased from 6.0 million to 6.1 million in 2014-15, continuing an increasing trend over the past five years.

RMS has implemented long term measures, including the NorthConnex and WestConnex projects, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of road infrastructure and systems.

Pavement Rebuilding Targets

RMS met its short term pavement rebuilding target, but not the long term target

RMS has established target indictors for rebuilding the State's road network. The indicators consist of contributions from both the major infrastructure program and the asset maintenance program.

RMS achieved its own short-term pavement rebuilding target of 1.7 per cent, but did not meet the long term target of two per cent under the former NSW 2021 Plan.

The percentage of pavement rebuilding represents the road surface area repaired for structural damages compared to the total area of road surfaces.

The long-term rebuilding target is based on: a comparison with current age profile; a comparison with recent pavement rebuilding rates; and an analysis of strength data to estimate structural remaining life.

A two per cent long-term target produces, on average, pavements that reach an end of service life after 50 years.

Statistics on pavement rebuilding over the past five years are shown below.

The demand for pavement renewal funding will continue to increase primarily due to the effects of an aging network and increased freight loading. RMS advises that a return to wet weather patterns would result in significant weakening of old and thin pavements triggering sudden pavement failure and precipitate unplanned rebuilding.

RMS advises that its ability to effectively maintain service levels and sustain road infrastructure is impacted by:

  • an expanding asset base and the adequacy of funding for recurrent maintenance and new works or replacements
  • an ageing infrastructure (over 40 per cent of pavement network is over 30 years old)
  • increased traffic and axle loadings
  • increasing costs of maintenance
  • increasing environmental constraints and amenity requirements.

Ride Quality and Pavement Durability

RMS achieved 'Good Ride Quality' target one year ahead of forecast

The former NSW 2021 Plan included a 'Good Ride Quality' target of 93 per cent by 2016. Ride quality measures the 'roughness' of travel over road surfaces (including national highways) and is used as a primary indicator of road condition. The target was achieved in 2014-15, a year ahead of forecast.

The table below shows the impact of wet weather on road smoothness for all roads between 2011 and early 2013 when road smoothness deteriorated. A return to drier weather has seen the indicators for all roads improve over the past two years. The road smoothness of urban roads deteriorated slightly in 2014-15 while that of rural roads improved significantly.

These measures, as a percentage of total roads over the last five years, are shown in the table below.

RMS advises it will no longer report pavement durability in the same way because different technology has been used to measure pavement durability (road cracking). RMS is reviewing its KPI framework. It is likely to propose a 'pavement health index' that will better measure pavement quality by including a broader set of pavement distresses (e.g. roughness, cracking, rutting, etc.) and a customer level of service framework.

Container Freight Movements by Rail

For five consecutive years the proportion of freight moved by rail has remained stable

A target of the former NSW 2021 Plan was to enhance rail freight movements by doubling the proportion of container freight movement by rail through NSW ports by 2020. This target translates to 28 per cent or 800,000 twenty foot equivalent container units (TEUs) moved to and from NSW ports by rail in 2020, based on projected throughput.

For five consecutive years the proportion of freight moved by rail has remained stable at around 14.0 per cent compared to the former target of 28.0 per cent.

Last year TfNSW advised it was unlikely the target would be achieved without significant Government intervention.

TEUs moved by rail continued its increasing trend from 250,000 TEUs in 2010-11 to 290,000 TEUs in 2014-15. However, the rate of increase was lower than the overall growth in total container movement.
 

Contract Management and Procurement Reform

Transport agencies performed a self-assessment on contract management

Volume One of the 2015 Auditor-General's Report to Parliament recommended agencies self-assess their contract management against the Audit Office's Better Practice Contract Management Framework and implement a plan to address weaknesses.

Transport entities

TfNSW management advised that TfNSW, RMS, Sydney Trains, NSW Trains and STA have all obtained procurement accreditation from the NSW Procurement Board. Sydney Trains and TfNSW achieved the highest possible rating of 3A. TfNSW has mandated contract performance plans and issued contract management guidance.

Sydney Trains continues to track it progress against its strategy, 'Strategic Directions', and has implemented significant initiatives, including standardised reporting of contract performance for all top-tier contracts, increased use of purchasing cards in line with Treasury directives, and continuing to further develop capability of procurement professionals.

RMS' internal audit coverage included a review of professional service contract management and contract management for selected construction projects during 2014-15. RMS management advises it will fully review and reissue policies with the implementation of an automated procurement system, scheduled to go live in July 2016.

NSW Trains has reviewed existing policies and procedures and developed a strategic plan to address contract implementation and management.

STA has self-reviewed its performance against key elements in the Framework and identified opportunities for improvement. Limited system tools are available to assist and monitor contract management. Management advises that implementation of the new TfNSW Enterprise Resource Planning system will address this weakness.

The Independent Transport Safety Regulator obtained an independent assessment of its procurement processes and contract management. Although no issues relating directly to contract management were identified, the assessment noted policies and procedures had not been updated to reflect current procurement processes.

RailCorp and Sydney Trains have planned for self-assessments to be conducted in 2015-16.

Port Authority

The Port Authority performed a self-assessment in August 2015 and identified gaps in its framework. It aims to reconcile and formalise contract registers across ports by the end of 2015 and establish a contract management plan for each contract.

Shared Services

Performance elements are not used to price services

Transport Shared Services pricing is based on, an agreed subscription, pending implementation of a common system and processes, which is subject to an annual review in June each year to account for changes in demand. There is no clear indication that performance elements are incorporated in the pricing. Shared service agreements detail the expected working relationships and key performance principles, the scope of services to be provided, pricing structure and reporting.

During 2014, service level agreements were renewed between Transport Shared Services and the transport entities for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017. The scope of services provided includes finance, human resources, asset management and workplace services, and procurement. Transport Shared Services, which is a branch within the People and Corporate Services Division of TfNSW, provides shared services to entities with the Transport Cluster, as required by the Transport Administration Act 1988.

Performance and pricing

Performance is monitored and reported against 16 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The results for 2014-15 are summarised below.

The on-time payment of invoices KPI was not met for half of the entities serviced by Transport Shared Services and the general ledger reconciliation target was met for only two of seven entities. KPIs for human resources service delivery were met except for one failure affected by a new system implementation.

KPIs and performance reports are presented for review at monthly and quarterly client engagement meetings. Biannual Customer Council meetings are held in November and May to provide high level cross-client oversight of the services provided.