Operating Bids Tendering and Contracting
Sydney Tranches 1 and 2 Operating Bid Development
Client: ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, Sydney
The NSW government conducted a competitive tendering process for bus services in four regions in Sydney during 2012 and 2013, with the aim of consolidating the regions and improving service quality and efficiency. Phillip Boyle & Associates provided bid expertise and support to ComfortDelGro Cabcharge (CDC) for three contract regions for Sydney bus services: Tranche 1, comprising Regions 1 and 3 (involving multiple operators) and Tranche 2, comprising Region 4.
CDC won the hotly contested Region 4 contract, which is Sydney’s largest operation, with over 500 vehicles across 60 routes. The region covers Sydney’s rapidly growing northwest area. Services are provided by a mix of unique service offerings, including Transitway/BRT, CBD commuter express, local feeder and regional Metrobus routes.
Phillip Boyle & Associates supported development of highly competitive and effective operating bids and assisted CDC (operating as Hillsbus) in successfully securing the Region 4 contract.
Our work identified substantial efficiency gains, while providing service quality improvements and increased services (26 new buses on day 1 and extra bus services on 17 key routes). Some of the many service enhancements are detailed in Transport for NSW’s press release.
We used the HASTUS ATP and NetPlan tools to enhance service quality, including even spacing of services on common corridors and improved running times, and improve service reliability.
Other highlights included our sophisticated approach to depot optimisation to ensure that CDC’s depot strategy was cost-effective and provided optimal service outcomes. Our solutions to improve operations through the heavily congested Parramatta interchange were innovative and realistic.
Scope of Works
Key tasks for CDC’s Region 4 bid included:
- Developing efficient and sustainable solutions for the base bid, based on current timetables
- Delivering an enhanced network that provided additional services and substantial service quality increases at a reduced operating cost
- Providing research and writing expertise during bid preparation
- Providing costing advice for the bid
- Developing the operating plan.
This project involved commercial and stakeholder constraints, as well as challenges related to the Region 4 environment.
Commercial and stakeholder considerations included negotiating with the multiple operators involved in the Region 3 bid and ensuring that all operating plans were robust and met the stringent operational and reliability requirements of the new NSW contracting model.
Region 4 is a large region, with high-volume services, a substantial growth in patronage, various service types (school, CBD-commuter, local, regional, T-way) and multiple depots. The service area is diverse and ranges from typical high-density urban areas, including the CBD, to semi-rural areas. In addition, the bottleneck on the M2 freeway to the CBD due to the high volumes of buses (90 buses per hour) presented significant timetabling constraints.