Sydney Tranches 1 and 2 Operating Bid Development


Operating Bids Tendering and Contracting

Sydney Tranches 1 and 2 Operating Bid Development

Client: ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, Sydney
Date: 2012–2013

Project Description

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

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.

Key Challenges

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.


"Phillip Boyle consistently provided a high level of expertise, advice and management of the scheduling process. His strong technical skills and thorough understanding of transport operations were major assets to the provision of the Olympic and Paralympic games transportation services."

Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games, Athens 2004

"Phillip Boyle & Associates has supported the development of the SmartBus program through the planning and implementation phases. In particular on Route 901 and 902 he developed the timetable and worked with the multiple bus operators to create scheduling solutions for implementation. This included not only creating the vehicle runs and crew shifts but also development of information for the systems that support SmartBus technologies. In each case implementation went very smoothly and high levels of scheduling efficiency were achieved. Phillip’s operational expertise and ability to successfully work with the bus operators involved was critical to the successful implementation of these services."

Chris Bright, Manager SmartBus, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding expertise in assisting Sydney Ferries with development of its successful operating bid, driving the development of a range of “outside the box” options aimed at improving service quality and increasing efficiency levels. Phillip Boyle’s combination of technical operations capabilities and commercial experience provided Sydney Ferries with significant benefits during this process."

Denis Mole, Chief Operating Officer, Sydney Ferries, NSW

"A highly successful implementation has been achieved, complete with substantial network changes and a complete rewriting of all operating timetables. During the scheduling process Phillip Boyle & Associates worked closely with both TransLink and ourselves to achieve the best possible outcomes. As a result the operation has been made simpler and substantially more robust. Implementation was helped significantly by Phillip Boyle’s operational planning and scheduling expertise."

Paul Davies, General Manager, Westside Bus Service, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding planning, operations and implementation expertise. The project was difficult due to the complex nature of the service (local, intertown and line haul services operating under a timed-transfer system) and the number of stakeholders involved. Phillip Boyle’s hands-on approach ensured a difficult implementation went smoothly. He worked effectively with a variety of stakeholders ranging from large and small bus companies, Department of Transport staff, Metlink and local government representatives. Not only did Mr Boyle help to redesign the service, but he also drove the implementation, including development of a regional timetable in a new format."

John Storrie, General Manager – Strategic Planning & Policy, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle provided scheduling support for Brisbane Transport over several projects spanning almost ten years. The range of projects he has assisted with cover the scheduling, planning and human resources disciplines. In that time he has demonstrated high levels of scheduling, planning and operations expertise. I look forward to working with Phillip Boyle & Associates in the future and would highly recommend them to an organisation looking for planning, operations or scheduling expertise."

Roman Gafa, Network Scheduling Manager, Brisbane Transport, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates developed our operating bid for the V/Line services. Not only did they assist with format, structure and content, but also developed our operating plan and pricing strategies. Our bid success was due in no small part to the professionalism of Phillip Boyle, his ability to prepare a high-quality operating bid, and his detailed understanding of operations. Upon winning the bid, Phillip Boyle & Associates provided implementation support and advice necessary to ensure a successful implementation of the services."

Frank Bono, Managing Director, Firefly Express, Victoria

"Having worked with Phillip Boyle over many years I can say without a doubt he provides industry-leading expertise in the planning, scheduling and operation of public transportation services. His recent work on the Advanced Transit Scheduling Manual reinforced this view."

Dan Boyle, President, Dan Boyle & Associates, USA