Southeast Queensland Bus Review – Operational Planning & Implementation Support


Operations Planning and Resource Optimisation

Southeast Queensland Bus Review Operational Planning and Implementation Support

Client: TransLink and Logan City Bus Service, Thompsons Bus Services, Park Ridge Transit, Westside Bus Services, Australia
Date: 2013–2014

Project Description

Phillip Boyle & Associates provided extensive planning and implementation expertise as part of a large-scale network redesign across eight regions of Queensland, including the major centres of Brisbane and Ipswich. This redesign involved a complete revision of operating plans, timetables, driver rostering and scheduling for four operators.

These private bus companies operate over 2,100 daily trips across extensive urban networks and school special services, providing over 12 million service kilometres annually with a combined fleet of over 250 buses.


The revised network and services for the four operators were successfully implemented in December 2013 – January 2014, including for three operators on the same day, as part of one of Australia’s largest simultaneous multiple-operator major network changes.

Operating efficiency and timetable quality were substantially improved through the review process, resulting in cost savings for the operators. The focus on clockface headways and intermodal connectivity delivered significant passenger benefits.

The optimised schedules:

  • Improved passenger experience by simplifying routes and enhancing connectivity between bus services and other transport modes
  • Eliminated service duplication and redirected resources to overcrowded routes
  • Cut dead running and wasted time
  • Substantially reduced operating resource requirements.

Scope of Works

Key Tasks

Phillip Boyle & Associates’ activities included:

  • Planning the route and network to reduce network duplication and improve effectiveness
  • Preparing the initial operating cost and estimating passenger impact
  • Developing detailed timetabling and scheduling for all routes
  • Providing implementation support, including production of operating reports
  • Providing specialist advice about operations planning.

Key Challenges

A high level of resourcing was required to deliver simultaneous support to four operators through all project phases, right up to implementation. The success of the changes and the delivery of all services in a timely fashion highlights Phillip Boyle & Associates’ organisational capability to provide high-volume client support.

The new network and revisions required detailed evaluation of passenger impacts. In some cases, route rationalisations had the potential to negatively affect passengers. However, through detailed planning and an in-depth understanding of service areas, we were able to minimise impacts and successfully implement the changes.


"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