Through: Fabian Cotter, Photograph by: courtesy Keolis Downer + TfNSW

BREAKDOWN: Franco-Australian bus operation joint venture Keolis Downer awarded $ 900 million contract to operate and maintain Sydney Region 8 bus services in the northern beaches and lower north coast for eight years, effective October 31, 2021, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) announced today.

Keolis Downer is delighted to partner with TfNSW to deliver positive public transport outcomes to local beach communities in the North and Lower North Shore, he says.

The “partnership” with TfNSW aims to “… offer innovative transport solutions on the beaches of northern Sydney as a future bus operator,” said a statement released recently by Keolis Downer.

Global law firm Ashurst advised Keolis Downer on the tender.

According to the company, Keolis Downer will work closely with TfNSW to implement a range of initiatives to further improve the travel experience for customers, in all aspects of service.

The contract will see the introduction of 125 electric buses over the next eight years, providing more sustainable transportation options for the local community from two new electrified depots in Brookvale and Mona Vale, he confirms.

Keolis Downer will also introduce innovative technology to further increase the reliability and quality of service of the successful B-Line, he explains.

The popular on-demand transportation service known as Keoride will also become a permanent part of the network, he adds.


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Keolis Downer is delighted to partner with TfNSW to deliver positive public transport outcomes to local beach communities in the North and Lower North Shore, he says.

Keolis Downer’s priority is to ensure a smooth transition for all employees and to maintain high standards in customer experience and operations, he says. In addition, it is focused on introducing global innovations such as advanced services, new electric buses and orientation improvements that will deliver more connected and sustainable journeys, he says.

“We are very proud to partner with TfNSW to support the future growth and transformation of Northern Beaches,” said David Franks, CEO of Keolis Downer.

“Building on our local and global experience, we will be launching a series of new initiatives to improve the customer experience from the excellent bus services already available in the region.


“We will introduce new service technology to enable staff to actively manage routes and monitor bus uptime, thus improving the frequency of bus services.

“We are also very pleased to continue to provide the highly successful on-demand transportation service, which we have been operating in the region since 2017.

“We look forward to further engaging with the community to provide a safe, efficient and reliable transportation system that supports the livability and future prosperity of this dynamic and growing region,” said Franks.



Keolis Downer is one of the main operators of public transport services in Australia, he says.

With 4,900 employees and a presence in five states, Keolis Downer enables 250 million passenger trips per year, he confirms.

The company operates and maintains the Newcastle Integrated Network; the world’s largest tram network in Melbourne (Yarra Trams); the light rail network on the Gold Coast (G: link); and 1000 buses in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

It also operates and maintains the Adelaide metro train services, he adds.

Founded in 2009, Keolis Downer is a joint venture between Keolis, a leading public transport operator established in 15 countries, and Downer, the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand, he said.



Alex Guy, Ashurst Partner, commented: “We are delighted to have assisted Keolis Downer in his successful proposal to the NSW government, which will see a range of exciting initiatives that will help TfNSW deliver an enhanced passenger experience on a value for money. “

The Ashurst team was led by partner Alex Guy, assisted by partners Ratha Nabanidham, Anne Reffay, senior partners Eloise Moore and Manisha Pannu, consultant Kim Broadbent and lawyers Louis Rainguenet, Alex Martin and Zoe Hinchliffe.


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