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Alumni awarded major Sydney transport contract

14 Feb 2018

The New South Wales State Government has awarded a contract to operate bus services in Sydney’s heavily populated inner west and south west to transport operator, Transit Systems, chaired by Business School alumni and former staff member, Neil Smith.

Mr Smith completed the Master of Transport Management program offered by the School’s highly respected Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies (ITLS) in the 1990s. He also worked with the Institute as a consultant and as a lecturer before going on to establish bus services in Australia and internationally.

These services include Torrens Transit in South Australia, Swan Transit in Western Australia and Tower Transit in London and Singapore. This latest contract covering what is known as region 6, is his second for Sydney.

Mr Smith has described the new contract as a “really big win” for his company and the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Mr Smith has also promised a “genuinely radical” approach to the transport needs of Region 6. Drawing on his experience in other parts of the world, Mr Smith says his company can deliver a “major upgrade without huge costs”.

“We are immensely proud of Neil's success and the growth of his bus business,” said the Founder and Director of the ITLS, Professor David Hensher. “Here at the ITLS, he was involved with the establishment of the Certificate of Transport Management and lectured in service design, marketing and Government relations.”

Mr Smith believes his time at ITLS as a student and a researcher introduced him to the merits of outsourcing, competitive tendering and how to bid successfully.

Professor Hensher worked with Mr Smith on his first competitive tender for a contract to provide bus services in Western Australia.

The two men continue to work together as members of the Thredbo series, which was established by Professor Hensher 30 years ago and is now the premier international forum for analysis and debate related to competition and ownership issues in land passenger transport.

Announcing the Region 6 contract, the State Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, said the “change was about making public transport services better for the community”. “It’s about providing extra and more efficient services that more people will use as the city’s population grows,” he continued.

“Transit Systems will work closely with Transport for NSW to progressively deliver service improvements and will also work closely with customers and the community to ensure they have plenty of information about how and when these improvements will be delivered,” the Minister added.

Specifically, Region 6 covers the inner western and south western suburbs from the Sydney CBD west to Strathfield and Olympic park.

Services in Region 6 are currently provided by the NSW State Transit Authority (STA).