Australasian Bus & Coach Issue 406

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in this issue

5 min
inconvenient truths

Was the origin of the Covid-19 coronavirus some lab in Wuhan, China? A seemingly belated push from multiple G7 countries now to seek out such truth might just that – belated. And maybe like that scene in 1981’s cinematic epic Raiders of the Lost Ark, where they realise the stick for the ancient headpiece needed to be a bit shorter for the sunlight to accurately shine through it in the ‘map room’, they’ll be “digging in the wrong place”. Why? The ‘virus’ came from the dark recesses of someone’s mind! Or more likely a collection of minds. Or such is what recent media reports imply. News stories across the political divide have been quick to cover the gamut of emails released involving head US medical expert Anthony Fauci – and whether US…

3 min
keolis downer lands sydney contract

KEOLIS DOWNER has announced that it will be operating and maintaining Sydney Region 8 bus services in a $900 million contract from Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) The French-Australian busoperating joint venture will be running bus services in the Northern Beaches and the lower North Shore areas for eight years from October 31, 2021, TfNSW has announced. The ‘partnership’ with TfNSW aims to “deliver innovative transport solutions in Sydney’s Northern beaches as the future bus operator”, states Keolis Downer. Global law firm Ashurst has advised Keolis Downer on the tender. According to the company, Keolis Downer will work closely with TfNSW to deliver a range of initiatives to further enhance the journey experience of customers, across all aspects of the service. “We will introduce new service technology to enable staff to actively manage routes…

2 min
strong interest for 2021 sydney bus and coach expo

EXCITIMENT IS BUILDING and strong interest is being shown for the forthcoming 2021 Australasia Bus and Coach Expo, being held Wednesday 29 to Thursday 30 September at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, organisers have announced. BusNSW executive director Matt Threlkeld confirms there has been strong exhibitor and visitor interest for the 2021 Expo, which is returning to Sydney after five years. “On the back of the successful 2019 Melbourne Expo, the Sydney event this year promises to be another world-class exhibition for the Australasian bus and coach industry,” Threlkeld said. The Expo will include more than $50 million-worth of vehicles and in excess of 100 exhibition booths displaying products and services, covering 14,000 square metres and all under the one roof, according to BusNSW. Approximately 90 per cent of vehicle display areas and 70…

3 min
nsw union puts bus driver conditions in spotlight

THE NSW STATE GOVERNMENT must “take responsibility for wages and conditions throughout the contracts it awards to private bus companies” and these should be “awarded on decent, secure jobs and safe conditions, not low cost”, according to the Transport Workers Union’s (TWU) NSW Branch, recently. The union’s branch delegates from several bus companies today voted in May to endorse a plan that includes a readiness to take industrial action to improve pay, superannuation and safety, it announced. Included in the bus drivers’ claim are provisions such as: realistic timetables so drivers aren’t forced to rush; working hours to manage fatigue; and strong safety committees. TWU NSW Branch secretary Richard Olsen led the vote from the bus delegates at the union’s Minchinbury office, stating the plan is about “lifting standards to ensure fairness and…

1 min
bus collision-repair industry stalwart retires

Retirement has called on Wales Truck and Bus Repairs stalwart and collision-repair key figure Sam Travato, who, after more than 50 years, leaves the company and greater bus industry, Wales announced recently. Travato has been instrumental in his guidance, work ethic and industry knowledge for the growth of Wales Bus Repairs for the past seven years, confirms Wales CEO Darren Wales, adding that his departure will be keenly felt amongst the Wales team. “His dedication and service levels to our client base has been beyond reproach,” Wales stated. “We wish Sam all the very best with his future endeavours of retirement and beyond and add that he will be sorely missed – both here at Wales Bus Repairs and the bus industry in general. “We are holding a casual farewell for Sam at Wales…

1 min
bus safety warning amid road-rules ‘forgetfulness’

TRANSDEV AUSTRALIASIA reminded motorists to give way and share the road with buses, light rail and other public transport services as part of National Road Safety Week (May 17–23). With the company citing 2021 research from vehicle manufacturer Ford Australia that suggests many drivers aren’t as familiar with road rules as they were before the pandemic – with many parts of the country staying off the roads and at home during part of 2020 – Transdev Australasia chief Safety and Assurance officer Huw Bridges says everyone had a role to play in helping to keep roads safe. “Safety on the road is the responsibility of every road user,” Bridges stated. “Our responsibility is to train and help our drivers to be the safest they can be on the road. It’s a collective responsibility…