Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, organisation - contracting, operations - coordination, mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail, mode - rail


seamless network, franchise agreements, Melbourne, bus, tram, train services


Intermodal service coordination designed to achieve a „seamless network‟ is a common feature of high-quality public transport systems. This paper explores the intention and the reality of the institutional arrangements that govern the coordination of bus, tram and train services in Melbourne under the franchise agreements.
State Government policies and contractual obligations set out the intended lines of responsibility for the planning of transport networks in relation to design and delivery of coordinated multimodal services. Interviews, designed to examine the practical application of these policies and obligations, were conducted during 2009 with staff from the Department of Transport, the private operators, the Bus Association and from Metlink – the company established to improve communication and coordination of public transport services.
The results of this investigation highlight the significant differences between actual practices and the stated intentions of both government policies and existing contracts with private sector organisations.
The lack of effective designation of responsibilities, ineffective communication at many levels across numerous institutions, and an absence of skilled staff will continue to impede the development of a cohesive transport network in Melbourne. These problems were not addressed in the design of the new franchise agreements that began in December 2009.