Coordinating Public Transport


John Doyle

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, operations - coordination, operations - performance, operations - frequency, organisation - governance, planning - network design, planning - service improvement, policy - equity


Public Transport Victoria, network, performance monitoring, demand for services, coordination, Multi-Modal Coordination Policy, bus, train, tram


This audit assessed PTV’s progress and effectiveness in coordinating public transport services. It examined whether institutional arrangements support effective strategic planning for and governance of coordination initiatives, and whether key strategies and initiatives for managing coordination have been effective.

Public transport services are poorly coordinated. Progress on improving public transport coordination has been slow, despite related initiatives featuring prominently in statewide strategic land use and transport plans over the past decade. Over this time, public transport has been managed as a collection of separate modes rather than as an integrated system because institutional deficiencies have not supported effective planning for, and governance of, coordination initiatives. Consequently, these past approaches have not given sufficient attention to driving improvements in coordination—many bus services remain indirect, are infrequent and have long wait times for connecting train services. PTV’s establishment and explicit focus on improving public transport services and coordination is a key development. By shifting its focus from modal to network planning, PTV has improved its understanding of the challenges and actions needed to improve coordination.

There is also a need for DTPLI to develop clearly defined statewide coordination objectives, performance measures, and governance arrangements to monitor achievement of coordination outcomes. Ongoing delays in addressing existing barriers to coordination will impede the achievement of related transport system objectives.

PTV does not have adequate systems to efficiently and effectively support its planning to integrate the public transport network. PTV acknowledges that this situation has led to increased costs and lost opportunities for improving services and has procured a network planning and scheduling system which is scheduled to be deployed in November 2014. The proposed new system aims to deliver better coordination between services, opportunities for additional coordinated services and improved operational performance.


Permission to publish abstract has been given by Victorian Auditor-General's Office. All reports are available for download in PDF and HTML format at www.audit.vic.gov.au