Transport industry adapting to change: An Australian case study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - demand responsive transit, organisation - contracting, organisation - regulation, place - australasia, planning - service improvement, planning - service level


Public transport, Disruption, Demand responsive transport, Integrated governance


Growing governmental reluctance to fund local bus services is leading to increased interest in demand responsive transport (DRT). At the same time, the use of technology to facilitate access to DRT is creating circumstances for significant disruption of the way bus services are planned, contracted, delivered and regulated. This disruption creates uncertainty for bus operators but also presents an opportunity for operators to proactively adapt to better meet passenger needs and capture more of the market. This could involve diversifying their businesses, becoming total local transport providers and/or brokers, along Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) type lines, where the passenger is of central importance, rather than the mode of transport. The paper presents a Victorian case study that explores how the bus industry's voluntary professional association is working with its members to augment their capabilities and deliver DRT services, against the background of a changing contractual environment for delivery of services. The provision of a new transport business model, and the technological platform that supports it via their voluntary professional association, will enable bus operators to compete in the growing DRT realm and passenger services levels to improve, also supporting better social and environmental outcomes.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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