On 31 October, Keolis Downer, Keolis’ Australian subsidiary, began operating a network of over 400 buses in Greater Sydney, with plans to convert 125 vehicles to electric. The eight-year, 406-bus contract is worth around €580 million, and was awarded on 28 May 2021 by Transport for New South Wales. It is the first time the network is being run by a private operator.
The contract, which is the largest involving the introduction of alternative-energy buses in Australia, is part of the Australian government’s move to convert the region’s entire bus fleet to electric power by 2030. The company has taken over nearly 900 new employees and is responsible for introducing 125 electric buses to replace retiring vehicles, with supporting infrastructure, by 2030. Keolis will operate the B-Line bus service, which includes 38 double-decker buses, and incorporating 12 Keoride on-demand vehicles including four new accessible minibuses able to carry wheelchairs and prams.
Keolis, which has has a presence in Australia for over 10 years, operates trams, buses, suburban train networks, river shuttles, autonomous electric shuttles and real-time on-demand transport services in nine cities. It has around 6,000 employees across the country.