Newcastle Transport

An integrated public transport network is vital to support Newcastle’s transition towards a global city in a way that maintains and enhances liveability. In Newcastle, there is great opportunity to improve transport services, to make public transport routes more direct and frequent and to better connect different modes of transport.

This is why the NSW Government has implemented Newcastle Transport. This is a new model for public transport with a single operator running multiple modes to deliver timetable efficiency, easy connections and a locally based approach to ensure the best services for customers.   

A new public transport model for Newcastle

Evidence from around the world has shown a locally-based multi-modal approach works extremely well in cities like Newcastle. This new model will deliver the transport system Newcastle needs to support the extra jobs and activity revitalisation will bring, and provide Novocastrians with the world-class transport they deserve.

Newcastle Transport took over the existing bus and ferry system on 1 July 2017, and will also be responsible for light rail when services start in 2019. 

Newcastle Transport will deliver transport solutions that will make our city a better place to live, work and do business, and a more accessible place that is easy for everyone to get around. 

Improvements to be delivered

  • Buses will cover more ground and there will be higher frequency services on key corridors
  • Increased frequency for ferry customers during the day, with services every 15 minutes
  • Frequent light rail services, running every 7.5 minutes during peak times
  • Clock-face timetables, making the timetable easier to understand
  • Increased operating hours and weekend ‘night owl’ services
  • New on-demand bus services supported by app and phone booking in certain areas
  • Refurbished ferries
  • Increased performance standards and KPIs, including incentives to grow patronage

A new operator based in Newcastle

Keolis Downer was selected as the operator of Newcastle Transport through a competitive tender process. The operator has a contract with Transport for NSW, under which the government sets minimum service standards and KPIs, and the operator has a level of autonomy to plan and run services.

Newcastle Transport is based in Newcastle ensuring local direction and close community connection. As the community is at the heart of the new approach to transport in Newcastle, further community consultation will be undertaken before significant changes are made to services.

Customers will be given plenty of time and information to support their transition to the new timetable. All Newcastle Buses and Ferries operational staff have transitioned to the new operator on the same pay and conditions, infrastructure will remain in public hands, and fares will continue to be set by the NSW Government.

Project status

Newcastle Transport takes over existing bus and ferry services

Service improvements delivered

Light rail service operational

Ongoing service delivery