One of Australia’s leading bus operators has retained and expanded its public transport service contracts in the Northern Territory due to its demonstrated performance, unique capabilities with special needs customers and its commitment to local communities.
ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia Pty Ltd (CDC), through its subsidiary CDC Darwin Pty Ltd (formerly Buslink NT Pty Ltd), has won the Northern Territory Government tender for a six-year contract as the sole operator of public bus transport services in Darwin, Palmerston, Rural Areas and Special Needs Services within the region. CDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore listed company, ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited.
The Darwin and Urban service contract areas cover a significant part of Northern Territory’s public transport network, with 170 vehicles operating across more than 180 bus routes, moving approximately 5.7 million passengers every year.
These contract areas are in addition to the Alice Springs, Batchelor and Jabiru school services, which were awarded to CDC entities in late 2021. CDC also continues to operate the Urban bus network contract in Alice Springs.
Commencing the new contract from 1 July, CDC will operate under new CDC Northern Territory branding, replacing the current Buslink branding. The company will expand its operations to employ over 340 people and operate more than 210 buses in the Northern Territory.
CDC will provide its Australian and global expertise in operating reduced emissions buses, with nine new Volvo hybrid buses to be rolled out on urban routes during the contract period.
CDC’s local expertise in training drivers and carers for special needs transport for students with a disability also strengthened the company’s bid.
CDC Regional Australia Division CEO, Tony Hopkins, said the growth of the company in partnership with the NT Government will be fruitful for the communities it serves, current and future bus customers and the additional employees who will be joining the company to serve the new contract.
“We are very pleased that the performance and expertise of our current operations and the way we treat our customers and employees in the Northern Territory has been recognised during the tender process for the Darwin contract,” Mr Hopkins said.
“For customers, it means they will be served by a long-term operator which has invested significantly in its Northern Territory operations to consistently deliver a safe and reliable service.
“For transitioning employees, it means they will be looked after by a company with a strong track record in retaining staff, providing good working conditions and long-term opportunities.
“For the surrounding communities, it means they are being served by a company which has demonstrated its commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation and other important social causes,” he said.
Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler, said that public transport is vital for the Northern Territory community.
“The awarding of this tender will see 340 Territorians supported through employment, and Territorians supported through reliable public transport. We are delivering services for Territorians in our urban centres and in the bush, with 170 vehicles operating across more than 180 bus routes,” Ms Lawler said.
“The addition of the new hybrid buses supports our commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”