Transdev is a name many Australians may not be familiar with, even if they use their services every day. As the world’s leading public transportation company, Transdev has over 83,000 employees globally and operates in 20 countries.
“In Australia and New Zealand alone, we have more than 5,300 employees and operate 2000 vehicles across five different modes of transport: bus, coach, train, ferry and light rail. We proudly provide public transport services on behalf of governments around the region” states Nick Clark, CEO of Transdev Australasia. “For Transdev, Australia and New Zealand is an important market with plenty of growth opportunity.”
“In NSW, we have a strong presence and have been in the market since 1998. With a bus and coach fleet of over 445 vehicles and employing around 650 drivers, we are the largest provider of bus services in the wider Sydney metropolitan area. As part of that, we also shuttle 40,000 school children to and from school and offer regular and one-off coach services to the public, including schools excursions and shuttles for major events. We also work closely with Sydney trains to offer bus replacement services, used when the train network has a disruption or there’s maintenance work being done” explains Nick.
“We currently operate the existing light rail service in Sydney, which has seen dramatic patronage growth since the introduction of OPAL cards. We are also excited about and looking forward to operating the CBD and South East Sydney Light Rail network, which will be constructed over the next four years”
Transdev also operates the iconic Harbour City Ferries, in partnership with Transfield Services, with a fleet of 32 ferries operating across a network of 39 destinations around the harbour . “This is an incredibly important business for Sydney, not only for commuters but also for tourists who make up 40% of our customers. It’s an integral part of making Sydney a great destination” states Nick.
Throughout Australia and New Zealand, Transdev operates in most capital cities. This impressive list includes Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Auckland, Darwin and of course Sydney. They offer all four of the major modes of public transport. With bus operations being the majority, the company is focusing on growing in other modes within the region.
Public transport has a huge role to play in environmental sustainability, as more users mean less personal vehicles being used on the roads. Transdev has a huge focus on improving fuel efficiency, eco-driver behaviour and the use of electricity instead of diesel.
“Sustainability plays a major role in the way we design depots, harvest and recycle water, as well as manage chemicals as part of our day to day operations” says Nick. The company has a range of initiatives, with an IS0 14001 accreditation as a platform to offer a more environmental friendly service to the public.
“Safety is our credo and number one priority, including that of our employees, our customers and the broader community. Being a core value, it’s something management is passionate about” states Nick. “Looking after our people and safety is fundamental to our business.”
“One of the greatest things about being in public transport is its importance in shaping how we move around our ever growing cities. This includes livability and long term sustainability. It’s a component of what makes the city great for residents and its visitors and it is not something that a single person, individual group or government could do alone. It requires true partnerships to deliver long term outcomes” Nick explains. Transdev works closely with the Tourism and Transport Forum, the Bus Industry Confederation, as well as the Australasian Railway Association amongst others. “It’s becoming increasingly important that we not only engage with government and public transport authorities, but also industry groups and the broader communities in which we operate. These are the people who design and construct our ideas. A whole group of stakeholders need to come together to provide a service. We want to be a key part of that and therefore, our relationships within the industry are a very strong focus.”
As public transport wouldn’t be much without the public, Nick speaks about giving back to the community. “We proudly give back to the communities we operate in so our customers can see we are part of the local community. We’ve developed our Growing Together corporate responsibility platform, which has three pillars: Shaping our Communities, Inspiring our People and Protecting our Environment.”
Transdev also allows employees to make a payroll deducted, pre-tax donation to a range of charities, which is matched by the company. To-date the Spirit program has raised over $400,000 to regional charities since its inception.
“Not only do we contribute through financial donations, but also through donating our services. Examples of the program in specific communities include fundraising in Melbourne for victims of the Nepal earthquake, wrapping a bus in Sydney to support White Ribbon Day and providing buses for disability services in Western Australia. This is a huge part of being a good corporate citizen and part of the Australia and New Zealand community” proudly states Nick.
The role of public transport is becoming more important. Over the last number of years, a number of Australian cities have grown in population faster than the public transport sector. How to continue development and receive proper funding is now the big question.
“We need to upgrade current systems, add new infrastructure and develop new networks that meet today’s needs. The challenge is how are we going to obtain funding to enhance, improve and to grow networks to reduce congestion? State governments will need to be creative in how they provide funding. It’s really challenging and I think this industry is an incredibly important component of every city” says Nick.
Prior to joining Transdev, Nick was most recently the Managing Director of Cleanaway. Coming from a strong history in logistics, he is determined to provide better transport solutions to customers.
“I’m incredibly excited to be in the public transport industry because of its daily relevance to the life of the city. It’s fantastic to be part of something that’s positively impacting people’s lives every day. Our goals are to ensure we continue to provide a safe and excellent service to our customers and to maintain our long term commitment by continually growing the business” states Nick.
Looking to expand, Transdev will be putting in a lot of work with stakeholders, governments, operators and infrastructure providers. They are looking to utilise their local and global knowledge to provide better and more innovative services in the future.