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Objective 5Network safety and optimisation

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Bus driver safety review

In September 2016, the department announced an independent review into bus driver safety would be conducted. Sadly, in October 2016, a Brisbane Transport Bus Driver, Mr Manmeet Sharma was fatally attacked following the announcement of this review. As a result, the scope of the review was expanded to include data from this fatal incident and findings from Brisbane City Council's review.

In November 2016 the department engaged an external consultant to conduct the independent review which included extensive consultation with key stakeholders including 522 drivers (via a survey) and stakeholder meetings with industry representatives, unions and government agencies. The state's 3000 bus drivers were also invited to take part in a survey on bus driver safety.

The review:

As a result of the review, the department will begin to trial a number of the recommendations such as the fitment of anti-shatter film on buses on the Gold Coast and Cairns. We have also implemented more frequent and expanded Bus Safety Forum meetings to include bus drivers and TransLink Senior Network Officers, recognising the important role they play in the public transport network.

South East Queensland Bus Contracts procurement project

Bids from 15 private service providers were received following a successful invitation to offer process which closed in May 2017. Evaluation of the bids submitted is underway.

Concurrently, the department is engaged with Brisbane City Council to put in place new generation contracts for bus services in south east Queensland. This procurement will improve customer experience, ensure greater value for money for the state, and enhance flexibility in our network.

A revised invitation to offer contract was issued to private bus service providers in March 2017 following an interactive workshop process. The department is planning to progressively execute contracts from 1 July 2017. Contract extensions will be required under the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 to facilitate these contract executions.

Revenue Protection Strategy

Fare evasion accounts for an estimated $25 million in lost fare revenue annually on the public transport network in south east Queensland.

As a consequence, the department identified activities in our Revenue Protection Strategy to reduce fare evasion. These activities fall under the key areas of new technology, improved data management, customer communication and education, and enforcement.

During the year, we refined the Fare Evasion Incident Management System for the Senior Network Officer workforce. This mobile phone-based platform for recording fines and warnings also assists field staff plan their deployments on the network in real time and conduct their work in a safe environment. This has meant improved revenue protection productivity, safety and customer service.

The automatic upload of data into the revenue protection database has also provided more up-to-date data on fare evasion hot spots for use in the intelligent deployment of enforcement officers.

The Revenue Protection team also continues to work with industry partners at a depot level and with local schools to educate partners and customers on revenue protection activity and the rights and responsibilities of customers while using public transport.

Senior Network Officers have been proactive during the year to improve the safety of bus drivers and other network staff and for customers using network services. This is demonstrated in regular joint operations throughout the year between Senior Network Officers and Queensland Police across south east Queensland.

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