05 Nov 2019


Keolis’ Australian subsidiary, Keolis Downer, has started operating a new real-time on-demand transport service in Newcastle, as part of its Smart City Program. This new service builds on the success of existing on-demand services in
Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, where ridership continues to grow by over 5

The new on demand system provides the local community and visitors a better access to public transport and aims to shift from private cars to public transport. The new service is a 12-month trial that is part of the Newcastle Smart City Program being implemented by the City of Newcastle. It will further optimise Newcastle’s transport network by providing residents with a new way to reach key CBD locations (city center) or to connect with other modes of transport, such as the Newcastle Interchange, light rail and bus services and Broadmeadow railway station.

It will pick customers up from a designated point within a 10km area and take them to a designated point close to their destination. To provide this service, Keolis Downer has partnered with New York-based tech company Via, and car-sharing service GoGet, to deliver the technology that allows live bookings and provides real-time information.

Keolis Downer CEO, David Franks, said: “Newcastle On Demand will be an easy, stress-free way to commute into the city in the morning and get home in the evening. Through the existing real-time service in Lake Macquarie – which carries over 5,000 passengers each month – and the other On-Demand services we operate in Sydney, we have seen that these flexible transport options provide a great alternative to individual cars and encourage the use of shared mobility solutions.” Cost is AU$3.20 per trip. Customers can pay using their Opal card or credit/debitcard.

Established in 2009, Keolis Downer is the joint venture between Keolis and Downer,provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand. It employs some 5,000 people and carries more than250 million passengers per year. In Newcastle, Keolis operates the multimodal transport network which includes the light rail and bus services, as well as an on-demand transport service and ferries.

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