Keolis Downer started operating the multimodal transport network in Newcastle, Australia

07-06-2017. Keolis’ Australian subsidiary, Keolis Downer, started operating the multimodal transport network for Newcastle, Australia which consists of the existing bus and ferry network under a new 10-year contract. A new Transport Hub dedicated to customer service and community engagement has opened in the city centre. Through this new milestone, Keolis strengthens its presence in Australia and its position as the leading multimodal operator.

Keolis Downer started operating Newcastle Transport, the new integrated transport provider for Newcastle, Australia. Keolis Downer is responsible for running buses, ferries and, from 2019, light rail.  

The contract was signed in December 2016 for a 10 year operational period which commenced on 1 July. Newcastle Transport is the first multimodal transport system to be operated by a private operator in Australia.

Chief Executive Officer of Keolis Downer Hunter, Campbell Mason, said from day one the team would be working to make transport more attractive and listening to feedback to understand customer needs as we go about redesigning the network.

Our focus will be on building trust with the community and encouraging them to provide feedback on how the transport system can be improved.


Campbell Mason, Chief Executive Officer of Keolis Downer Hunter

The local community has the opportunity to share their views on the future of public transport in the Newcastle region, to inform the new network design to be rolled out in early 2018.


The bus and ferry network will be improved to better meet the local community’s needs and integrate seamlessly with the light rail when services start in 2019.


While there will be no major changes to timetables in 2017, the network has been given a refresh with the launch of the new Newcastle Transport brand that is now visible on buses and ferries, as well as staff uniforms.

Keolis Downer Chairman Leila Frances praised the customer-centric focus for the Newcastle network, an approach reflected across its networks around the world.

Keolis Downer is proud to operate the Newcastle Transport network and will continue to collaborate with the local public transport authority, Transport for New South Wales, to meet expectations. This new service presents a great opportunity to deliver the services customers want.


Leila Frances, Keolis Downer Chairman

Keolis is present in Australia through a joint venture with Downer, a leading provider of engineering, transport and infrastructure services in Australia and New Zealand. The group counts 4,000 employees in the country and operates and maintains the largest tram network in the world in Melbourne (Yarra Trams), the Gold Coast light rail (G:link) and over 1,000 buses in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. Keolis Downer provides over 250 million passenger trips per year.