Privatization of Rail and Tram Services in Melbourne: What Went Wrong?

  title={Privatization of Rail and Tram Services in Melbourne: What Went Wrong?},
  author={Paul Mees},
  journal={Transport Reviews},
  pages={433 - 449}
  • P. Mees
  • Published 1 July 2005
  • Law
  • Transport Reviews
Melbourne’s urban rail and tram systems were privatized in 1999 using a concessioning or franchising model similar to that employed for British Rail in the 1990s. The Melbourne franchise agreements promised improved services, increased patronage, reduced government subsidies and no real increase in fares. However, within 2 years, it became apparent that these predictions had been over optimistic, and subsequent negotiations saw the departure of one of the three franchisees and a renegotiation… 
Franchising And Performance Based Contracts: Lessons From Public Transport In Melbourne
The franchising of train and tram operations in Melbourne has been the subject of a number of papers at THREDBO series conferences. Train and tram services were franchised to private operators in
A Review of Melbourne's Rail Franchising Reforms
This paper reviews Melbourne’s rail franchising to identify lessons learned. The first franchising model sought cost efficiencies following much unionised influence on management. Despite some
Contrasts in Reform: How the Cain and Burke Years Shaped Public Transport in Melbourne and Perth
Melbourne's public transport system, despite its extensive train and tram lines, is facing major challenges. From a point of near-extinction in the late 1970s, Perth's historically smaller public
Turning over a new franchise: Assessing the current health of public transport management in Melbourne
Melbourne"s unique franchise model for public transport management and service delivery, now a decade old, is a subject of international interest for practitioners and scholars of transport planning.
A marriage of convenience? Rail-supportive transport policies and urban consolidation in station precincts in Australia and Europe
Influenced by the New Urbanism movement and by the sustainability debate questioning the resource efficiency and socioeconomic opportunities of car-based, low-density and functionally segregated
Infrastructure constraints or poor planning? Increasing service to Melbourne's City Loop/Dandenong rail corridor
There have been repeated claims, from apparently authoritative sources, that Melbourne's rail system is at capacity in peak period, and could not accommodate more train services without the
Rail infrastructure capacity constraints in Melbourne: an engineering problem or a political problem?
It is widely believed that Melbourne's rail system suffers capacity constraints which prevent it providing significantly higher service levels or accommodating higher patronage. The most important
Waning or just gone underground? Union power in public transport in Melbourne
Public transport unions are key actors in transport policy in Australian cities. Historically, dramatic industrial disputes made this role highly visible. This paper uses a case study of union power
The Need for Greater Transparency When Assessing the Performance and Prospects of Melbourne’s Rail Franchise Contracts
ABSTRACT Among policymakers and researchers at an international level, there is great interest in the performance of the Melbourne rail franchise model. This review attempts to examine the Melbourne


In 1993, the Victorian government privatised most of Melbourne's publicly operated bus services. On the basis of the alleged success of this policy, the remaining public bus services, together with
Bus deregulation: ten years on
This paper identifies the principal areas of disagreement in the bus policy debate of 1984–85, and reviews the outcome of bus deregulation against that background. It is concluded that the commercial
This paper concludes the series on deregulation, updating the statistics presented in the introductory paper to cover the financial year 1994–1995, and output from the National Travel Survey 1992–94
A Very Public Solution: Transport in the Dispersed City
Unlike Europeans, most urban Australians live on far-flung suburban blocks rather than in high-density apartments. Most urban travel is to widespread suburban locations rather than to the city
Organisational forms and entrepreneurship in public transport: classifying organisational forms
What conclusions can be drawn from bus deregulation in Britain?, Transport
  • Policy,
  • 1997
Kennett’s transport plan a quiet achiever
  • Australian Financial Review,
  • 2002
Rail Privatisation in Victoria
Performance Based Contract in Public Transportation: The Melbourne Experience
This chapter describes how the franchising of public transport in Victor, Australia, provides a recent example of the need for realistic expectations in regular-provider relationships. The Victorian