Transit Systems

Transit Systems Group is an Australian-based public transport company, which also operates overseas through its subsidiary Tower Transit Group. Transit Systems Group is a subsidiary of the Kelsian Group, formerly SeaLink Travel Group.

Transit Systems
IndustryBus transportation
Light rail
Founded1995
FounderLance Francis
Graham Leishman
Neil Smith
Headquarters
Area served
Australia
England
Singapore
Key people
Clint Feuerherdt (CEO)
ParentKelsian Group
SubsidiariesBridj
North Stradbroke Bus Service
Swan Transit
Territory Transit
Torrens Transit
Tower Transit Singapore
Transit Systems NSW
Transit Systems Victoria
Websitewww.transitsystems.com.au

HistoryEdit

 
Former logo

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Lance Francis, Graham Leishman and Neil Smith together operated Bayside Buslines in Brisbane, Peninsula Bus Lines on the New South Wales Central Coast and Sunliner Express on the east coast[citation needed]. Graham Leishman previously also operated a bus company with his father in 1971.[1] After Sunliner Express collapsed in 1991, all were either sold or liquidated.

In 1995, Francis, Leishman and Smith won the Midland bus contract in Perth in 1995 and founded Swan Transit, the first business unit of Transit Systems.[2][3] The Midland operations commenced on 21 January 1996, and was the first time since 1962 that an urban service bus in Perth was operated by a privately-owned operator.[4] Swan Transit was awarded four other contracts within the next two years, and a fifth one in 2002.

In 2000, the Adelaide Metro East-West bus contract was awarded to Transit Systems, the first bus contract outside of Perth, and operations started in April 2000, operating as Torrens Transit. In April 2005, Torrens Transit commenced operating the North–South and Outer North East contracts. In 2011, the East–West bus contract was renewed, but the North–South and Outer North East contracts were lost to Light-City Buses.

Transit Systems entered the ferry market by acquiring Bay Islands Transit (BITS) and Big Red Cat in 2005 and 2007 respectively, both in Queensland. In 2011, the Gladstone Ferries operation commenced, transporting workers to Curtis Island to support the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant on the island. In the same year, Stradbroke ferries was acquired, and the Big Red Cat operation was merged into it.

In November 2012, Transit Systems was awarded its first bus contract in New South Wales, region 3 of the Sydney Metropolitan Bus System Contracts, in Western Sydney. Operations commenced in October 2013, operating as Transit Systems NSW.

In June 2013, Transit Systems first ventured overseas with the purchase of First London's garages and operations in London, England, operating as Tower Transit. Adam Leishman, the son of Transit Systems co-founder Graham Leishman and the Business Development Director for Transit Systems, relocated to London to become the CEO of Tower Transit.[5][6] Tower Transit was then awarded a bus contract to operate 26 routes in Singapore in May 2015, and took over operations from the incumbent operators between May and June 2016.[7][8]

In October 2014, Transit Systems took over the Darwin Bus Service operation, operating as Territory Transit. In January 2015, Swan Transit commenced 10-year contracts to operate services in Bunbury and Busselton under the TransBunbury and TransBusselton brands.

In November 2015, Transit Systems sold all of its marine operations to SeaLink Travel Group, which includes:[2][9]

  • Bay Islands Transit (BITS) ferry operation[10]
  • Gladstone Ferries[11]
  • Stradbroke ferries operation

American on-demand transport company Bridj was brought over and the first Bridj on-demand service in Australia commenced in December 2017. In June 2018, Torrens Transit acquired Light-City Buses, regaining the North South & Outer North East bus contracts which Torrens Strait previously lost in 2011. In July 2018, Transit Systems NSW commenced operating bus and on-demand services in region 6 of the Sydney Metropolitan Bus System Contracts in Sydney's Inner West.

In October 2018, Tower Transit's CEO Adam Leishman left the company and set up his own transport company Ascendal Group, and the Go Whippet operations were transferred to the newly formed company.[12] His position was not replaced and Tower Transit operations were overseen by Paul Cox as CFO and Charlie Beaumont as COO.[13]

In April 2019, Transit Systems entered into the Melbourne bus market for the first time by acquiring Sita Buslines. It was rebranded Transit Systems Victoria in November 2020.[14]

In October 2019, it was announced that the company would be purchased by the SeaLink Travel Group. As part of the deal, the CEO of Transit Systems, Clint Feuerherdt, became CEO of SeaLink. Feuerherdt and Transit Systems co-founder and chairman Neil Smith took up a combined 18% shareholding in Sealink.[15][16][17] The sale was completed in January 2020.[18] Sealink would later rename as Kelsian in November 2021.

In July 2020, Transit Systems operated trams for the first time, with the Torrens Connect joint venture commencing Adelaide's North–South contract including the Glenelg tram line.[19][20]

In December 2022, Transit Systems had its first bus operation in Queensland, after acquiring North Stradbroke Island Bus Service, .[21]

Current Australian operationsEdit

Transit Systems Group' business units in Australia are:[22]

Swan TransitEdit

Swan Transit is a bus operator in Western Australia. Founded in 1995, it was the first business unit of Transit Systems to be created.[2] In its first four years, Swan Transit was awarded five bus contracts in Perth and they commenced operations between 1996 and 1998. Swan Transit later acquired other contracts in Perth as well, with all of its contracts operating under the Transperth brand. Swan Transit also commenced 10-year contracts to operate services in Bunbury and Busselton under the TransBunbury and TransBusselton brands in January 2015.[29][30]

Territory TransitEdit

Territory Transit is a school bus operator in Katherine with a fleet of 10 school buses, transporting nearly 850 students to six schools.[31] Territory Transit began operating these school bus services in February 2021.[32]

Between October 2014 and June 2022, Territory Transit was also one of the two bus operators in Darwin, constituting part of the Darwinbus bus network, with other operator being Buslink. Territory Transit took over the government-owned Darwin Bus Service operation in October 2014, after Transit Systems successfully tendered the contract in July that year.[33][34] In 2022, the Northern Territory Government combined the contract with the Buslink contract to create an expanded contract, which Territory Transit attempted to bid for in a competitive tender. In May 2022, Territory Transit announced it was unsuccessful in its bid, and its Darwinbus services were taken over by CDC Northern Territory (renamed from Buslink) on 1 July 2022.[35]

Torrens Transit and Torrens ConnectEdit

Torrens Transit is a bus operator in Adelaide. It first founded in 2000 when it commenced operating the Adelaide Metro East-West contract under contract to the Government of South Australia, which was renewed in July 2011. In April 2005, Torrens Transit commenced operating the North–South and Outer North East contracts, but these contracts later passed to Light-City Buses in October 2011. Due to continuous poor performance by Light-City Buses, eight of their routes were stripped off and were returned to Torrens Transit in April 2013.[36][37][38] In June 2018, Torrens Transit acquired the Light-City Buses business and integrated it into the Torrens Transit brand.[39] In July 2020, Torrens Transit began operating the Glenelg tram line through its joint venture Torrens Connect.

Transit Systems NSWEdit

Transit Systems NSW is a bus operator in south western Sydney, operating region 3 of the Sydney Metropolitan Bus System Contracts. It commenced operations in October 2013, taking over services from the incumbent operators. In July 2018, Transit Systems took over the operation of region 6 in the Inner West from State Transit on an eight-year contract.[40]

BridjEdit

Transit Systems acquired on-demand transport company Bridj in October 2017 following the cessation of its operations in the United States earlier that year.[41][42] Bridj started operations in Sydney with the Wetherill Park demand service in December 2017, followed by the Inner West demand service in July 2018.[43] In August 2018, it also took over the Eastern Suburbs demand service from Transdev's RIDE Plus,[44][45] while the Wetherill Park service ceased operations.[46]

Transit Systems plans to introduce more Bridj on-demand services into other Australian cities as well as London.[47]

Transit Systems VictoriaEdit

Transit Systems Victoria is a bus and coach operator in Melbourne's western suburbs, formed following the acquisition of Sita Bus Lines in April 2019, with rebranding of the former business formally taking place in November 2020. This purchase marked Transit System's entry into the Victorian bus market.[28]

Overseas operationsEdit

Tower Transit Group, Transit Systems Group' overseas subsidiary, operates these business units:

Tower Transit SingaporeEdit

Tower Transit Singapore is a bus operator in Singapore, operating 57 routes out of Bulim Bus Depot and Mandai Bus Depot as part of the Bulim bus package and the Sembawang–Yishun bus package respectively.

The contract for the Bulim package was first awarded in May 2015, taking over the bus operations from incumbent operators SBS Transit and SMRT Buses between May and June 2016.[7][8] In September 2020, Tower Transit Singapore was re-awarded the Bulim bus package, including 3 bus services operated by SMRT Buses. It also secured the Sembawang–Yishun bus package which consisted of 26 bus services operated by SMRT Buses and 1 service already operated by Tower Transit.[49] Tower Transit Singapore took over the 3 Bulim services and 26 Sembawang–Yishun bus services from SMRT Buses in May and September 2021 respectively.[50]

RATP Dev Transit LondonEdit

Transit Systems holds 12.5% of RATP Dev Transit London, a joint venture with RATP Dev, operating buses in West London.[51][52][53] The joint venture, formed on 11 December 2021, consisted of RATP Dev's West London bus operations (including London United and London Sovereign) and Tower Transit's (a subsidiary of Transit Systems) Westbourne Park garage.

Former operationsEdit

Ferry operationsEdit

Transit Systems formerly had three ferry operations in Queensland until they were sold to SeaLink Travel Group. They were reunited when Sealink purchased Transit Systems in January 2020, but the ferry operations remain operationally separate from Transit Systems.

Bay Islands Transit (BITS)Edit

Bay Islands Transit (BITS), is one of Transit Systems' ferry operations in Moreton Bay, Brisbane. It operates services between Redland Bay and the Macleay, Lamb, Karragarra and Russell Islands in Southern Moreton Bay. BITS operated ferry services since 1982.[10] In 2005, it was acquired by Transit Systems and sold to SeaLink Travel Group in November 2015, along with Gladstone Ferries and Stradbroke Ferries.[2][9]

Gladstone FerriesEdit

Gladstone Ferries is a passenger and vehicular ferry operation in Gladstone, Queensland, transporting workers to Curtis Island to support the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant on the island. The operation started in February 2011, following the award of two contracts for the ferry services. It was sold to SeaLink Travel Group in November 2015, along with BITS and Stradbroke Ferries.[11][2][9]

Stradbroke FerriesEdit

Stradbroke Ferries is the other of Transit Systems' ferry operations in Moreton Bay. It was founded by Frank Dobias and Geoff Ford in 1963.[54][55][2] Stradbroke Ferries was acquired by Transit Systems in 2011. Prior to this, Transit Systems also owned the Big Red Cat ferry operation, acquired in 2007. The Big Red Cat operation merged with the Stradbroke Ferries operation after the acquisition of the latter. It was sold to SeaLink Travel Group in November 2015, along with BITS and Gladstone Ferries.[9]

Go WhippetEdit

Go Whippet, is a bus operation in Cambridgeshire, England.[56] It was purchased by Transit Systems Group in November 2014.[57][58] The bus operation was transferred to Ascendal Group in October 2018.[12]

Tower TransitEdit

Tower Transit was Transit System's subsidiary and operation in London. It was established when Transit Systems purchased some of First London's operations and garages in June 2013.[59] After Tower Transit's Westboune Park garage became incorporated into RATP Dev Transit London in December 2021, the only remaining Tower Transit operation in London was the Lea Interchange garage in East London. This operation was announced to be sold to Stagecoach London in May 2022 and was finalised on 25 June 2022.[60][61]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'On The Buses' – Graham Leishman". Vision Christian Radio. 5 May 2017. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History". Transit Systems. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Graham Leishman". Transit Systems. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Transit Systems celebrates 25 years". Transit Systems - Join Transit. January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Redland company takes wheel of London's big red buses". Brisbane Times. 12 June 2013. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Adam Leishman". Ascendal Group. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b "LTA Awards First Tendered Bus Package to Tower Transit Group Limited". LTA Singapore. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  8. ^ a b "London-based Tower Transit wins first Government bus contract to run services in Jurong". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d "Completion of Acquisition of Transit Systems Marine". Sealink Travel Group. 6 November 2015. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b Bay Islands Transit Overview Archived 15 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Transit Systems
  11. ^ a b Gladstone Ferries Overview Archived 15 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Transit Systems
  12. ^ a b "About Us". Whippet. Archived from the original on 15 September 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Shareholder Reorganisation". Tower Transit Singapore. 6 October 2018. Archived from the original on 9 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  14. ^ Sita Buslines rebrand complete: Transit Systems Victoria Australasian Bus & Coach 9 November 2020
  15. ^ "SeaLink announces strategic acquisition of Transit Systems Group and launches capital raising". SeaLink Travel Group. 7 October 2019. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  16. ^ "SeaLink to buy bus business Transit Systems, raise equity". Australian Financial Review. 7 October 2019.
  17. ^ "SeaLink boss to set sail in bus buyout deal". Australian Financial Review. 7 October 2019.
  18. ^ Sealink Completes Acquisition of Transit Systems Group Sealink Travel Group 16 January 2020
  19. ^ Adelaide Bus and Public Transport Contracts Announced Australasian Bus & Coach 10 March 2020
  20. ^ "Business as usual for Adelaide trams". Torrens Connect. 5 July 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Transit Systems Acquires Queensland Bus Service". Kelsian. 1 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  22. ^ Overview Transit Systems
  23. ^ Swan Transit Transit Systems
  24. ^ Territory Transit Transit Systems
  25. ^ Torrens Transit Transit Systems
  26. ^ Transit Systems NSW Transit Systems
  27. ^ Transit Systems Victoria Transit Systems
  28. ^ a b "Transit Systems Expands into Melbourne Bus Network". Transit Systems. Archived from the original on 29 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  29. ^ Provision of Bunbury Regional Town Bus Service Tenders WA 16 December 2014
  30. ^ Provision of Busselton Regional Town Bus Service Tenders WA 16 December 2014
  31. ^ "Northern Territory". Transit Systems. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  32. ^ "Katherine kids jump onboard new Territory Transit school services". Transit Systems. 17 February 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  33. ^ Move to NT Australasian Bus & Coach 7 July 2014
  34. ^ Transit Systems welcomed to the Top End, Retrieved 2 October 2014
  35. ^ "Darwin Bus Services Contract Update". Australian Securities Exchange. Kelsian. 23 May 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  36. ^ Bus company Transfield stripped of eight routes and fined for being late Adelaide Advertiser 24 April 2013
  37. ^ Bus company stripped of routes ABC News 25 April 2013
  38. ^ SA operator forfeits routes due to poor performance Australasian Bus & Coach 26 April 2013
  39. ^ "Torrens Transit acquires Light City Buses". Transit Systems. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  40. ^ Transit Systems Boosts Inner West Bus Services Minister for Transport 13 February 2018
  41. ^ "Our Story". Bridj. Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  42. ^ "With new owner, Bridj aims for a comeback in Australia". The Boston Globe.
  43. ^ "On Demand public transport services for the Inner West". Transport Info NSW. Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  44. ^ "On Demand public transport changes for Eastern Suburbs". Transport for NSW. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  45. ^ "News". Bridj. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  46. ^ "Wetherill Park On Demand service". Transport for NSW. Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  47. ^ Transit Systems eyes Bridj shuttle expansion after Adelaide bus acquisition Australian Financial Review 9 May 2018
  48. ^ First Tranche of Bus Services in Bulim Package to Roll Out on 29 May Land Transport Authority 29 April 2016
  49. ^ "Tower Transit to run Sembawang and Yishun bus interchanges, taking over from SMRT". Channel News Asia. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  50. ^ "Sealink awarded contracts for bus services in Singapore" (PDF). Australian Securities Exchange. Sealink Travel Group. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  51. ^ "SeaLink Enters Binding Joint Venture Agreement for West London Bus Operations". 22 September 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  52. ^ "RATP Dev UK and Tower Transit announce new joint venture in West London". RATP Dev. 23 September 2021.
  53. ^ "Joint Venture Completion - RATP Dev Transit London Ltd". 13 December 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  54. ^ Stradbroke rivals in ferry good deal, Courier Mail, Retrieved 13 June 2015
  55. ^ About Us, Stradbroke Ferries, Retrieved 13 June 2015
  56. ^ Lee family completes sale of Whippet buses to Aussie firm Hunts Post 18 November 2014
  57. ^ Tower Transit adds Go Whippet Coach & Bus Week 18 November 2014
  58. ^ "Whippet confirmed as part of Ascendal Group". No. 1364. Coach & Bus Week. 16 October 2018. p. 8.
  59. ^ "Tower Transit announces First Group partial acquisition". Transit Systems. 9 April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  60. ^ "Stagecoach to acquire Tower Transit Lea Interchange operation". Route One. 27 May 2022. Archived from the original on 28 May 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  61. ^ "Sale Completion East London Bus Operation and Finance Update". Australian Securities Exchange. Kelsian. 27 June 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2022.