Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Australasia’s leading mass transit bus operator, Kinetic, is signaling an exciting year ahead for bus transit in the region as proactive governments and transport authorities alike embrace innovative new ways to move people. 

The Melbourne-headquartered company today welcomes New Zealand’s largest and most dynamic bus operator, Go Bus, to its growing mass transit platform which includes world-leading airport transit business SkyBus, urban and regional bus operations Surfside and Sunbus and Sydney based bus and coach company Telfords.

With key government contracts to operate urban bus services in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch, and as the largest provider of school bus services in New Zealand, along with a luxury coach brand (Johnston’s), Go Bus bolsters Kinetic’s credentials as Australasia’s only dedicated mass transit bus operator across airport, urban, school and charter bus services. 

With an owned-fleet of 2800 buses, 49 depots and 4000 people across its Australia and New Zealand operations, Co-CEO Michael Sewards says Kinetic is uniquely positioned to drive innovation in bus mass transit across the region. 

“We operate in every aspect of bus transport across major cities and regional communities and over 42 years we have worked with a diversity of government and private partners to evolve our services to meet customer travel needs and government policy objectives,” Mr Sewards said. 

“We invest heavily in passenger experience with cross-application learning and research behind everything we do from the design of our vehicles to the regularity of services – and we challenge all stakeholders with an interest in the future of bus mass transit to increase their expectation of what bus operators should deliver in this area.” 

Mr Sewards says there was enormous opportunity for Australasia to emerge as a leader in integrating new bus technologies and sustainable mobility with Go Bus already providing demonstrable examples in New Zealand. 

“The prioritisation of electric and other sustainable bus technology over diesel buses is becoming an increasing trend in Australasia and Go Bus has been early to work with their partners to adopt these next generation transport products including demand responsive busing,” he said. 

“The Go Bus acquisition will see Kinetic proudly operate the largest fleet of electric passenger vehicles in the region within the next 12 months with a variety of exciting projects already underway in New Zealand.” 

Under the Go Bus brand, Kinetic will operate a new fleet of electric buses for Auckland Transport as part of a new bus route connecting growth suburbs with Auckland Airport. In Greater Christchurch, the company will operate a further 25 new electric buses as Environment Canterbury transforms the local public transport experience on its urban network.  

Kinetic Co-CEO Adam Begg says Go Bus offered tremendous insight and experience that would benefit stakeholders and customers across all regions in which Kinetic operates. 

“Go Bus has firmly established itself as New Zealand’s leading and most reliable provider of high-volume urban bus services with demonstrated experience expanding its operations on the back of high-performing bus networks,” 

“They have also shown leadership as an early adopter of sustainable transport with planned growth for an electric bus fleet operation far greater in size and diversity than any comparable electric bus fleet in Australia – and we are very excited about where this will take us.” Mr Begg said.

Earlier this year SkyBus was announced as the new operator of bus services at Adelaide Airport and to help the airport transition to become Australia’s first to introduce a fully electric bus fleet.  

“We are unashamedly customer-centric and we understand that bus services need to be agile and able to adapt and evolve in dynamic environments over the life of each contract and we work with our stakeholders to drive leadership in innovating customer experience, new technologies and network performance,” Mr Sewards said. 

Go Bus CEO Calum Haslop, who joins Kinetic’s executive leadership team, says the company was excited to strengthen Kinetic’s mass transit platform. 

“Our success over the past 10 years has been underpinned by an absolute focus on the needs of our customers, continuous improvement, innovation and the development of our people. We see continued opportunity for further growth and development of our business in New Zealand and are really excited to now combine our experiences to boost Kinetic’s credentials in offering governments and private partners world-class and integrated transport solutions.”  

“From electric buses to on-demand busing, we are developing significant IP that will inform other parts of Kinetic’s operations and provide governments and other stakeholders real examples of solutions that have been introduced based on a clear understanding of customers and policy objectives.” 

With the support of majority ownership by one of the world’s most successful pension funds, OPTrust, the Go Bus acquisition will complement Kinetic’s desire to build the most dynamic, customer-facing and innovative dedicated bus mass transit platform in the region. 

Go Bus was purchased from a partnership between Ngāi Tahu Holdings and Tainui Group Holdings.