Three shortlisted for Sydney Ferries

Transfield/Veolia Transdev, Serco Australia and Transit Systems/Forgacs Engineering will receive tender documents allowing them to submit bids by early 2012. Five parties had originally shown interest in running Sydney Ferries.

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) government has shortlisted three of the five consortia interested in maintaining and running Sydney Ferries, the state-owned ferry operator, the government has announced.

Harbour City Ferries (a consortium comprising Transfield Services Australia and Veolia Transport Australasia); services firm Serco Australia; and a team of transport operator Transit Systems and Forgacs Engineering, have been selected by the NSW government to lodge a bid for the asset.

“Tender documents will be released to the shortlisted parties this month, allowing them to prepare detailed proposals demonstrating why they should be selected to operate Sydney Ferries under the franchise model developed by the government,” transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

The three shortlisted consortia will have until early 2012 to submit their bids to the government with Sydney Ferries to be awarded by the end of next year.

Previously, Berejiklian had explained that the government will “retain control of fares and routes and the franchise contract will include staff and safety obligations”. The government will also retain ownership of the ferries and accompanying shipyard, which will be leased to the private sector.