Newcastle Transport

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Newcastle Transport.svg
ParentKeolis Downer
Commenced operation1 July 2017
HeadquartersHamilton, New South Wales
Service areaNewcastle
Lake Macquarie
Service typeBus, ferry, light rail
Chief executiveCampbell Mason

Newcastle Transport is a public transport operator in Newcastle, New South Wales. A subsidiary of Keolis Downer, it operates bus, ferry and light rail services under contract to Transport for NSW.

History and operations[edit]

Standard icons used to identify different forms of public transport
Light rail

In November 2015, the Government of New South Wales announced its intention to contract out the operation of Newcastle Buses & Ferries services to the private sector.[1][2] Keolis Downer and a Transit Systems/UGL Rail consortium announced their intentions to bid.[3][4] In December 2016, a ten-year contract was awarded to Keolis Downer effective from 1 July 2017.[5][6]


All public transport services under Newcastle Transport utilise the Opal ticketing system.



In January 2018, the bus route network was completely redesigned with the number of routes reduced from 27 to 21.[7][8] In the same year, Newcastle Transport began trialling an on-demand bus service[9] within the Lake Macquarie area, servicing the suburbs of Dudley, Mount Hutton and Warners Bay.[10]

Newcastle Transport commenced operations with a fleet of 172 MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo buses.[11] Buses are operated out of depots in Belmont and Hamilton.


Newcastle Transport operates a passenger ferry service that takes five minutes to cross the Hunter River between Queens Wharf and Stockton. The 1986 built ferries are MV Hunter and MV Shortland.

Light rail[edit]

Newcastle Transport operates the Newcastle Light Rail between Newcastle Interchange and Newcastle Beach station in Newcastle East with six CAF Urbos 3 trams. The light rail opened in February 2019.[12][13]

MV Shortland approaching Queens Wharf


  1. ^ Building tomorrows Newcastle: A New Approach to Transport Transport NSW 5 November 2015 Archived 16 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Transport for Newcastle: private operator to integrate city’s public transport ABC News 5 November 2015
  3. ^ Keolis Downer eyes acquisitions ahead of Newcastle public transport bid Sydney Morning Herald 3 December 2015
  4. ^ Transit Systems and UGL announce intention to jointly bid for Newcastle iso Transit Systems 26 February 2016 Archived 11 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Keolis Downer awarded contract to run light rail, buses and ferries says Baird government Newcastle Herald 12 December 2016
  6. ^ Keolis Downer awarded Newcastle Transport Contract Keolis Downer 12 December 2016 Archived 10 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Newcastle timetables to change Transport for New South Wales 1 December 2017 Archived 12 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Transport changes Newcastle Transport Archived 12 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Newcastle Transport Launches on Demand Service". Newcastle Transport. 29 November 2017. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Newcastle Transport On Demand Information". Newcastle Transport. 18 February 2019.
  11. ^ Newcastle: all change Australian Bus issue 83 September 2017 page 12
  12. ^ It's a date – free community open day for Newcastle Light Rail on 17 February Transport for NSW 31 January 2019
  13. ^ Light rail in Newcastle opening from Monday 18 February Transport for NSW 3 February 2019