Public Transport Victoria

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Public Transport Victoria
Statutory authority
Industry Public transport
Founded 2 April 2012
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Area served
Key people
Patricia Faulkner (Chairman)
Gary Liddle (CEO)

Public Transport Victoria (stylised as PT>) is the trading name of the statutory authority responsible for providing, coordinating and promoting public transport in the Australian state of Victoria. It was created under legislation passed by the Parliament of Victoria in November 2011, and began operating formally on 2 April 2012, taking over many of the responsibilities previously exercised by the Director of Public Transport and the Department of Transport. It also took over the marketing of public transport in Victoria from Metlink and Viclink, as well as responsibility for the myki ticketing system, formerly handled by the Transport Ticketing Authority.[1][2]

A key policy of the Victorian Government leading into the 2010 election was to create a Public Transport Development Authority (PTDA), as an independent agency to coordinate all aspects of public transport in Victoria.[3] [4] The Government indicated that the authority was to plan, co-ordinate, manage and administer metropolitan trams, buses and trains, regional trains and buses, replacing the then structure of multiple agencies.[5]


PTV is the trading name of the Public Transport Development Authority (PTDA). The PTDA was established by the Transport Legislation Amendment (Public Transport Development Authority) Act 2011[6] which positioned the agency under the State's primary transport statute, the Transport Integration Act. The legislation provides that the "...primary object of the Public Transport Development Authority is to plan, coordinate, provide, operate and maintain a safe, punctual, reliable and clean public transport system....".[7]

Key functions

Government expectations

In introducing the legislation, the Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder, observed that:

"This bill is an essential step to fix the problems in Victoria's public transport system. The bill establishes a new statutory authority, the Public Transport Development Authority (the PTDA), to plan, coordinate and manage all metropolitan and regional train, tram and bus services.

The PTDA will focus on the basics of a good public transport system.

It will be responsible and accountable for achieving significant improvement in the reliability, efficiency and integration of public transport services across the state.

In a key change of focus, the new authority will put passengers first.

It will operate as the face of public transport, providing a single shopfront for passengers and stakeholders.

No longer will Victorians have to endure the confusion, the blame shifting and the frustration that characterised the state's troubled public transport system over the previous decade."[8]

Contracting activities with train, tram and bus operators

The most prominent responsibilities of PTV concern the contracting of transport operators to provide train, tram and bus services throughout Victoria. Accordingly, the agency procures these services through operators entering into and managing franchise contracts. The key franchise contracts which were transferred to PTV from the former Director of Public Transport relate to:

Train and tram services, in particular, are governed by complex statutory, government and commercial relationships.

VicTrack is the custodian of all rail infrastructure and assets in Victoria. VicTrack leases the metropolitan train and tram infrastructure and assets to PTV through the Metropolitan Infrastructure Head Lease. PTV then sub-leases the assets to the metropolitan train and tram operators through the Infrastructure Leases. PTV manages the rights and obligations contained in these leases on behalf of the State. PTV also enters into franchise agreements with the metropolitan train and tram operators that govern the provision of public transport services. The franchise agreements specify a range of operational and service requirements administered and managed by PTV.

Regional rail services operated by V/Line Corporation are subject to similar arrangements involving VicTrack and PTV. VicTrack leases the regional rail infrastructure and assets to PTV which then sub-leases them to V/Line under the Regional Infrastructure Lease. Similarly, PTV and V/Line have entered into a franchise agreement which governs the operational and service requirements for regional rail services.

PTV's position in transport portfolio in Victoria

PTV is one of the subordinate statutory agencies in the Victorian transport portfolio whose activities are coordinated by the Department of Transport. These agencies can be divided into three main types - statutory offices, statutory authorities and independent transport safety agencies.

Together with DOT, the agencies provide, manage and regulate transport system activities in Victoria including -

  • heavy and light rail systems including trains and trams
  • roads systems and vehicles including cars, trucks and bicycles
  • ports and waterways including commercial ships[10] and recreational vessels
  • some air transport systems.[11]

Statutory offices

The statutory offices include -

These agencies are part of the Department of Transport but each has a distinct statutory charter and powers.[12]

Statutory authorities

The statutory authorities[13] are -

These agencies are structurally separate from the Department of Transport.[14]

Independent transport safety agencies

The independent transport safety agencies[15] are -

These agencies are part of the Department of Transport but are functionally independent and report to the relevant Ministers.[16]

Excessive use of force

Public Transport Victoria Authorised Officers have been the subject of public concern arising from the number of complaints about their allegedly excessive use of force. In 2013, a 15-year-old girl was picked up and allegedly spear-tackled after punching one authorised officer in the face, and spitting on another after being stopped over a ticketing offence.[17] There were 220 formal complaints about authorised officers in the 2013 financial year, compared with 138 a year earlier.[18]

Key people

The inaugural chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of PTV was Ian Dobbs, who had headed the former Victorian Public Transport Corporation between 1993 and 1998.[19] On 1 February 2014, the positions of chairman and CEO were split, as provided for in the original legislation, and Mark Wild was appointed CEO of PTV, with Dobbs remaining as chairman.[20]

The legislation also states that there must be a community representative on the PTV board.[21] On 1 July 2014, John Nicol, executive director of the Werribee-based Nicol Group, was appointed to that position.

See also


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  3. Coalition to Rebuild the Basics of Vic Public Transport Network
  4. Baillieu revives airport rail link The Age 14 November 2010
  5. Hoddle Street expressway plan ditched Herald Sun
  6. See section 3, Transport Legislation Amendment (Public Transport Development Authority) Act 2011.
  7. New section 79AD added to the Transport Integration Act by section 3 of the Transport Legislation Amendment (Public Transport Development Authority) Act 2011
  8. Terry Mulder MLA, Hansard, Legislative Assembly, 14 September 2011, page 3210.
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  10. Note, some shipping matters are controlled by the Commonwealth government under legislation such as the Navigation Act 1912. Other matters are within the jurisdiction of states such as Victoria through Acts such as the Transport Integration Act and other statutes such as the Marine Act 1988.
  11. Note, many air transport regulation matters are controlled by the Commonwealth Government. The Transport Integration Act would apply, for example, to planning controls at some airports and in respect of transport connections to other airports by road and rail.
  12. For information relating to the Director of Public Transport, see Division 1 of Part 5 of the Transport Integration Act 2010. The charter and powers of the Transport Infrastructure Development Agent are set out in Division 4 of Part 3 of the Transport Integration Act 2010.
  13. See Parts 5 and 6, Transport Integration Act 2010.
  14. The Act establishes these agencies as structurally separate bodies with their own legal personality. For example, section 81(4) of the Transport Integration Act 2010 establishes VicRoads as a "body corporate" which "may do and suffer all acts and things that a body corporate may by law do and suffer".
  15. Part 7, Transport Integration Act 2010.
  16. Section 194, Transport Integration Act 2010.
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External links