Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

Had overall responsibility for development, planning and management of all spectator bus services for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

Client: Victorian Department of Transport

Project Description

Commonwealth Games1

During the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, a team from Phillip Boyle & Associates, supported by Booz & Company, had overall responsibility for development, planning and management of all spectator bus services.

The range of bus services included:

  • Regular route services (extended hours of operation and increased service levels)
  • Spectator shuttle services to sporting venues
  • Services for mobility-impaired spectators to ensure accessibility
  • Nightrider (all-night) services
  • Airport services
  • Contingency services for the entire public transport network.


Bus services were particularly successful during the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, with over 200,000 additional passengers carried over this period. The services were delivered within budget and with a high degree of reliability. The mobility-impaired-only services provided a new benchmark for accessible service to event venues.

Scope of Works

Key Tasks

The project was undertaken over two specific phases:

Planning Phase – During this pre-Games phase, covering almost 18 months, a comprehensive service plan was proposed and developed. Key activities included:

  • Modelling demand and providing estimates
  • Developing budget estimates
  • Submitting operating plans
  • Managing the overall project
  • Presenting plans to government, industry groups, operators and Melbourne 2006 representatives
  • Soliciting operating bids and awarding contracts
  • Providing bus operator and driver training.

Operating Phase – During the Games period, Phillip Boyle & Associates staff managed the bus services from the Games Operations Centre. Tasks included:

  • Managing all spectator bus services
  • Adjusting plans based on changing circumstances
  • Enacting new services and contracting new operations
  • Daily reporting of service activities, issues and adjustments
  • Completing a post-Games review and summary.

Key Challenges

Major events transportation presents a range of challenges, mostly around resource mobilisation (bus resources become increasingly scarce to cover the entire transport task).

An event such as the Commonwealth Games requires coordination with a wide range of stakeholders and service providers. As well as directly engaging and managing contracted operators, Phillip Boyle & Associates also took a lead role in coordinating industry-wide resources.

The requirement to develop services based on a range of variable demand inputs is a significant planning challenge. In particular, arrival and departure profiles tend to be unknown. The intensity of passenger arrival profiles can significantly change demand during specific time periods.