Bus Regulation Requirements and Staying On Top Of Legislation In Australia

Anybody that wishes to operate a commercial bus or coach service in Victoria State, Australia must be registered or accredited. This also includes free services such as community and courtesy.

Bus Accreditation and Registration

The rules and regulations concerning the operation and running of a coach charter or bus hire business are as you would expect stringent. Most of the regulations are put in place for the safety of passengers and other road users

They cover what is the definition of a bus or coach, what is a bus service, who needs to be accredited, who needs to be registered and who can apply to be licensed.

  • The definition of a bus? – a vehicle that has more seating positions for ten adults and complies with the Australian Design Rules for a passenger omnibus.
  • Who needs accreditation? – if you intend a commercial bus service with 13 seats or more and intend to offer: route bus service, tour and charter company, courtesy bus service, local bus service.
  • Who needs registration – operators who intend to offer the following must be registered: one or more buses with ten to twelve seats only or thirteen or more seats.

Types Of Bus Services

The following are the types of bus services that operators need to be registered:

  • Commercial Bus Service – a demand responsive bus service, a route bus service, a tour and charter bus service, a courtesy bus service, a bus service which is a prescribed class of commercial bus service, or a bus service which is declared by Bus Safety Victoria.
  • Local Bus Service – is a regular bus service that carries passengers on board that has thirteen or more adult seats, and is intended for the general public.
  • Community & Private Bus Service – a bus service for carrying passengers for the following organisations: welfare, religious, educational, sporting and social.

Safety Obligations

One of the most stringent areas of offering a bus service is that of safety, and the reduction of any risks that are practicable. All safety duties apply to any operator of a bus service whether or not they own the bus, or have leased it.

All bus operators, bus safety workers, people who buy a bus service and designers and installers of bus stops.

What Are Safety Duties?

The Bus Safety Act 2009 (Victoria) aims to give provision for the safe operation of bus services. The Act introduces a range of safety duties for the relevant persons connected of a bus service activity.

They are put into effect to create a culture of safety to minimize all risks concerned with running a bus service.

The Transport & Safety website for Victoria State is an excellent resource for more information on this topic: http://transportsafety.vic.gov.au/

Maintenance Management Systems

The purpose of Maintenance Management Systems is to lay down processes that each vehicle is operated by an accredited operator is fit for purpose and roadworthy.

This MMS is to be adhered to by all operators who operate a commercial or local service and are accountable for the care of their vehicles.

All accredited operators must establish and keep a system for ensuring that the vehicles he operates are maintained to regulations laid down and each operator’s MMS should reflect how it operates in terms of risks, logging incidents etc.

All bus regulations that are laid down by the State or National should be satisfied to the full extent as detailed. It is also the operator’s duty to keep abreast of any changes in legislation and to update their own MMS.