Policy & Research

The BIC undertakes a strong focus on the development of evidenced based policies. These policies then shape the BIC’s advocacy and keep us at the forefront of developing innovative solutions for the business of moving people.

The BIC is a broad organisation in its scope and the key to BIC’s research, policy and advocacy is to link how we move people (through active and public transport) with core issues such as the economy, health/well-being, land use and the environment – these being just a few policy areas at the heart of our work.

The BIC’s research and output of policy development incorporate economics, public and active travel, bus services, heavy vehicle design and performance in the following policy areas:


EconomyPublic transport, in addition to providing significant social and environmental benefits, has a key role to play in unlocking our cities by easing congestion. The congestion relief that world class public transport systems provide can boost the productivity of individuals and the economy as a whole. The BIC continues to advocate for recognition of the economic benefits of public transport and inclusion of these benefits in future assessment of how infrastructure funding dollars are spent.
EnergyAustralia’s fuel security and the impact of fuel prices on household budgets. The role that public transport can play in providing a cheaper alternative to cars and in reducing the overall fuel use of Australians.
EnvironmentPolicy development related to vehicle technology and the uptake of new fuels and new energy such as hydrogen and electric powered buses.
GovernanceThe development of local, state and federal frameworks for investing in our transport networks.
Health and well-beingThe challenges of a sedentary and ageing population and the impacts on health of people using public transport and active travel.
Industrial RelationsAPTIA, the industrial relations arm of the BIC, facilitates the connectivity of a broad sector of bus and coach operations through the discussion and resolution of industrial relations issues and seeks unity of purpose in decision making. APTIA is charged with monitoring industrial relations matters as they arise, including modern award interpretation, such as transition provisions, minimum engagements, flexibility and dispute resolution.
Land Use Planning

The issue of how buses and public transport fit into city and local level plans is an increasingly important one, recognised both in the transport and town planning field as the key to facilitating equitable and sustainable growth in our major cities and regional centres.

In 2014, the BIC formed the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities – a significant strategic partnership, incorporating and advocating in the land use planning and transport integration areas.

Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) offers cost effective, environmentally beneficial and high-performance mass transit where population density often does not justify the construction of costly fixed rail systems and the need for greater flexibility in route mapping is better served by wheel-to-road transport systems.

Key features of BRT systems include:

  • segregated bus ways or bus-only roadways predominantly in the median of the roadway
  • existence of an integrated network of routes and corridors
  • enhanced stations that are convenient, comfortable, secure and weather protected
  • special stations and terminals to facilitate easy physical integration between trunk and feeder systems and other mass transit systems where they exist
  • improvements to nearby public space
  • low emissions and noise vehicle technologies
  • signal priority or grade separation at intersections.
Road Safety

Buses remain the safest mode of road transport in Australia.

This is largely due to the operation of buses by certified drivers, the size and weight of buses (such that each passenger experiences less crash force), and lower average speed, particularly in urban route environments.

The bus industry is an Industry Committed to Safety. We carry the most precious resource in the world – people!

The BIC has worked closely with governments, manufacturers, and the travelling public to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users is paramount and operating practice reflects this commitment to safety.

Safety measures adopted since 1989 include:

  • the implementation of ADR 59/00 and 68/00, resulting in buses and coaches having the structural integrity required to survive the unlikely event of a rollover and being fitted with seat belts
  • the adoption of higher levels of safety and management performance through state-based industry accreditation schemes
  • a reduction in the average age of the fleet resulting in safety improvements across the fleet
  • addressed the issue of bus safety features being introduced well ahead of regulation and Australian Design Rules
  • the adoption of bus industry safe practice guidelines that set bus and coach safety standards for issues such as passenger door safety, bus school light national standards, fire mitigation and fire evacuation and driver safety training
  • innovative safety technology on buses such as driver alert systems and driver fatigue monitoring, alcohol locks, geofencing, passenger seat belt monitoring, lane departure warning systems, autonomous emergency braking systems, CCTV back to base monitoring and vehicle location, ABS / EBS and ESC / ECAS and tyre-pressure monitoring systems …to name just a few
  • a nationally consistent approach to bus/coach-based maintenance and safety management systems – Advisories include: Tyre Safety, Door Safety and Bus Fire Mitigation
  • participation in the development and delivery of school bus safety awareness programs

The BIC is in full support of initiatives that will improve the overall safety performance of the bus industry and reduce accidents involving buses or coaches.

Social InclusionSocial inclusion is a by-product of good policies related to public transport, land use planning and economics. It is a key issue in regional areas where a lack of access to transport can cause social isolation. The BIC is highly involved in research and policy related to improving public transport in regional towns and rural areas.
Vehicle Technical IssuesAdvocacy and policy development on vehicle technical issues are a core service that the BIC provides its members. As a Confederation formed between bus manufacturers and bus operators, the BIC plays an important role in being the clearing house for knowledge about vehicle design trends and the impacts of changes to vehicle standards and regulation on the operations side of the industry.
Policy & Research

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