Transport for NSW looks to commercialise SCATS traffic system – Strategy

Transport for NSW is making arrangements to commercialise the state-owned Sydney coordinated adaptive traffic system (SCATS) to ensure its longevity.

The traffic management system, which is licenced to 27 countries globally, is used to manage traffic light signal phases across much of Australia to minimise delays on the road network.

It does this by using vehicle sensors at intersections to adjust signals in real-time according to changes in traffic flow.

The system was first developed by the then NSW Department of Main Roads in the 1970s as a means to control traffic on Sydney’s major roads.

Since then, the system has been further developed by the then Roads and Traffic Authority and, more recently, Roads and Maritime Services, which was recently absorbed into TfNSW.

A recent $400 million upgrade by the government in the lead up to the March election will see new sensors installed at 500 of the more than 4300 NSW intersections connected to SCATS.

But TfNSW is now looking to introduce a new commercial model for the system, and has issued a request for proposal for a commercial and financial advisor to oversee the commercialisation.

“TfNSW is seeking to implement a new commercial model, with a commercial partner to accelerate innovation and importantly future-proof the SCATS product and business,” tender documents state.

“The commercial partner model will enable NSW to stay ahead of the obsolescence curve and maintain SCATS and NSW’s reputation as a global leader in traffic management.”

The advisor will be expected to develop an initial commercial strategy as part of the development phase for the commercialisation, before a performing other roles such as assisting with the assessment of the bids in a possible future transactions phase.

TfNSW is also planning to engage three other advisors to oversee probity, legal and the transaction itself, though these fall outside the scope of the request.

An industry briefing will be held on December 20.

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