Funding for remote passenger transport services

Funding is available to increase passenger transport access in remote areas.

This is offered under the government's Remote Passenger Transport Program.

Proposed services should fill gaps that exist because passenger transport in an area may not be commercially viable or has not been provided for other reasons.

Funding is usually limited to terms of one to three years, on a trial basis.

There is typically one funding round per year.

Applications for 2022-23 funding round are closed.

Services can be classified as either inter-town or intra-town.

An inter-town service covers transport between communities and key centres. It is typically long distance such as Numbulwar to Katherine.

An intra-town service is typically within a town or from nearby communities, such as Yirrkala to Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula.

Inter-town services

To be considered for inter-town funding a location should:

  • not have a passenger transport service that runs at least weekly to the nearest key centre
  • have a permanent population base of at least 100
  • be more than two hours travel time by road to a key centre providing essential services, and
  • be more than one hour (one-way) by road to a location that has a regular passenger transport service.

Locations with less than 100 people can be considered as part of a stop or extension of another transport route.

Intra-town services

To be considered for intra-town funding a location should:

  • not have a passenger transport service such as a town bus, minibus or taxi that runs at least two days per week
  • have a permanent population base of at least 1,000, and
  • not have reasonable access to essential services.

An applicant can be any person. For example, a commercial bus operator or a representative of a community.

To be eligible you must demonstrate the need for regular passenger transport in the location that will receive the service.

Previously receiving funding for a particular service does not guarantee ongoing funding.

Applications will be assessed against the criteria listed below.

You need to include all information that shows your application meets the criteria.

All documents submitted will be retained by the department and kept confidential.


Demonstrate your project meets the eligibility requirements.

Service provider details

Provide the following:

  • general information about the service provider
  • evidence of past successful delivery of similar services
  • evidence of the organisation’s financial sustainability such as recent financial statements
  • copy of the organisation’s business plan.

Commercial viability potential

You need to include:

  • A proposal for the service including
    • an assessment of the potential commercial viability
    • estimated passenger numbers and ticket revenue
    • a plan to improve the service’s commercial viability over time.
  • An estimate of service costs including:
    • vehicle
    • operations such as fuel and maintenance
    • staffing
    • overheads
    • margin
    • training and professional development
    • any other costs.
  • An estimate of the funding you require and a schedule of proposed payments. Payments are typically split between an establishment (up front) payment and ongoing operational payments every six months. Alternate payment schedules can be proposed with justification.
  • Demonstrated consideration of other potential funding sources. Provide details of other funding sources that will be used in providing the service.

Service plan

Include a service plan that has the following:

  • a fare structure (based on typical commercial rates)
  • a timetable for the service that includes trip distance, time and any connections to other services
  • fare payment options and systems
  • internal policies such as a cancellation of fares policy, grievance procedure and fatigue management
  • information on how services will be suitable for disabled and mobility impaired persons, or an explanation about why these services can't be provided.

Nominated fleet

The information about your nominated fleet should include:

  • details of the vehicle/s to be used to deliver the service
  • evidence that vehicle/s are in a good working condition and appropriate to deliver the services in the relevant environment
  • a contingency plan for incidents such as a vehicle breakdown.

Commencement plan

Provide a commencement plan that includes the lead time required to start the service.

Stakeholder engagement, marketing plan and community development

Your application should include a plan for engagement, marketing and ridership growth.

You will also need to supply a plan for community development. This could include details about:

  • an indigenous employment plan
  • local industry involvement
  • community involvement.


Your application needs to include evidence of any compliance requirements such as:

  • industry certification
  • licenses
  • permits
  • insurances.

Applications for 2022-23 funding round are closed.

Successful applicants will receive a funding agreement.

This agreement sets out the terms and conditions for the use of the funding.

You will need to report on and acquit all funding provided.

Further details will be in the funding agreement you receive.


Contact the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics by email or by phone 08 8924 7265.

Last updated: 22 February 2022

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