Network Planning

Keolis Downer offers communities multimodal transport solutions that are simple, efficient and seamless. By designing transport networks that people want to use, we break down barriers to passengers and therefore increase patronage.

Keoscopie: A Foundation in Experience

Our understanding of travel patterns is based on over 100 years of experience in delivering passenger transport solutions in France, Australia, and many other countries around the world. Over recent decades, Keolis and Downer have been able to grow beyond their traditional markets and form a new partnership in Australia that brings together deep local knowledge and world-class experience.

Keolis’s 100 years of transport operations experience has been captured in our Keoscopie framework. This bank of knowledge addresses the key elements of transport planning, and by breaking down some common misconceptions, has allowed us to create transport networks that effectively support modern lifestyles.

Our results are seen in;

  • Increased public transport use
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Greater economic efficiency for the Government.

More About Keolis Downer


Commuters use the same form of transport every day.


Over any three-day period, 90% of commuters will change their journey. This can be due to any number of reasons, such as changing weather, sporting commitments, or a sleep-in. Such changes mean people’s travel needs also change, potentially for a new ticket, timetable or route.

Neolis: World-class Networks Matching Local Needs

Keolis Downer embraces the Neolis process for community consultation, network analysis and redesign. Neolis was developed by Keolis, and we have refined it by applying it around the world.

Through the Neolis approach, we collaborate with communities to design transport networks that match passenger demand. This customer-focused, ground-up approach to network design is revolutionary and can come up against established thinking about transport provision.

Rethinking Transport Networks

Our goal is to match demand for transport with an appropriate service, rather than to add new services to the edges of a network. This way, we align the service offering with demand as closely as possible and ensure value for money. Our results are demonstrated by;

  • Increased use of public transport
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Economic efficiency for Government

The Neolis approach is part of our commitment to partner with Governments and public transport authorities in understanding the changing needs of cities and their inhabitants, and to match transport services to changing lifestyles and population growth. To cater for demographic change, the Neolis approach should be re-applied every five to eight years – and sooner where there is an obvious need, such as substantial population growth, urban renewal, or technological or economic change.

Delivering on Passenger Needs

The Neolis approach is well regarded by communities and their leaders due to its community engagement and consultation. The transparency of the process helps people to understand why changes are necessary and how they benefit the overall network. Before any changes are put in place, their impact must be fully assessed and any service reductions fully discussed with the community. Only after this, can we develop a balanced solution and propose it to decision-makers for assessment and potentially, for adoption.

Government can then make an informed choice about the future network, balancing the needs of the community and the opportunity for reform.

Keolis Downer staff play a key role in this process alongside communities. Transport operators, including drivers and customer service employees, know the network better than most and their ideas are sought for incorporation into the design of the new network. These ‘local experts’ benefit also by feeling part of the process and enhancing their sense of ownership of the final outcome.

Neolis has been applied in Bordeaux, France, where the revised network experienced growth of 40%. In Dijon, use of public transport grew by more than 20% in the first year and by 10% in each of the years after light rail and a Neolis network redesign was introduced. While growth in patronage following the redesign of a network will vary, clearly there is strong potential to deliver increases in public transport use.

Australian Transport Networks: Proven Results

Keolis Downer has spent years improving and refining these tools and has seen them rejuvenate networks and increase patronage, particularly where we operate multiple modes.

On the Gold Coast, we attended integration workshops to share our experience with the Public Transport Authority. Network redesign included turn-up-and-go bus lines feeding into tram stops for areas that previously had few services. Regional public transport use grew 25% in the first year.

The Keoscopie research and Neolis approach have informed timetable development for our two Australian light rail networks. Keolis Downer’s true capacity for network design was realised in Newcastle with a redesign of the entire network. Keolis Downer is looking for more opportunities to apply Neolis to network planning in partnership with Governments.