A joint venture between engineering group Downer EDI and France's Keolis has secured a 10-year contract to operate the integrated public transport system in Newcastle city, worth $450 million.

The order is the first multi-modal transport system to be contracted to the private sector in Australia and will include network planning along with operation of the city’s buses, ferries, light rail and interchanges. Keolis Downer already operates Yarra Trams in Melbourne and G:Link on the Gold Coast, and is…