Media release: Bus drivers welcome commitment to bring back Bronte buses; end bus privatisation
Media release, 14 Feb 2019: Bus drivers have today welcomed a commitment from the Labor Party to end bus privatisation in the state and to bring back the 378 bus – the direct service from Bronte to the city.
The 378 service was axed in late 2017 by the current Liberal Government – a move which proved incredibly unpopular with commuters and drivers.
Bus and Tram Division Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW, David Babineau, said that an end to bus privatisation would be a significant win for NSW commuters.
“We know that privatisation of our transport services doesn’t work – we’ve seen it in Newcastle and we’re seeing it in the inner-west too. When private companies take over, commuters are left with an inferior service. We can’t afford to let that happen anywhere else in the state,” Mr Babineau said.
“The NSW Liberal Government has a seemingly insatiable appetite for privatisation, and commuters are bearing the brunt of that.
Mr Babineau said Labor’s announcement of the restoration 378 is also a big win for commuters, particularly the local Bronte community who have campaigned tirelessly for a return of the service.
Shadow Minister for Transport, Jodi McKay, and Labor Candidate for Coogee, Dr Marjorie O’Neill, today announced Labor’s plan to bring back the Bronte-City direct service. The Liberal Government also put out a statement late yesterday committing to restoring ‘a direct bus service between Bronte and the city’ however did not specifically name the 378 in the statement.
“Labor’s announcement is a big win for the people of Bronte who have been forced to deal with sub-par service for too long,” Mr Babineau said.
“Bus drivers have been supporting the calls to bring back the 378 for a long time. We just want to make sure Sydney’s commuters get the quality bus services they deserve, and at the moment that’s not the case.
“The details of the local Member for Coogee, Bruce Notley-Smith’s announcement are unclear, but if he too is committing to restoring the 378 service, that would be a big win for the community.
“It’s a bit disingenuous to claim that he’s now decided to listen to the concerns of the people in his electorate a matter of weeks out from an election when the local community has been incredibly vocal about this for a very long time – over a year now – but regardless of how we got here, the result is a good one for commuters.
“We’re now hopeful the local member and his party will commit to an end to bus privatisation across the board too.”