Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Cost cutting holds back new buses

Feb 15, 2012News

Despite the clean and green image the STA likes to push to the public, more environmentally efficient buses are being kept off the road in favour of the old diesel buses.

STA has advised drivers at the Burwood depot that wherever possible the B10s should be sent out instead of the new B12s. The directive is thought to be an attempt to save costs on fuel by using the buses with the smaller 10 litre engines and to try and keep the kilometres to a minimum on the brand new B12s. Up to 50 buses are being held back during each weekend morning and afternoon shifts.

Burwood depot has lodged a dispute with the STA over the matter pointing out that not only do the old diesel buses churn out more toxic fumes than the B12 with its low-emissions system, using the old buses is a hazard for drivers.

In a letter to the STA one driver explained that the B10 drivers were not able to lock up cash boxes, which meant that drivers had to take the money with them when they went on their break or to the toilet. Not only is this inconvenient, it’s a dangerous requirement particularly at night and in remote locations.

The B10 also needs to be reversed in order to get around some roundabout – which is contrary to STA rules which do not allow drivers to reverse at any time.

The union will be holding a series of depot meetings in the coming weeks to decided what course of action to take to resolve the matter.