Don’t dismantle our buses to hide your tram mismanagement, union warns
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW has called on the NSW Government to tell the public whether the Eastern Suburbs buses will be dismantled prop up the struggling light rail, as extremely low patronage figures released today again called the project’s business case into question.
“Commuters should not have their direct bus routes into the city cut short at their local tram stop just to inflate patronage figures and cover up the government’s own incompetence,” says Daniel Jaggers, President of the RTBU NSW Tram and Bus Division.
“The government has already made a complete hatchet job of our bus network in the last year, blowing out journey times by axing direct bus routes into the city and forcing commuters to change services multiple times just to get around.
“I’d like to ask the Transport Minister: how does forcing commuters to get off and on different modes of public transport improve the customer experience, as he and Transport for NSW keep banging on about?
“The Our Transport community survey, which is the only public consultation conducted with commuters about privatisation and changes to the bus network, found overwhelmingly that commuters don’t want to be forced to change services every day just to get by.
“From day one, the sheer incompetence on show with the light rail project has been astounding. The acceptance of a ridiculously optimistic business case, a $3 billion cost blowout, and the public is footing the bill.
“All this coming from a government that claims to be frugal about spending public money but won’t put a dollar where it actually matters: in the convenient and publicly-operated transport that commuters want.
“The light rail is a great way to get across the CBD and over to Randwick, but it only works alongside an expanded bus network that still takes commuters from across the Eastern Suburbs all the way into the city.
“Any extra capacity gained in the bus network because of light rail should be used to build more bus services in the Eastern Suburbs instead of cutting them back.
“Forcing all those people onto trams would be an absolute disaster for journey times. Andrew Constance must guarantee that it won’t happen.”