Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Funding for public transport infrastructure ‘half the picture’

Sep 8, 2011News

The State Budget contained funding for a number of bus and tram projects, but this investment will be wasted if there are not enough workers to run services.

RTBU (NSW) Secretary Alex Claassens said 350 jobs were being cut to ‘back office’ staff in transport agencies, but the State Government had not announced any new front-line service positions.

“The State Budget delivers on new rail infrastructure and provides essential funding for new trains and buses,” Alex said.

“But to deliver high-quality services you need to have enough staff to drive the trains and buses, to sell tickets and protect passengers.

“There also needs to be enough people behind the scenes running operations, making sure the public transport system works smoothly and effectively.”

Budget announcements for the bus industry included:

– purchasing 261 new buses, worth $118.8 million, including 95 buses for STA;

– spending $45 million for new bus depots to accommodate growth in the bus fleet;

– spending $7.6 million over four years to increase Nightride bus services; and

– spending $3 million for studies into a bus rapid transit system for the northern beaches.

The State Government also committed $103 million for light rail projects in Sydney – including the extension of the current line to Dulwich Hill, and for a study into potential new routes to the University of NSW and the University of Sydney.