Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Media Release: Constance caught out fibbing about transport figures – again

Mar 22, 2018Uncategorized

Check out our RTBU Media Release and the Newcastle Herald story below.

Constance caught out fibbing about transport figures – again

Decline in Newcastle bus commuter no surprise to drivers


The Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, has been caught lying to the public yet again – this time about the number of people walking away from Newcastle’s newly privatised bus service.

Newcastle’s bus service has descended into chaos since the Transport Minister hastily sold off the service to the private sector, with workers being forced to deal with underpayment and poor rostering and commuters subjected to a shocking new timetable.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Tram and Bus Division Secretary, Chris Preston, said it is no surprise that Newcastle commuters are walking away from the bus system.

“That’s what happens when you privatise an essential transport service – the service declines and people walk away. We’re seeing in Newcastle, and we’ll see it elsewhere too,” Mr Preston said.

“The privatisation of Newcastle’s buses has been a disaster. Commuters have made that very clear.

“We’ve seen hundreds of people turn out to meetings and rallies in protest of the privatised service, and now Opal figures are showing they’re walking away from the buses in droves.


“Now the Transport Minister wants other areas in NSW, like Sydney’s inner-west, to believe that they’ll be better off with a privatised bus service? He’s got to be kidding himself. Newcastle is proof privatisation doesn’t work.


“The Transport Minister has lost control. He needs to admit he’s incapable of running an effective public transport system in this state.


“Not only is Andrew Constance incapable of managing the state’s transport, but it seems he’s also incapable of telling the truth. It’s one lie after another these days.


“Rather than deal with the issues in Newcastle, the Transport Minister clearly decided it’s easier to simply lie to commuters about the facts and pretend there’s nothing wrong.


“Go and talk to any commuter in Newcastle, Minister – they’ll tell you there’s something very wrong with your privatised service.


“The NSW Government has a responsibility to ensure commuters have access to safe, affordable and reliable public transport. By putting a private company in charge and not overseeing the process properly, it has failed to live up to that responsibility.


“It’s time the Transport Minister took responsibility for this mess. He hasn’t owned up to this problem at all.”



Newcastle Herald

Opal card data shows a decline in patronage on Newcastle buses in February yearly comparison

Opal card data released by the NSW Government of Newcastle’s bus network shows a two per cent decrease in patronage in a yearly comparison of the month of February.

Patronage via Opal cards decreased from 402,000 in 2017 to 394,000 in 2018, a reduction of 8,000 trips.