Media Release: Newcastle commuters bearing the brunt of a slower service
Figures have revealed that commuters in Newcastle are bearing the brunt of a far slower commute after a private operator took over Newcastle buses in July last year.
Chris Preston, RTBU NSW Bus and Tram Division Secretary said “This is exactly what we said would happen. Minister Constance recklessly sold off Newcastle’s public buses to an incompetent private operator so that they both could make a buck.
“And now, it’s commuters who are paying the price for Constance’s recklessness with ridiculously low on-time running rates, and the removal of routes.
The Newcastle Herald (8/1/18) revealed that the on time running of Newcastle’s buses have plummeted from 87 to 52 per cent since Keolis Downer took over.
“This is a disgrace. How can commuters expect to arrive anywhere on time if Newcastle buses have an on time running rate of 52 per cent?
“Not only this, but services are also being cut. For example, the service to Waratah on a Sundays has vanished. But it’s no surprise to us – we’ve said all along that a private operator will remove unprofitable routes wherever they can.
“There is only one person to blame for this, Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance.
“Minister Constance needs to apologise to the commuters in Newcastle for selling off our public services and ramming in a private bus operator who is clearly incapable of running an efficient, on time bus network.
“Drivers are just as frustrated as commuters – who are both at the mercy of a bus network run by a company who couldn’t even pay their workers properly for the first three months.”