Media Release: Sydney’s huge bus driver shortage the result of NSW Govt’s bus privatisation
11 July 2022 – Thousands of bus trips are being cancelled every day across Sydney’s due to a huge bus driver shortage.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Tram and Bus Division President, David Babineau, said the bus driver shortage has no doubt come about as a result of the NSW Government’s decision to privatise all of Sydney’s buses – in turn robbing people of good, secure and once highly sought after jobs.
“We fought against bus privatisation every step of the way because we knew that privatised bus services would result in decreased services for commuters and decreased conditions for workers. That’s clearly playing out now across Sydney,” Mr Babineau said.
“Now that the bus services are privatised, rather than taking responsibility for the impact that has had, the NSW Government is instead fining private bus services for each cancelled trip.
“The underlining instability in the workforce that privatisation of our bus services has created cannot be fixed by sitting back and simply fining companies. Until the underlying issues are addressed, the issue of recruiting drivers and keeping existing staff will remain, and this means more buses cancelled.
“Being a bus driver was once a highly sought after, good, secure job. The NSW Government has taken that away and now commuters and workers are suffering for it.
Mr Babineau said the NSW Government’s decision to scrap free travel for bus drivers is also a contributing factor in the driver shortage.
“We need to be finding ways of making the job more attractive, but by scrapping simple things such as free travel for drivers getting to work, the NSW Government is actively disincentivising people.
“The NSW Government has played a huge part in the current bus driver shortage – they need to look at ways of addressing it or we’re going to continue to see large-scale trip cancellations.”