Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Mehreen Faruqi argues Newcastle is the victim of failed privatisation experiment

Jan 12, 2018Uncategorized

Newcastle Herald, Mehreen Fauqi

THOUSANDS of Novocastrians relying on public transport to get to work, school and university on time have come face to face with the harsh reality of this ideologically-driven, privatisation-obsessed government.

Since privatisation in July 2017, the percentage of buses that started their journey on time declined from 95 per cent to just 79 per cent, and barely half of the buses are on time in the middle of their journey.

Just over a year ago, New South Wales’ Transport Minister made the shock announcement that the entire Newcastle public transport network including all buses, ferries and the future light rail would be privatised.

This kick in the guts came just after the Liberal-National government had ripped up the direct rail connection between the Newcastle and Sydney CBDs and replaced it with what could be the world’s shortest light rail line, at a princely sum of over $220 million per kilometre.

The then premier, Mike Baird, told the people of Newcastle that the private operator “will guarantee better and more frequent public transport options, giving Novocastrians the world-class transport they deserve”.

This week, we have learnt just how low an opinion of Newcastle the NSW government has.

I think the privatised bus services are a far cry from anything even remotely world-class.

Read the full article in the Newcastle Herald here.