Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Privatisation not the answer to better services

Aug 3, 2012News

There is no doubt that NSW commuters deserve better transport services, but the number one question is what really needs to be done to achieve it.

This government, and a number of lobby groups, would have us believe that privatisation is the answer to greater customer service and efficiency.

But where are the examples of success? At a breakfast run by the SEARCH foundation in Sydney Bus and Tram Division President Gary Way said they’re pretty hard to find.

Privatisations have failed numerous times overseas and Victoria has tried privatising public transport three times and each time the government has had to bail private operators out.

And most importantly, the public actually doesn’t like the idea of privatising services.

Because when things go wrong, they like to rely on the government to step in, rather than a private company with one eye on the bottom line.

STA has a long history of stepping in to save the day.

When private enterprises couldn’t cope with the enormous demands of the 2000 Olympics, who did the government call in? STA.

When private companies go broke and children can’t get to school, who does the government call in? STA.

Government bus services will continue to go above and beyond to provide this sort of extra help when it is needed. Will private services?

Gary finished up his talk at the breakfast with the following:

I wish you could hear my members talk about how proud they are to be a Sydney bus driver. Some of them are 3rd, even 4th generation drivers.

Almost all of them have commendations from customer feedback and calls and letters.

Many of them have had a litany of passenger compliments over the years.

For many of the drivers, they spend their whole working life behind the big steering wheel of your bus and its not just a job – it’s a way of life, and since the trams, as our city has grown up, so has our government bus service.

We’ve stood the test of time. We are Classic Sydney.

Says it all really.