Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

RTBU Media Release: Privatisation drives most vulnerable off Newcastle’s buses

Jun 13, 2018Uncategorized

Newcastle’s disastrous new bus timetable has forced seniors and pensioners off our public transport, proving that the Transport Minister’s claims that privatisation would provide Newcastle residents with a ‘world-class transport system’ were complete rubbish.

Opal figures released today show that seniors and pensioners have taken significantly fewer trips on Newcastle’s bus network, compared with the same time last year.

RTBU Tram and Bus Division Secretary, Chris Preston, said the latest figures highlight what everyone suspected was happening, and are a clear example of the dangers of privatisation.

“The new timetable, and the whole privatisation experiment, has been shambolic to say the least. We’ve got seniors and pensioners who can’t rely on getting a bus anymore. It’s just sad,” Mr Preston said.

“Our public transport system should work for all commuters, but particularly those who need it most, like seniors and pensioners.

“The NSW Transport Minister has a lot to answer for here. The way the people of Newcastle, particularly our most vulnerable residents, have been treated is beyond disgraceful.

“The Transport Minister rushed through the privatisation of our bus network, he didn’t ensure the private company created a timetable that met the needs of the public, and now we’re in a situation where people simply aren’t using the network.

“If it weren’t so sad, it would be almost comical. The Transport Minister comes into town, sells off our bus network promising that the move will deliver a world-class service, and what we actually end up with is a bus network that barely works for anyone.

“So much for the world class transport system the Transport Minister promised the people of Newcastle.

“The new timetable that Keolis Downer is about to implement had better address the concerns of commuters, otherwise we’ll continue to see passenger numbers dwindle.

“The timetabling issues need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”


Media contact:          Amelia Brock, 0430 187 161