Save Our Buses: Eastern Suburbs commuters rally against Constance’s cuts
Last Sunday saw over 400 people descend on High Cross Park in Randwick to demand Minister Constance reverse his plans to axe 25 bus routes in the Eastern Suburbs, and modify another 23 to force commuters onto the light rail to get into the city.
The atmosphere was one of anger and determination as local residents showed their outrage with an array of colourful signs and frequent chants of “Save our buses!”.
Local Labor MPs Marjorie O’Neill and Michael Daley were among the speakers at the rally, along with local residents who will be severely impacted by the changes. Local student Tom Kennedy warned that forcing students to catch trams to university would prove disastrous with every breakdown, while business owner Samantha Bragg said getting staff back into the office after Covid would be made even harder by ballooning commute times.
RTBU Tram & Bus Divisional Secretary David Babineau spoke about how the reduction in services meant a loss of jobs and available work, and the government lies that have led us to this point.
Minister Constance’s announcement of the service cuts came with the public’s first opportunity to provide feedback about changes to bus services through an online Transport for NSW survey. This merely added insult to injury, and residents have been infuriated by the survey’s leading questions and the fact it only allows them to identify one bus route they rely on.
The feedback survey can be found here, but you can only do it once per IP address. That means if you’re trying to get it done on your computer or phone for someone who isn’t comfortable with technology, it won’t work if you’ve already done the survey yourself.
The survey link itself is buried in the page and is hidden in plain sight. More evidence that this is lip service and nothing else- we need to bombard them so they have no option but to listen or being seen to be ignoring tens of thousands of people.
The Minister walked back a step in the media after the rally, claiming that no decisions on bus cuts have been made, which is his way of saying “we’re open to changing things if it means I avoid political pain”.
Remember, every route we can save means more work for drivers.