Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Standing up for drivers’ jobs amid bus shake-up

Feb 19, 2013Uncategorized


Tuesday 19 February 2013

Sydney commuters miss out on 300 more bus services in efficiency drive

A State Government shake-up of Sydney’s bus system will rankle commuters as a lost opportunity to relieve the city’s burdened network, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said today.

RTBU NSW Bus Division Secretary Chris Preston said the Government has shunned offering more services to the public in favour of cost-cutting in a decision to shed 82 drivers and 38 buses from the system through increased efficiencies.

Mr Preston said that the decision would come as cold comfort to many commuters left at the bus-stop as another packed bus passes them by.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald report released today, Sydney Buses’ new ‘Optimisation and Route Networking of Schedules’ plan has reduced the number of buses and drivers needed to maintain current services through the removal of ‘dead running’ or non-revenue kilometres.

“The union welcomes finding efficiencies in the city’s bus system; in fact, we’ve been calling on the Government to do just that to alleviate the load on drivers for quite some time,” Mr Preston said.

“But after freeing up these buses and drivers, we’d expect the Government to redeploy them to help service the rest of the network.

“We calculate those 38 buses and 82 drivers could be offering an extra 300 services a day to the public.

“Refusing to reinvest in the system shows Minister Berejiklian is more concerned with penny pinching than offering bus commuters an extra service during peak hour.

“It’s a cost-cutting exercise which may offer efficiencies but does little for commuters who are already sick of sniffing each other’s armpits on crowded buses.”

The union said that it was also concerned for services in the future under the new plan.

“The union fears that cost-cutting, redeploying 82 drivers, leaving buses idle and bringing in a hiring freeze on driver numbers are all a sign of things to come under a privatised bus network driven by profit,” Mr Preston said.

“Passengers in regional and outer-suburban areas already experience limited services – particularly at night – on Sydney’s private bus networks. Is this what the Government has in store for the rest of Sydney?”