Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Transport Minister Constance betrays Sydney commuters and drivers with bus sell off

Feb 13, 2018Uncategorized

Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, has today announced that over a third of Sydney’s public buses will be immediately handed to a private bus operator despite a huge public backlash.

The news that private operator Transit Systems will take over the running of the inner-west, Region 6 buses, comes after the massive ’Don’t Sell Our Buses’ campaign where Sydneysiders said loud and clear that they did not want their bus network sold off. Over 30,000 people signed petitions opposing the sell-off and thousands more attended public meetings and rallies.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Tram and Bus Division Secretary, Chris Preston, said Sydney bus drivers and commuters had every right to be furious at the Minister’s betrayal.

“Bus drivers were given a written guarantee that their jobs were safe in December 2016. Minister Constance tore that up. Ten of thousands of Sydney commuters have told Minister Constance they don’t want their buses sold off. He’s ignored them. I completely understand why the community is furious.”

“The privatisation of Sydney’s buses will lead to fewer stops, fewer buses and longer journeys times. That is exactly what has happened in Newcastle after the Government sold off their buses. It will certainly happen here.”

“This is yet another captain’s call from the Transport Minister. A couple of weeks ago it was the Ferry McFerryface saga, and this week he’s ignoring the tens of thousands of commuters who have said they don’t want their service privatised.

“We call on Minister Constance to guarantee Sydney commuters that stops will not be closed and bus services not be cancelled under a private operator.”

“Minister Constance must guarantee that bus drivers working in the privatised bus system will be paid correctly for the hours they work and that an effective rostering system is in place to ensure drivers can plan their week.”

“These sound like simple things, but they are conditions not achieved by the so-called world class private bus operator in Newcastle.”

“Minister Constance has trashed the rail network and is now trashing the public bus network. Time and time again he’s demonstrated he is simply not up to job and unfortunately, its Sydney commuters who are paying for his incompetence and arrogance.”

“The sooner he goes, the better.”