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Bus Drivers

MEDIA RELEASE - LIBERAL BUS CUTS HAVE DRIVERS WORRIED

September 17, 2018

17 September 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

LIBERAL BUS CUTS HAVE DRIVERS WORRIED

The Transport Workers’ Union SA/NT Branch is calling on the State Liberal Government to reverse their decision to cut bus services in the Adelaide Metro Network.

Thousands of South Australians rely on bus services to get to work, medical appointments, school and university each day. The Liberal Government’s cruel decision to cut bus services will disproportionately affect low-income earners and the elderly.

“The proposed cuts to Adelaide Metro services are a big concern for our members. Rather than sitting down with drivers to work towards building a better bus industry, this Liberal Government has made it clear they’re only interested in making life more difficult for those who depend on a safe and reliable public transport system. By placing connecting services on the chopping block, the elderly and low-income earners will be hit the hardest. Restricting access to public transport will have real consequences for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our community. Accessible public transport should be a right for all South Australians,” said TWU SA/NT Branch Secretary Ian Smith.

“If the Government was really concerned with the financial viability and safety of Adelaide Metro services, they would invest in placing more Prescribed Officers on buses to crack down on fare evasion and anti-social behaviour. However, this slash and burn approach is what we’ve come to expect from a Liberal Government who were responsible for the privatisation of Adelaide’s buses in 2000.”

A 2016 Bus Driver Survey undertaken by the TWU reflected that almost 20% of bus drivers face aggressive behaviour at least once a day. One in three bus drivers reported that they have been assaulted on the job.

“The TWU has written to Minister Knoll on multiple occasions to request that the Government commits to continuing the Adelaide Metro Bus Network Committee convened by the previous State Labor Government. This committee was made up of stakeholders from Government, the bus contract holders, employees and the TWU. The Government has ignored these requests. They have refused to consult with bus drivers.”

“Rather than cutting essential services, the State Government must come to the table and talk to bus drivers about the real issues which they face on a day to day basis,” Mr Smith said.

For further information or to arrange a media interview, please contact Matt Burnell, TWU SA/NT Branch Official, 0437 221 629.