Sunday March 19, 2023: Community independents for Lane Cove and North Shore, Victoria Davidson and Helen Conway, highlight bus privatisation debacle
“Nothing short of a disaster”, is what the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry found in September 2022 in relation to the privatisation of Sydney bus services, and our communities are rightly angry and frustrated by frequent bus service cancellations and delays, said Victoria Davidson and Helen Conway today.
Today the independent candidates boarded a “pirate bus” service operating from Willoughby to Bondi Beach, a cancelled M40 (aka 340) service. This is just one of a number of popular metrobus services which have been cancelled or replaced.
Both independent candidates are promising to hold the government to account to ensure there is full service public transport coverage for their electorates.
School children are regularly left stranded with bus services to and from school being cancelled on short notice. Workers are unable to rely on bus transportation to meet work schedules.
Victoria Davidson today said:
“Bus timetables have become a farce. How is anyone supposed to be able to plan their daily commute if they can’t rely on the published schedule?”
“Good cities need effective public transport - it is well understood that increased use of public transport leads to benefits including less congestion, lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced air and noise pollution. There is also a reduced level of road trauma, with a lower burden on our public health system. Reliable, affordable public transport is the cornerstone of a liveable city.”
“Increased congestion also has negative social outcomes, including higher levels of stress, less time spent with family, less leisure time, reduced sleep due to the need to get up earlier, and returning home from work later.”
Helen Conway today said:
“The economic impacts of an unreliable public transport system should not be underestimated. Public transport is critical to connect people to jobs and services - when the system breaks down, there are negative impacts on the profitability and productivity of our businesses.”
“If workers are unable to rely on our bus network to meet deadlines and work schedules, the outcome is an increased use of private vehicles, leading to enhanced traffic congestion on our main arterial roads and freeways, and more rat runs through local roads.”
“The transport sector represents approximately 20% of total emissions in NSW. Accelerating the electrification of our public transport network, and ensuring full and reliable service coverage, will be critical to our ability to meet emissions reduction targets. The NSW government is not on track to deliver electric buses until 2047 - this is unacceptable.”
“It is clear from the bus privatisation debacle that under the current government we are not moving forward but fast grinding to a halt - poor transport links are a drag on our economy.”
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