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On demand bus blunder costing taxpayers around $500 per trip

Aug 14, 2019Media releases News

MEDIA RELEASE

13 August 2019  

Taxpayers could be forking out up to $500 per passenger, per trip for the Transport Minister’s pet ‘on demand bus’ project to run in his electorate of Bega – an irresponsible waste the bus drivers’ union says needs to be stopped.

Reports show that the service has been a dismal failure, with just handfuls of passengers using the on-demand service in Andrew Constance’s Bega electorate. Similar stories of the failure of on-demand buses have been seen elsewhere across the state.

Tram and Bus Division Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW, David Babineau, said the Transport Minister needs to urgently release the contract details of the on-demand service and admit that the concept simply doesn’t work.

“These on-demand bus services are the greatest waste of taxpayer money imaginable,” Mr Babineau said.

“While the Transport Minister is throwing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars at a service that clearly doesn’t work and that commuters clearly don’t want, he’s also cutting vital public bus services from other areas. It’s a disgraceful case of mismanagement.

“We know that the Transport Minister has grand plans to sell off our bus networks and force commuters onto ‘uber-style’ services and these on-demand services are clearly a step towards that. Trouble is, these vanity projects are seeing thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars thrown down the drain.

“The lack of uptake, despite the government’s efforts to get people onto these services is a clear sign that commuters want adequate investment into public bus services and not unpredictable government subsidised taxis.

“The NSW Government must urgently release the contract for the Bega service as well as all other on demand contracts so the public can see these projects for what they really area – a gigantic waste of money.”

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