Rear door boarding trial is extremely concerning
Transport for NSW will begin a trial next week which will allow passengers to board through the rear doors of buses at designated times and locations in the presence of marshals.
Agreeing to participate in this trial was a condition of an Enterprise Agreement concluded almost a decade ago. But the RTBU is extremely concerned about the safety implications of the trial and any wider scale roll out.
It’s a big safety risk
Obviously, there’s a safety risk in allowing passengers to board through the rear door, where drivers can’t see what is going on.
Imagine that someone is running late and tries to get on the bus via the rear doors just as the bus driver is closing them. They could get caught in the doors or worse.
Overloading will be harder to control
Allowing passengers to enter through both doors could also lead to overloaded buses – because without the oversight of the driver it will be even harder to regulate how many passengers are on board.
This is another safety concern because we know that when you have too many people on a bus it can be extremely dangerous. If the bus driver has to stop suddenly it could mean people are flung through the windscreen.
It’s also hazardous when people are standing too close to the rear doors because they could get caught and dragged along the road.
It could actually slow boarding down
Bus drivers could also be left to deal with passenger confrontations or conflict if people are trying to both exit and enter from the same door.
We could see chaotic situations which could actually slow down the process of boarding a bus rather than speed it up.
The trial is limited to seven locations and will last only a few weeks.
But it’s likely to confuse passengers, who may try to board through both doors in other locations. We’re encouraging bus drivers to be especially vigilant during the trial period.
You can read more about the RTBU’s concerns in the Sydney Morning Herald.
We will keep members updated and if you have first hand experience of any issues with the trial as it progresses, please contact the union and outline your concerns in writing.