Aussie NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union Vows To Keep Sydney Buses Public




AAPUpdated June 3, 2012, 1:19 pm


Aussie NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union Vows To Keep Sydney Buses Public
The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union has vowed to keep the state's buses in public hands, saying services will suffer if the government sells them off.
Fairfax Media reported on Sunday that the NSW government plans to take the State Transit Authority bus fleet out of public ownership to save hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies.
Running of the 2250-strong fleet and its 5000 employees would be offered to the private sector, the Sun-Herald said.
RTBU Bus Division President Gary Way said public transport shouldn't be run for profit and there was no evidence that privatisation had led to benefits for commuters in other states.
"A quality public transport system which is expected in a world class city such as Sydney should not be handed to the private sector," Mr Way said in a statement.
"This would be bad policy with terrible results for the travelling public."
Mr Way called on Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to ensure that State Transit remained in public hands.
"If State Transit is privatised the people of NSW can look forward to reductions in the frequency of services, particularly at night, and less profitable services cut altogether, stranding commuters who live in outer lying areas," he said.
A spokesman for Ms Berejiklian said the minister could not rule out future privatisation of buses.
However, it was not currently government policy.
Sydney commuters would get fewer and more expensive services under a privatised bus system, Greens MP and transport representative Cate Faehrmann said.
Weekend and night services would be worst affected as they would not be profitable, she said.
"How much evidence do we need before recognising that private investment in public transport simply doesn't work?" Ms Faehrmann said in a statement.
"The main priority for our public transport system must be reducing congestion and helping Sydney commuters get to work quickly and safely.
"The main priority for private operators will be to make money."