Since the privatisation of Newcastle’s bus services in 2016, there have been tens of thousands of complaints from users about cut bus routes and cancelled services.
Today in NSW Parliament Jodie Harrison MP, Member for Charlestown, said this deterioration of services disproportionately impacted our most vulnerable citizens.
“Public transport needs to be safe, reliable and cost-effective for its users,” Ms Harrison said.
“Leaving the elderly, people with disabilities and school students on the side of the road without notice, and with no knowledge of when the next bus might come, is completely unacceptable.”
Ms Harrison said seniors, parents, people with disabilities and workers have shared their experiences of being stranded by services, forced to take unscheduled time off work, or spend money they could not afford on taxis and rideshare services due to cancellations.
The NSW Government has already taken steps to address the problems caused by privatisation by creating a Bus Industry Taskforce. The taskforce will make recommendations to improve the reliability, quality and effectiveness of bus services in NSW.
“This is a problem that Premier Chris Minns highlighted during the election as a central issue and I want to commend the Minister for Transport for acting so quickly to address it following the election,” Ms Harrison said.
“I look forward to working with the Minister, and alongside my fellow Hunter MPs, towards better outcomes for Charlestown’s public transport commuters in the future.”