Drivers wary of change

An industry official is wary bus timetable changes in NSW later this month could add more stress to drivers

Drivers wary of change
Drivers wary of change

By Amie Hickland | October 2, 2013

An industry official is wary timetable changes in Sydney which come into effect later this month will have negative impacts on drivers.

The warning comes after Transdev was fined earlier this year for not complying with on time running standards as specified in the latest round of contracts.

Transport Workers Union Bus Official Nimrod Nyols believes Transdev is the first private bus company in Sydney to be slapped with a fine since the new bus contracts were put in place.

Under the new contracts, one of the key performance indicators is to have 95 per cent on time running.

He understands Transdev were fined as they had not complied with this agreement.

"Obviously that’s going to mean the companies are going to put more pressure on drivers," he says.

"It is achievable depending on how tight the timetable is."

Nyols says operators need to be realistic about timetables which can include variables such as traffic.

"On top of everything else drivers have got to put up with… is added pressure about sticking to the timetable."

He says new timetables are coming into effect on October 20 which may again affect operators and drivers.

He also says continual breach of contracts can result in having them revoked.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson says the new Sydney metropolitan bus contracts apply financial penalties to operators who do not meet the contracts standards they agreed to.

The organisation would not reveal how much Transdev was fined earlier this year, but this is reported to be $48,000 by The Australian.

They say only one operator has incurred a financial penalty as a result of not meeting agreed customer service standards.

"These standards are required to ensure customers receive reliable, clean and safe bus services and taxpayers receive value for money," they say.

"Operators are encouraged to recommend improvements to bus timetables, but all changes must be in the interests of customers and approved by Transport for NSW."

The new bus timetables will be implemented on hundreds of routes in the state to improve connections to new train and ferry timetables, introduce more services and make improvements to some routes so they are better matched to how customers travel.

Transport for NSW say they are keen to meet with any bus operator which believes the customer service standards they have agreed to are negatively affecting their drivers.

Transdev General Manager Operations Len Kidd declined to comment.

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