PEAK BUS BODY WELCOMES NSW BUDGET INITIATIVES


LEADING STATE INDUSTRY BODY BusNSW has welcomed the initiatives announced in the NSW Government’s 2018-19 Budget, which includes more than 2,000 extra weekly bus services promised across NSW, it’s reported.

PEAK BUS BODY WELCOMES NSW BUDGET INITIATIVES
About 2,000 extra weekly bus services have been promised across NSW as part of the state 2018-19 Budget.

BusNSW executive director Matt Threlkeld said the purchasing of more than 430 new and replacement buses is important, but it is the new and expanded services that will benefit local communities the most.

"With population growth, we are seeing demand for seats increasing significantly in pockets of the Greater Sydney metropolitan area, so enhancing services will help to minimise congestion on Sydney roads," Threlkeld said.

"The allocation of around 20 new buses for school services across the State will also help to support an increased student demand," he added.

"BusNSW looks forward to seeing the service planning detail and where the additional buses will be allocated.

"Updating the bus fleet is vital to improving customer satisfaction and taking advantage of safety and environmental benefits that come from new technology.

"There is also good news for the long-distance, tourist and charter sector with $173 million for Destination NSW to support the delivery of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan.

"Coach and charter operators depend on major events and the delivery of tourism initiatives in regional and rural New South Wales to provide business opportunities.

"The NSW Government’s $285 million commitment to waive TAFE fees for 100,000 apprentices will help attract people to mechanical and electrical engineering trades, which are critical for the bus and coach industry.

"Building a strong workforce of skilled tradespeople to repair and maintain existing vehicles, and to manufacture new vehicles, will support the growth of bus services and deliver benefits for customers," he concluded.

 Related article: Buses possible inclusion in NSW connected tech trial
Related article: Buses possible inclusion in NSW connected tech trial

Key Bus Initiatives:

* AUD$1.5 billion for bus services throughout New South Wales, including regional and metropolitan services, school services and funding of new and replacement buses (including $179 million to purchase new buses to accommodate growth in NSW bus services and to replace old buses);

* $15.6 million additional investment in the Growth Services Program to provide more than 2,000 extra weekly bus services across New South Wales;

* $1.2 billion for public transport concessions including pensioners, seniors, people with disabilities and the school student transport scheme;

* $133 million for access upgrades to transport infrastructure, designed to enhance accessibility for a range of transport customers;

* $23 million for ticketing, licensing and concessions including Customer Channel Transformation and the Opal Delivery Phase;

* $173 million for Destination NSW to support delivery of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan (includes $82 million for the promotion of major events and $54 million for NSW tourism promotion including the continued delivery of initiatives in regional and rural New South Wales to increase visitor spend and attract more events and conferences);

* $285.2 million over six years to fund 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships to increase apprenticeship commencements and address skills shortages in areas of significant demand in New South Wales.

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