Liberal candidate for Coogee, Dr Kylie von Muenster, has welcomed the Perrottet Liberal Team’s four point plan to improve bus services and tackle the current bus driver shortages.
“Benefits for drivers, reducing course fees, new recruitment initiatives and community feedback are key aspects of the Perrottet Liberal Government’s plan to deliver more bus drivers into the Coogee area,” Dr von Muenster said.
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the NSW Liberal four point plan would address the severe staff shortages experienced by bus operators across Australia.
“The bus driver shortage is a national, and even international, problem which we are committed to addressing with four important strategies,” Mr Elliott said.
“As part of the NSW Liberal plan, there will be a focus on increasing the number of drivers by securing proficient drivers from overseas, waiving training fees, offering bus drivers in Greater Sydney subsidised travel and giving local communities the opportunity to have input into bus services.”
Key aspects of the Liberal plan to address the acute shortage:
- provide free public transport to and from work with an Opal card to be issued to all new and existing drivers across Greater Sydney
- waive the Bus Driver Authority fee and subsidise training course fees
- establish a recruitment taskforce to attract skilled bus drivers from overseas
- invite the community members to ‘have their say’ on what improvements they would like to see across the bus network, including routes and timetables.
“We will continue to work with BusNSW on the future of the bus industry in this state, in addition to the recommendations we’re committing to today,” Mr Elliott added.
The Liberals will: establish a recruitment taskforce to develop further strategies to recruit and retain bus drivers, including individuals from interstate and overseas; and also assist with the recruitment of bus and coach drivers via support for specific funding for new recruits to upgrade to a Heavy Rigid or Medium Rigid licence to obtain a Bus Driver Authority (BDA) at little or no cost.
Community members are also encouraged to have their say on improvements such as new routes and timetabling as this feedback will inform Transport for NSW’s review of bus services.
Since 2011, the Liberals have introduced close to 47,000 extra bus services in Greater Sydney and outer metropolitan areas.
We encourage anyone interested in becoming a driver to find out more here.
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