NSW Bus Driver Shortage: Is My Daily Commute Going to Be Impacted?

NSW Bus Driver Shortage: Is My Daily Commute Going to Be Impacted?

Sydneysiders have been warned to prepare for disruptions with their bus commutes as a serious driver shortage is expected to derail timetables across the city. If you’re wondering what all the noise around Sydney bus schedules is all about, here is a simple explainer.

Sydney buses: What’s happening?

Sydney bus buses
Sydney buses. Credit: iStock

The NSW bus union has warned that from Monday, January 30, 2023, thousands of services across Sydney will be cancelled as a result of bus driver shortages.

Per the Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Grech, tram and bus division president of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW, shared that commuters should “brace for chaos”.

“From Monday, over 100 bus driver shifts and thousands of bus trips will be cancelled, including in regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 – a move which bus drivers say will result in huge queues and crowding along major trunk routes,” the RTBU said.

If you’re wondering if any of those regions include your daily commute, here’s a brief look at the areas those regions cover:

Region six for Sydney buses includes the Inner West and Southern Region network (map here); region seven includes the north of Sydney and Ryde (map here); eight includes the Northern Beaches (map here), and region nine covers Port Botany, Randwick and Waverley.

In short, Grech has stated that the “chaos” and reduction in services are due to the NSW Government’s decision to privatise the buses.

“…they’re now struggling to attract and retain bus drivers, which means operators are axing hundreds of services every day,” he said, as SMH reports.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has instead pointed the finger at unions, the SMH reports.

“There are issues in relation to every workforce – the job of the unions is to work constructively with the employer to get the best outcome for our people.”

In any case, these “unprecedented driver shortages” across Sydney are expected to cause disruption to loads of peoples’ days. You may, in fact, see signage in your local area highlighting that certain services will be running to an altered timetable at present.

So, keep an eye out and maybe allow some extra time when making your way to work.

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