Utu’s just ‘one of the team’

Transit Systems just released two new double-deck buses at Hoxton Park depot last week. The two new buses, funded by the NSW Government, are part of the T80 and will commute between Liverpool and Parramatta

There will be a total of six new double-deckers in coming months catering to increased residential growth and the high demand for public transport in the region.

The new buses can seat 97 passengers and need specialist bus-driver training implemented by the manufacturer. Drivers need a heavy-vehicle licence.

One of the first drivers selected for these new double-deckers was Utu Suela who was offered the opportunity because of her impressive track record as a “reliable operator of route T80 services and given she has an HR endorsement”.

Slamming misconceptions: "We work as a team and help each other," Mrs Suela says. Picture: Simon Bennett

Slamming misconceptions: "We work as a team and help each other," Mrs Suela says. Picture: Simon Bennett

Mrs Suela was excited to use her new wheels. “Before I began driving it, it looked scary because of the size and height. But it wasn’t hard to drive and it doesn’t feel heavy when you’re driving it.

“I’m going to feel the responsibility on my shoulders with more lives in my hands. With long hours on the road I’ll also be taking precautions, including breaks and getting enough sleep the night before.”

When she began the job it was challenging being in a male-dominant industry. But things changed quickly. “I’ve been a bus-driver for about eight years.

“At first I was uncomfortable because most of the other drivers were male. But when I became used to it they were supportive.”