Transit Systems bus commuters may get free rides next week.
Transit Systems bus drivers who are Transport Workers Union (TWU) members will hold a fare free week and a two hour stop work next Monday.
It’s part of a TWU campaign to ensure they are paid on par with other bus drivers across NSW.
TWU members have voted to take action that they say will have minimal impact on the public but will send a clear message to Transit Systems management, amid union claims the company is holding back more than $1.1million in taxpayer funds that were meant for wages.
Drivers who are members have resolved to not turn on ticket machines, providing one week of fare-free days to passengers using Transit Systems bus services across western and south-western Sydney. This includes services across the suburbs of Liverpool, Cabramatta, Fairfield, Merrylands, Granville, Parramatta, Wetherill Park and Prospect.
This includes the T80 Liverpool-Parramatta service and services starting from 800 through to 820, except 811.
A two hour stop work meeting will take buses off the road from 10am to noon on Monday (February 27).
Fare-free days will be in place from next Monday until the following Monday (March 6).
However, commuters have been warned by the bus company that they will still need their Opal cards and money for fares.
"We apologise to the community for any inconvenience caused by the union's planned service disruptions next week, and note that only services operated by drivers who are union members will be affected,” Transit Systems chief executive Clint Feuerherdt said.
“Other services will still be operating Opal ticketing and collecting fares. We are doing everything possible to minimise the disruption to services, and advise all commuters to travel using their regular payment method.”
Drivers who are TWU members will also refuse to wear their Transit Systems uniform.
“It’s time that these under-paid bus drivers are given a fair go like the rest of the industry,” said TWU NSW secretary Richard Olsen.
“After two and a half years of poor treatment by Transit Systems management who aren’t listening to driver concerns while pocketing taxpayer funded contributions intended for drivers’ wage increases, enough is enough.
“Bus drivers are among the most valued members of our communities, providing the transport needs for schoolkids, workers and their families.
“The actions taken by our members will remind Transit Systems of the responsibility they have to ensure that drivers are not treated as second-rate compared to the rest of the industry.”
He called on Transit Systems management to renegotiate the enterprise agreement properly.
“We’d welcome too any intervention from Transport Minister Andrew Constance, who seems to be sitting on his hands while Transit Systems keep taxpayer funds intended for drivers” Mr Olsen said.
- Call 8778 5830 or go to transitsystems.com.au/sydney for updates.