The cancellation of 42 bus services in Launceston today shows that Metro is falling deeper into chaos, with drivers, support staff and even management deserting the struggling bus operator.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Tasmanian Secretary Ric Bean today said urgent intervention was needed to get Metro back on a stable footing.
“The chronic shortage of bus drivers is putting extreme pressure on services and leading to increased cancellations across the Metro network.
“The people of Tasmania deserve access to reliable, frequent and safe public transport.
“But instead of dealing with the underlying problems that are plaguing the public transport system, the State Government is opting for a short-term sugar hit of free public transport.
“A free bus is not much use if it doesn’t turn up.
“The buck stops with the State Government. It needs to make sure Metro is properly staffed, properly resourced and properly managed.”
Ric Bean said a recent survey of Metro bus drivers found that:
- 50% of drivers are either very likely or somewhat likely to resign;
- 67% have no confidence in current management to run Metro;
- 71% feel their confidence in the ability of management has deteriorated in the past 12 months (somewhat and greatly combined); and
- The main reasons for the high levels of resignation from Metro were safety 76%, wages 73%, and rosters 65%.