26 September 2023

Urgent action to pick up more bus drivers

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A recruitment drive has been launched to address bus driver shortages and get more services running.

NSW Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen announced the drive, saying the recently established Bus Industry Taskforce had identified immediate actions to support increased driver recruitment and ensuring private operators were running the most efficient timetable for passengers.

“With more than 500 driver vacancies across Greater Sydney and Outer Metropolitan areas, it’s clear more needs to be done to get more drivers onto the road and carrying passengers,” Ms Haylen said.

“The shortage of bus drivers has had a massive impact on bus services right across the State,” she said.

“If we can begin to fix the driver shortage, we’ll be well on the way to fixing our bus services.”

Ms Haylen said a major change would be introduced to make it quicker, easier, and cheaper for drivers to get their bus driver authority.

She said this included waiving the $70 application fee for the next 12 months; allowing drivers over the age of 25 to apply if they held a current unrestricted Australian driver licence and had held any kind of Australian driver licence, or a nationally recognised overseas driver licence, for at least three years; enabling electronic issue of documents; and scrapping duplicated paperwork requirements and streamlining the application process.

“Bus Passenger Forums, chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Marjorie O’Neil, will also capture community feedback on bus services from members of the public and representatives from community groups, local businesses and non-government organisations,” the Minister said.

“Forming a key part of the work carried out by the Bus Industry Taskforce, the forums will provide a much-needed opportunity for the commuting public to have their say.”

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