26 September 2023

Weekend bus shake-up just the ticket

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The Minister for Transport has outlined an action plan for more reliable weekend bus services following recent staff shortages which have led to cancellations and inconvenience for bus users.

The Minister, Chris Steel said he and Transport Canberra had listened to the community and set out 10 measures to improve the reliability of the service.

He said the measures were spread across five themes: bus driver recruitment; improving information for customers; improving workforce planning; improving operational business practices; and the weekend timetable update.

He said an interim weekend timetable would be introduced on 28 September as bus driver recruitment efforts were continued.

“The action plan outlines a range of adjustments to improve recruitment efforts which will help deliver incremental increases to the frequency of local services,” Mr Steel said.

“This includes transitioning from an annual recruitment campaign to a continuous campaign as well as prioritising candidates interested in weekend work.”

He said 68 new drivers had signed up for training since the end of April, with 36 already on the road driving buses.

Mr Steel said other measures as part of the plan included an increased use of stand-by drivers on the weekend and providing longer shifts for drivers, which can be more attractive when working on the weekend.

He said work was continuing on the finalisation of a workforce development plan to better manage staffing availability, training and workforce planning.

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