Fare free week for bus patrons

Transit Systems bus commuters won’t need their Opal cards or money for fares next week.

Bus drivers at Transit Systems will hold a fare free week and a two hour stop work next Monday.It’s part of a Transport Workers Unioncampaign to ensure they are paid onpar with other bus drivers across NSW.

Drivers have voted to take action that they say will have minimal impact on the public but will send a clear message to Transit Systems managers, amid TWU claimsthe company is holding back more than $1.1million in taxpayer funds that were meant for wages.

Drivers who are membershave 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 ofLiverpool, Cabramatta, Fairfield, Merrylands, Granville, Parramatta, Wetherill Park and Prospect.

This includes theT80 Liverpool-Parramatta serviceand all services starting from 800 through to 820.

A two hour stop work meetingwill take buses off the roadfrom 10am to noon on Monday (February 27).

Fare-free days will be in placefromnext Mondayuntil the following Monday (March 6).

Drivers 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 whilepocketing taxpayer funded contributions intended for drivers’ wage increases, enough is enough.

“Bus drivers are amongthe 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.

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