Fix N.S.W. Transport!
Sydney Inner West Bus Privatisation
It was announced on 15 May 2017 that, because a high rate of complaints about Sydney Buses services around the inner western suburbs had persisted, those buses were to be privatised. The official euphemism is "franchised". The successful tenderer, Transit Systems, took over in July 2018. The minister contends that bus services will become better quickly.
In theory, ownership details of the buses etc. shouldn't have to concern passengers.
Operators should be free to curry favour with governments by appearing efficient and profitable - cutting wages and creating book profits by writing-up their bus fleets.
Unfortunately, private operators have a reputation for cutting corners by pruning lightly-patronised services such as weekends and late nights.
So it is quite reasonable to question the proposed privatisation.
- Details of the service, right down to the level of what type of bus is to be used, are fixed by Transport for NSW. Theoretically, privatisation shouldn't make any difference to the level of service or to the number of seats on each service.
- How many of the complaints were about issues that privatisation might might a difference to? And how many were about problems such as endemic traffic congestion?
- What happens if the complaints continue or increase after privatisation?
- There'll be a honeymoon period before any services are cut. What happens afterwards?
- What guarantees will there be that lightly-patronised services will be continued?
- What about the co-ordination between Sydney Buses depots which is needed for covering shared routes, occasional breakdowns and large sporting events etc.? How will that be replaced?
- What will happen to the controllers who have expert knowledge of the area? Will their skills be lost?
- Inter-regional services are important. If the privatisation degenerates into balkanisation, what will happen to longer-distance buses? Passengers won't take kindly to forced transfers every time they cross between territories.
Finally, is it certain that costs savings will result from privatisation? Some researchers don't think so. Learn more...
We understand that Labor politicians in England want rail privatisations reversed. That might happen here.
No-one has explained why the government thinks that bus services and other transport facilities should be privatised whereas sports stadiums should be developed by public money.
Fix N.S.W. Transport!