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#238035 29-Jun-2018 19:14
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Privatized busing comes to San Francisco
Sydney bus privatisation plan sparks accusations of betrayal from drivers

The NSW government will privatise the running of scores of bus routes in Sydney's inner west, risking a major dispute with thousands of heavily unionised bus drivers.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance has justified contracting the tender for bus region six – covering suburbs from Kensington in the city's south-east to Strathfield and Olympic Park in the west – out to the private sector by citing poor performance.

A report by Australian Automobile Association reveal the average family from western Sydney is paying around $22,000 a year in transport costs.

The inner-west region is one of four in NSW in which buses are run by the government-owned State Transit Authority. The other 11 regions are in the hands of private operators such as Transdev and Hillsbus.

The bus union said drivers were furious about the decision and accused the Transport Minister of betrayal following guarantees just six months ago from his department about extending the contracts.

Rail Tram and Bus Union divisional secretary Chris Preston said workers had been told as recently as December that STA's contract for bus regions in Sydney would remain after a restructure that included the axing of 200 back-office staff.

"This is the biggest betrayal this Minister Constance can do to these workers. The rest of Sydney's bus drivers will be furious as well," he said.

About 1200 bus drivers are affected by the latest decision to privatise services. In all, STA has about 3700 drivers in Sydney and 12 bus depots.

STA-run Sydney Buses still carries the majority of the city's passengers, including those on routes on the northern beaches, the CBD and the eastern suburbs.

...The minister said the inner-west region had the highest level of complaints, which included claims from customers of buses speeding past them at stops.

"For too long, customers have suffered," he said.

Labor transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay said the Opposition feared the latest plans were merely a prelude to a wholesale sell-off of Sydney's transport network.

"This is a government that is rapidly getting out of the business of running public services. Buses should be run for the public benefit, not for private profit," she said.

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  #2046220 29-Jun-2018 20:46
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1) That Al-Jazeera piece is "opinion" - pretty much someone wrote whatever they feel like - and judging by the image I'm not sure it's factual e.g. "doesn't need to accommodate people with disabilities" sounds fake.


2) Then there's a piece about Sydney


What exactly is this topic about? The OP posted two different articles but did not express an opinion on either way.



These links are referral codes


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  #2046237 29-Jun-2018 22:03
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It is odd and has no relevance to NZ; we've just got rid of private bus runs on the street network that are not privately booked with the PTOM contract setup from MOT... Certainly in Auckland all publicly carrying services are set by AT, with only private school runs, private hires and party buses not part of that setup.


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  #2046238 29-Jun-2018 22:10
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On my overseas travels I have observed council/govt operated bus/train/etc services to be cheaper, more reliable and more frequent than equivalent privately operated services. I would love to see NZ move back to allowing councils to directly operate public transport services but there seem to be ideological opposition to allowing councils to do that in New Zealand. As a result all PT services are required to be out-sourced to the lowest cost bidder who clips the ticket and only just spend enough to ensure they keep the money rolling in.

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  #2046242 29-Jun-2018 22:19
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It is odd and has no relevance to NZ; we've just got rid of private bus runs on the street network that are not privately booked with the PTOM contract setup from MOT... Certainly in Auckland all publicly carrying services are set by AT, with only private school runs, private hires and party buses not part of that setup.



They are still privately operated under contract to AT. If AT could run the buses directly they could better control costs and end user's experiences. There are a number of privately operated (on AT's behalf) routes in Auckland where the majority of services fail to run to schedule. I did a OIA a few years back and found some routes where <5% of buses were on schedule by the time it passed the last stage point to town. I raised many of these issues with AT who told me that they can only pass on my feedback to the operator concerned. This is in stark contrast to rail (which I understand AT has more control over due to their ownership of the rolling stock and the sort of contract they have with the operator) where the punctuality has been exceptional since the EMUs were introduced across the entire network.


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  #2046286 30-Jun-2018 08:39
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Sydney is calling there's the "Uberization" of buses, but it's not the first time it's been tried

When I lived in Mexico, the buses were privately owned.

There were preset routes, but there was no schedule.

Each bus owner wanted to make as much money as possible, so it was naturally balancing:

When there were not enough passengers, the bus owner would

* adjust speed to center themselves between two other buses

* pull themselves off the road, go home.

When the buses were full, the bus driver would either

* speed up to dump some passengers

* more bus owners would "come online" so they could make more money.

It worked beautifully, except when there were too many passengers, and too few buses. Then the Mexican drivers would drive too fast.

As the graphic illustrates, there are downsides to private buses.

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