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Bus driver shortage hits Sydney services

Unions have said operators have been forced to cancel thousands of services.

Unions have said operators have been forced to cancel thousands of services. Photo: AAP

A chronic shortage of bus drivers across Sydney has left commuters with reduced services across the city’s bus network.

In the week students return to school, Transport for NSW has cut services saying it is is dealing with “an unprecedented bus driver shortage” and timetables have been reduced “rather than cancelling services ad hoc”.

“We will continue to work with operators and scheduling experts to ensure timetable adjustments are as efficient as possible and are working towards reinstating suspended services as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said on Monday.

The cancellations cover regions north, northwest and south of downtown Sydney, including the northern beaches and eastern suburbs.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union is blaming the privatisation of the state network and poor industry conditions for the struggle to entice and retain drivers.

Premier Dominic Perrottet on Sunday blamed frequent union actions for the driver shortage.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW spokesman Peter Grech said the comments were “blatantly untrue”.

“Since they privatised the buses they’re struggling to attract and retain enough drivers to do the job,” he said.

“As a result hundreds of trips are being cancelled on an ad hoc basis every day.

“The decision they’ve made to just cut thousands of trips permanently reflects the fact they simply can’t keep up with the quality service commuters deserve.”

– AAP

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