Sydney bus service cuts under fire

Sydney's eastern suburbs buses are set to be scrapped.

Commuters in Sydney’s eastern suburbs are angry with the New South Wales government’s plan to cut 25 bus routes in the south-eastern suburbs.

Transport minister Andrew Constance said on May 6 that a further 23 will be modified and 11 new routes will be added.

The bus service cuts are intended to force people to travel on the under utilised new $3 billion light rail network. But the cuts will oblige travellers to catch more than one mode of transport to reach the city. Previously, they could catch one bus.

Labor MP for Coogee Marjorie O’Neill condemned the plan. “Our buses are being removed to force people to use the failed light rail, as its patronage is down 90 per cent from anticipated levels,” she told the May City Hub.

The NSW branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) described the move a “betrayal” of the residents who had “campaigned relentlessly to save their transport services” when the proposal was leaked last year, the City Hub reported.

“The government’s blatant disregard for the community, including its own constituents, baffles belief. But the community won this consultation, and now it’s time to hammer home the message,” the RTBU said.

The proposed new bus route plan is open for feedback until June 18. If introduced, the changes could begin late this year.

The community campaign against the bus service cuts is escalating, with plans for a rally on May 30.