NSW Government takes urgent action to recruit more bus drivers
The Bus Industry Taskforce, established by the Government, has identified immediate actions to help address the bus driver shortage and get more services running.
These actions are aimed at supporting increased driver recruitment and ensuring private operators are running the most efficient timetable for passengers.
With more than 500 driver vacancies across Greater Sydney and Outer Metropolitan areas, it’s clear more needs to be done to get more drivers onto the road and carrying passengers.
A major change will be introduced to make it quicker, easier, and cheaper for drivers to get their bus driver authority by:
- waiving the $70 application fee for the next 12 months
- allowing drivers over the age of 25 to apply if they hold a current unrestricted Australian driver licence and have held any kind of Australian driver licence, or a nationally recognised overseas driver licence, for at least three years
- enabling electronic issue of documents
- scrapping duplicated paperwork requirements and streamlining the application process.
The Bus Industry Taskforce will also hold an urgent bus industry roundtable on 21 June 2023, where current operators, drivers and industry representatives can suggest practical solutions to workforce shortages.
The Bus Passenger Forums, chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Marjorie O’Neil, will also capture community feedback on bus services from members of the public and representatives from community groups, local businesses and non-government organisations.
Forming a key part of the work carried out by the Bus Industry Taskforce, the forums will provide a much-needed opportunity for the commuting public to have their say.
Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Dr Marjorie O'Neill, will chair the forums over the coming months, with the first forums taking place this month in the Northern Beaches and the Hunter Region.
The forums will be hosted across Greater Sydney, in outer metropolitan areas and in Regional NSW, including some online sessions to make it easier for people to attend.
Members of the public and representatives from community groups, local businesses and non-government organisations will be invited to have their say.
A recruitment drive will be boosted across the public transport network and in communities to attract people to the job.
Transport for NSW will continue to work with operators on timetable adjustments to ensure communities are being serviced to the best of the operator's ability.
Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Transport Jo Haylen:
“The Bus Industry Taskforce has hit the ground running and has already identified the key steps we need to take to address the bus driver shortage.”
“The shortage of bus drivers has had a massive impact on bus services right across the state. If we can begin to fix the driver shortage, we’ll be well on the way to fixing our bus services.”
“There are quick and easy immediate actions that we can take right now to recruit more bus drivers."
“The current system needs to be simplified, so we can make it cheaper and easier for aspiring bus drivers to get a job and get on the road.”
“Another practical step is talking to the industry on other solutions that could help deliver better bus services in Greater Sydney and across NSW.”