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Transport Automotive, Union

Labor transport policy will put Metro back on track

Rail, Tram and Bus Union 2 mins read

Media release | Thursday, 29 February 2024

The Labor Party’s commitment to improving the pay and conditions of Metro workers, recruiting more drivers, and criminalising the abuse of public transport workers will create a stronger public transport network for all Tasmanians.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Tasmania Branch Secretary Byron Cubit today said Labor leader Rebecca White and Shadow Transport Minister Josh Willie had listened to the concerns of transport workers and commuters.

“Cheaper or free fares on public transport will help address the cost-of-living challenges for Tasmanians, but cheap fares aren’t a lot of use if the buses don’t turn up,” he said.

“That’s why whichever party wins the election will need to fix Metro first.”

Mr Cubit said Labor’s policy to criminalise the abuse, intimidation and harassment of public transport workers would serve as a strong deterrent for anti-social behaviour on buses.

“It is critical that bus drivers feel safe and supported in their workplace,” he said.

“Creating this new offence will send a clear message to troublemakers – if they harass or abuse bus drivers then they will be charged.

“We are also pleased that Labor will support measures such as the roll-out of Transit Officers across the state, and the introduction of security screens, which the Liberals have also promised to deliver.

“Together these measures will add up to a safer public transport system for workers and passengers.”

Mr Cubit said fair pay and safe working conditions were essential to fixing Metro’s driver retention problems.

“Once the retention problem is solved, Metro will be back in a position to restore the old timetable and then expand services into those areas that desperately need better public transport,” he said.

“Metro Tasmania has suffered from neglect and underfunding for many years, but today’s policy announcement could be a critical turning point.”

Byron Cubit is available for interviews today.

Contact: Byron Cubit 0400 783 022 / bcubit@rtbu.org.au

 

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