Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has said the Government has nothing to hide behind now that their experiment of privatisation in Newcastle has gone terribly wrong, with commuters having to pay the price of plummeting on-time running performance of buses.
A story in the Newcastle Herald said on-time running for buses fell 30% with almost a third of the buses running late.
Dr. Faruqi said:
“This ideologically driven, privatisation obsessed Government has nothing to hide behind now. The steady decline in performance by the private bus operator is out there in plain figures, with on-time running figures dropping over 30% in just a matter of months.
“The harsh reality of privatised public transport has become all too real for the people of Newcastle. It is the commuters that have to suffer in the end, because this Government is hell-bent on pursuing their ideological agenda of privatisation, no matter what. This sell-off of public transport has only spelled disaster for the community.
“I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but this is exactly what everyone opposed to this wholesale privatisation said would happen. This was always a recipe for disaster. The whole mantra of efficiency as a justification of privatisation can be laid to rest for good.
“To use school formals as an excuse for not meeting their performance indicators is completely absurd. Every single bus operator has had to deal with congestion, so why can’t private operators?
“The Government is very quick to use the measure of efficiency to justify their agenda of privatisation, but where is this mantra of efficiency and where are the penalties when private operators fail to deliver for the public?
“We know the private sector monopoly over public transport in Newcastle has nothing to do with customer service, reliability or convenience. The Government must own up to their mistake and put Newcastle’s transport back into public hands,” she concluded.