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Greens announce plan to reboot public transport in NSW

A tram on the light rail network nears Central Station, Sydney.
Photo: Dreamstime

The Greens NSW today launched its ‘Rebooting our public transport’ package ahead of the March election laying out a plan for free public transport in NSW, taking bus services back from private operators and allowing access for people to travel with their pets.

Greens MP and transport spokesperson Abigail Boyd joined Greens MP and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong, and Greens candidates for Balmain (Kobi Shetty), Coogee (Rafaela Pandolfini), and Summer Hill (Izabella Antoniou), to announce the Greens plan to reboot public transport in NSW.

“The trains are overcrowded, the buses are slow and the ferries are too expensive,” Greens MP and transport spokesperson Abigail Boyd said.

“The Greens NSW have announced a comprehensive package to fix public transport in NSW. Under the Greens’ plan, public transport would be fast, affordable, accessible and reliable,” she said.

The Greens plan will:

  • Introduce free public transport on all buses, trains and ferries
  • Put public transport back in public hands, unwinding privatisation
  • Fast track accessibility upgrades for all public transport options to bring NSW into line with the national Disability Discrimination Act
  • Deliver enhanced public transport options for the regions
  • Create high-quality, secure unionised manufacturing jobs in NSW by reinvigorating manufacturing hubs for trains and electric buses
  • Welcome pets onto public transport

Abigail Boyd, Greens MP and Transport spokesperson: “The Greens have been sounding the alarm on bus privatisation for years. The dangers and harmful consequences were immediately apparent to workers – and now the reality is really hitting home for commuters who are facing cancellations and confusion.”

“NSW desperately needs some actual leadership. It’s time to bring public transport back into public hands. It’s not enough to say no more privatisation, we need to be actively working to reverse this privatisation and making a clear commitment to not renew a single contract. Otherwise we risk locking ourselves into further decades of dysfunction.

“Free Public Transport is not only achievable, it is essential for well functioning communities and economies.

“Public transport is obviously important to get people to and from work, but it’s also used every day by people visiting friends, visiting parks, going to the sport or cultural activities like concerts and art galleries.

“For every single pro-social activity we try and encourage in our community, people need to leave their homes to participate – why would we be placing a financial barrier in the middle?

“It’s time we followed the lead of other cities around the world and delivered a public transport people run for people not profit.”

Kobi Shetty, Greens candidate for Balmain: “Privatisation has done the opposite of what it promised, it has made it harder to get around Sydney not easier. Our buses are in a mess with canceled services and constant delays across the inner west.

“I’m hearing from drivers and passengers that they want local services returned to public hands when the current contracts are up. They don’t want Labor’s policy to create a committee, they want it fixed.

“Pets are such an important part of our families, and it was incredibly disappointing when the rules changed to prevent dogs from being taken on ferries. Pets are allowed on public transport across Europe without issue and there is no reason why we can’t do it here.”

Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and Industrial Relations spokesperson said “Our Inner West community knows all too well the chaos and disruption that the privatisation of the Inner West Bus network has had in our local community – and it’s time to bring them back into public hands.

“Our community has stood strong with the RTBU, bus drivers, and commuters railing against the privatisation agenda of this Liberal National government.

“The Greens will always support bus drivers and transport workers on strike for better pay, conditions, and a fully funded public transport system. These are the conditions needed to ensure a world-class public transport system where people in our community can get where they need to go safely and easily,” she said.

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