The understanding is that WSPTU believed that Region 1 was going to remain as it was with Busways covering Mount Druitt to Blacktown and Westbus from Mount Druitt to Penrith to Windsor.
Mr. Glass advised us that they had done their homework with the tender of the NSW Bus Region 1 contract and submitted a competitive bid which built upon their decades of service provision in the area, under Rowes Bus service and currently under Busways. The Contract transition period when Busways will take over the complete Bus Contract 1 area is planned to happen in October 2013. This will be designed to coincide with the City Rail train time table changes in the same period.
In relation to commuters, bus routes and services will not be directly affected as it will simply be Busways taking over bus services. Which I find is a major point - although it is good to understand the process of NSW Bus contract tenders etc - to me it is like a Government changing the guard!
Busways will be ensuring that the trip times are more accurate, meaning less wasted time on buses for passengers. This will help improve on-time running which is a major Key Performance Indicator in the contracts, and will allow the current Westbus services to achieve a similar level of reliability as per the current Busways services.
Bus Depots will have to be ready in place for the operational areas around Penrith/St Marys and Windsor/Richmond so that buses will be centrally located to meet current and future demand. More information on depot locations will be provided in the coming months as DA’s ( Development Applications) are submitted and determined.
In relation to servicing bus shuttles - this will maintained and as directed too by the NSW for Transport and NSW Minister of Transport, pending on future funding by them.
Every Westbus bus driver will offered employment with Busways and it will be left up to each individual Westbus bus driver if they take the employment offer up! There will also be Driver Consultative Committees established at each new depot which will consist of Work Health and Safety Representative/s plus drivers, to ensure there is the opportunity for feedback.
Busways will continue to allocate buses so that the air conditioned and wheelchair accessible vehicles are “on the road” for the longest part of the day. Since 2007 most buses are NSW Government owned but Busways will also be sourcing some additional buses to make up the shortfall.
Growth bus services will be provided to growth population areas during the contract - which means newer areas across the region such as The Ponds, Jordan Springs and Waterside.
Feeder Buses - Mr. Hugh Worrall from WSPTU asked regarding areas that lack need essential and vital bus services can feeder buses be used to take commuters to major bus routes and the answer is pretty much it will have to discussed with NSW for Transport in light of the Long Term Master Plan, yet it was thought commuters do not like to have multiple modes of transport to get to their destination.
Bus Stop Infrastructure - Hugh Worrall was also suggesting that block funding be proposed for bus stop infrastructure on a basis that 1/3 is paid by Federal Government, 1/3 by NSW Government and the remaining 1/3 by Local Government Area's as opposed to Local Government Area's fund the complete Bus stop infrastructure, yet if no money is allocated for this then this is completely neglected. Busways supports any efforts to improve the level and quality of infrastructure at bus stops, especially in terms of DDA compliance ( Disability Discrimination Act - Under the Human Rights Commission) .
|Chris, Andrew Glass, Hugh Worral & John Svoboda|
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