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Free buses up for grabs

By housebound - 5 February 2010 30

In an amazing act of self-sacrifice, ACT public servants have convinced their union to include a request for free [commuter] bus trips in this round of EBA negotiations. Not for them the convenience of driving and parking somwhere close to work.

Here’s the ABC report:

The union claims it will bring a host of benefits to the ACT human and natural environment, but it will also make the buses more viable.

So here’s the question: would you catch buses if they were free?

What’s Your opinion?

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30 Responses to
Free buses up for grabs
JC 3:23 am 06 Feb 10

Muttsybignuts said :

Why should someone get a free trip just because they are a public servant? The free trip should be for anyone who chooses to commute instead of drive.

Why? It is all part of enterprise bargaining. In the end the employee, ie the public service will get less cash in return.

No reason why any private enterprise employee couldn’t ask their own employee for the same.

taninaus 7:08 pm 05 Feb 10

This is the union asking, not the workers – it certainly wasn’t in any discussions we have had with the union or in any of the proposed list of concessions/entitlements that were discussed so it is out of left field. Personally I agree with Fiona – pay me what I am worth and what the market is getting paid (eg. Commonwealth) rather than offer me a perk I have no interest or intent in using.

Fiona 6:40 pm 05 Feb 10

I would rather they actually put up for my pay rise, since I don’t bus or drive to work. Two percent’s a little stingy…

bd84 5:38 pm 05 Feb 10

Two major things they would need to consider: most people will not catch a bus due to ACTION consistently putting up services that go nowhere and the slowest possible route and the fact that the network is unlikely to cope with the huge number of additional passengers should even a fraction of the 18k people take up the offer. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be voting for the deal if it was used as an excuse for a lower pay rise.

astrojax 4:37 pm 05 Feb 10

nice pun, jim – but it was soylent…

this is farcical – but then, this is the act self government; would we expect less?

SolarPowered 4:24 pm 05 Feb 10

MsCheeky – a voice of reason. Sounds like a Canberra Times beat-up.

(and i am not, nor have ever been, a PS)

Jim Jones 3:56 pm 05 Feb 10

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

As long as they also give free unlimited bus travel to Pensioners.

How about free unlimited bus travel to the soilent green factory?

steveu 3:47 pm 05 Feb 10

People on the old age pension free? Certainly. Other pensions? Hmm…
Personally I dont see anythign wrong with ACT Govt Public Servants getting free buses. I mean the AFP get free buses – so why shouldnt ACT Public Servants? (and Im not a ACT Govt Public Servant).
I do think in general bsues should be free, and the shortfall in fare should be provisioned under the existing pay parkign revenue (and I am not suggesting putting up pay parking any further). ACT Govt gets an obscene amount of money from rates – particularly with the explosion of MDU’s int eh last 10 years etc.

MsCheeky 3:32 pm 05 Feb 10

This was reported in the C.Times today as the union ‘demanding’ free buses. I listened to this on ABC Radio this morning when they interviewed the union official. He put it that they had put it on the table as a proposal amongst others in the context of pay negotiations. Hardly a demand.

I thought it was a creative approach to negotiations and I liked it. I don’t expect it will get up, simply because it would be inequitable to those who don’t use buses. But there’s nothing wrong with creativity in a negotiation process.

Perhaps we could draw a parallel with shop assistants who get a discount from their place of work as a (very slight) compensation for the pitiful wages they work for. Nobody begrudges that. Sheesh, public servant bashing not required here! (And no, I’m not an ACT public servant.)

Rawhide Kid No 2 3:25 pm 05 Feb 10

As long as they also give free unlimited bus travel to Pensioners.

Feathergirl 3:18 pm 05 Feb 10

I think it’s a great idea. I don’t know how many people will take it up, but great to have the option there. The pubes register as bus users, get their bus passes, then the govie pays Action x amount for every time a pube bus card is swiped. All employers should do it. And build more bike lockers, or let us work from home more, and while they’re at it, would it kill to have more childcare centres at workplaces? Better (edible) canteen food would also be appreciated… sorry getting off track.

Muttsybignuts 3:07 pm 05 Feb 10

Why should someone get a free trip just because they are a public servant? The free trip should be for anyone who chooses to commute instead of drive.

gooterz 2:28 pm 05 Feb 10

Then why wouldn’t you just make all buses free?

How much do they really make once you lose the cost of producting tickets and having comissions of the sellers!

Lucky we paid that few million for the new ticketing system!

niftydog 2:27 pm 05 Feb 10

A walk to the stop, ride on the bus, then another walk to work would easily take me over an hour and I’d arrive at work all hot and sweaty (or wet and frozen solid!)

I can ride my bike from door to door, lock up the bike & have a shower in about 45 mins and I walk into the office fresh as a daisy!

Personally, I’d be lobbying for bike sheds, showers and locker facilities instead.

JessP 2:18 pm 05 Feb 10

Providing John S and Katie G are on the bus I would too!

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