Action buses has failed Canberra year after year, losing taxpayers $150m yearly. It is an absolute disaster for the people of Canberra.
The Government commissioned a company to analyse the running of ACTION buses. In October 2015 the company MRCagney published its report. It found that plunging passenger satisfaction combined with expensive, inflexible industrial arrangements with the TWU were the main reasons why ACTION buses were losing so much money and why ACTION was so inefficient.
The report was highly critical of the running of ACTION buses and recommended a complete overhaul of the whole network. It went further and recommended that ACTION buses be privatised.
An example of what is wrong with the network is that only 17% of ACTION revenue comes from fares. The remaining 83% comes from the taxpayer, many of which never use an ACTION bus.
The bus network is unsustainable. So what does the Government do to divert attention from this debacle it says ”look over here – not at the buses, lets build a new tram which will solve all of Canberra’s transport problems.” What a joke but many of us fell for the trick. Now we don’t talk about the parlous state of the buses we just talk about the tram. To a large extent the trick worked but in practical terms it didn’t. ACTION is still a basket case and will continue to be unless something serious is done about it and government takes on the might of the TWU.
If Canberra goes ahead with the tram there are 2 things we know for sure. First, instead of 17% of revenue coming from fares, that figure will drop to 10% of revenue coming from a combined bus/tram network fares. This means the taxpayer will go from subsidising the losses from 83% to 90%. And second it will bankrupt the Territory.
No one in their right mind would support the building of the tram in Canberra.
Written and authorised by Lucinda Spier, Canberra Community Voters Party.
Image by Bidgee