More Trips Dropped Across Tasmania As More Bus Drivers Call In Sick

Following announcement of free trips

Article heading image for More Trips Dropped Across Tasmania As More Bus Drivers Call In Sick

Metro Tasmania

Hobart is experiencing an increase in cancelled routes as a result of a high number of driver absences.

The number of cancelled routes has increased again with Metro revealing that dropped trips had increased by 70 percent from yesterday.

According to metro, a total of 70 trips were dropped in Launceston including 41 ingoing and 29 outgoing and another 9 dropped trips in Hobart on Wednesday.

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Yesterday saw 42 dropped trips in Launceston and another five trips in Hobart.

A spokesperson for Metro said a larger number of staff are calling in sick as a result of the Covid outbreak along with a number of other illnesses.

According to the spokesperson, 23 drivers were unable to work in Hobart just yesterday while another six were unable to work in Launceston.

“Today, in Hobart, 23 drivers are unavailable to work (15 because of Covid 19 and eight because of other illness) while in Launceston the number of absent drivers is eight (one because of Covid 19, three because of general illness and four who are unvaccinated),” the spokesperson said.

The drop in bus trips comes as the government announced five weeks of free trips from Monday as part of a government-funded initiative which is set to ease the cost of living.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Tasmanian Secretary Ric Bean told The Mercury the government is using a band-aid solution instead of addressing “underlying problems”. 

“The chronic shortage of bus drivers is putting extreme pressure on services and leading to increased cancellations across the Metro network,” he said.

“The people of Tasmania deserve access to reliable, frequent and safe public transport. 

“But instead of dealing with the underlying problems that are plaguing the public transport system, the State Government is opting for a short-term sugar hit of free public transport.”

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Georgie Marr

30 March 2022

Article by:

Georgie Marr

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