Free bus trips around East Auckland today


East Auckland bus passengers will have a ticket to ride for free tomorrow, as bus drivers ramp up their ongoing strikes.

Union members at Howick and Eastern Buses — the provider for most of east Auckland — will refuse to accept cash or AT HOP cards as payment for fares, in protest of the lack of overtime and weekend rates offered by their employer.

First Union organiser Rudd Hughes says drivers are fed up with the company’s repeated attempts to remove overtime and weekend rates.

“Drivers often have to work over and above their rostered shifts and they deserve to be paid for the time that they lose with their families and friends,” Mr Hughes says.

“The public backs the bus drivers’ right to be paid for when they run overtime or have to work weekends. People know that’s the fair thing to do.”

In addition to the refusal to handle cash and operate AT HOP card consoles, drivers will also refuse to refuel buses.

So this could be interesting: when the bus runs out of fuel, everyone ends up being stuck wherever it runs out of juice. So, it will be a bit of Russian Roulette. Better avoid the free rides towards the end of the day, or ask to see the fuel indicator as you get on.


– Newshub